Belgium’s PM Apologizes for State’s Holocaust-era Complicity

Elio Di Rupo says wishes to remove any ‘ambiguity’ regarding state authorities’ role in deportations.

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
JTA
JTA

The prime minister of Belgium, Elio Di Rupo, apologized for the complicity of state authorities in the murder of Belgian Jews during the Holocaust.

“We must have the courage to look at the truth: There was steady participation by the Belgian state authorities in the persecution of Jews,” Di Rupo said Sunday at a memorial ceremony in the city of Mechelen.

The ceremony honored the memory of some 25,000 Jews and Roma who were deported from the city to Auschwitz in the summer of 1942.

Di Rupo also said he wished to remove any “ambiguity” regarding the Belgian authorities’ role in deportations.

On Sept. 2, the mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, acknowledged the role of city authorities in deporting Jews but added, “It is not for me to pass judgment.”

An early version of an invitation signed by the mayor to a memorial ceremony spoke of Brussels citizens deported by Belgian authorities appointed by the Nazis.

Several Jewish organizations said the text was a "rewriting of history," as the deportees were Jews from all of Belgium and authorities had not been appointed by the German occupation forces. The mayor subsequently changed the text of the invitation.

Last month, Antwerp Mayor Patrick Janssens recognized and apologized for the complicity of city authorities in deportations. Janssens announced plans to erect a monument engraved with the names of Antwerp Jews known to have been murdered in the Holocaust.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Karolina Bielowka.

'My Uncle Told Me, ‘Go on the Trip of Your Life, Go Dig in Israel.’ So I Did'

The replica ship, 'Ma’agan Mikhael II,' sailing from Haifa to Acre in northern Israel.

Replica of 2,400-year-old Ship Solves Ancient Mediterranean Mystery

File photo: Bus operated by Kavim company.

Ultra-Orthodox Extremists Assault Woman for Sitting at Front of Jerusalem Bus