Expatica news

Verhofstadt apologises for Belgium’s Holocaust role

16 March 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, apologised on Wednesday for his country’s role in the Holocaust.

Verhofstadt was speaking at the dedication of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

He was one of 15 presidents and Prime Ministers to join survivors of the Nazi Holocaust at the event.

It is not the first time the Belgian premier has asked forgiveness for his country’s role in the Nazi ‘final solution’.

He initially broke what had been an official silence on the issue in 2002, during a speech at an army barracks in Malines.

Jewish organisations believe Belgian local authorities compiled registers of Jews during World War Two and were directly responsible for the deportation of around half of the country’s 60,000 Jews to concentration camps.

Historians, financed by the government, are currently examining Belgian archives to uncover the full extent of Belgian collaboration.

The results could lead to the creation of a parliamentary commission on the subject.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news