Wiesenthal Center: Decision by Dutch Town Of Vorden to Honor Nazi Soldiers on National Memorial Day to World War II Fallen Erases Distinction Between Victims and Perpetrators

May 3, 2012

Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized the decision by the municipal authorities of the town of Vorden, Netherlands to honor 10 German soldiers buried in the town on the National Day for the fallen of World War II. In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center denounced the decision which "blurs the crucial distinction between the victims and the perpetrators of the crimes of World War II and reflects a lack of understanding of the history of those tragic years." 

According to Zuroff:

"By honoring the German soldiers who occupied the Netherlands on behalf of the most murderous regime in human history and supported the occupation which helped implement the mass murder of Dutch Jewry, the local authorities of Vorden have basically rewritten the history of the war, erasing the critical distinction between victims and perpetrators. Such a decision is which is apparently based on the erroneous assumption that forgiveness automatically leads to reconciliation, ignores the horrific nature of the Nazi regime and is an insult to its victims."

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).