Belgian Jews Shocked by Justice Minister's Call to 'Forget' Nazi Past

Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck supports initiative to give amnesty to Nazi collaborators, Jewish magazine Joods Actueel reports.

Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck shocked the country's Jewish community by recently voicing support for an initiative to provide amnesty to Nazi collaborators during WWII, and for his suggestion that it may behoove the government to "forget" its Nazi past.

During a television debate, De Clerck said that the country should not focus on the crimes it committed as it was already in the past, Michael Freilich, editor of Belgium's Jewish Magazine Joods Actueel reported. De Clerck belongs to the Christian Democratic Party, which currently holds majority in the Belgian government.

Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck.

Eli Ringer, council member of the Forum of Jewish Organizations (FJO) told Joods Actueel that he was shocked and dismayed when he heard about the amnesty proposal, which was raised before the French speaking parties in Belgium.

Ringer added that there would be a big problem if the proposal was accepted by the government, adding that it was incomprehensible that the government would implement a law that would wipe out the lessons of the past.

He said he hoped the Flemish parties would reject the initiative.

Mark Eyskens, former Belgian prime minister and a member of De Clerck's party, told Joods Actueel he hoped he minister would "issue a clarification and rectification of his words.”