Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has apologised for officials’ failure to do more to stop the deportation and murder of more than 100,000 Jews during World War II.
Rutte made the historic apology at the country’s annual Holocaust commemoration in Amsterdam on Sunday, the eve of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
While he praised resistance fighters, citizens who helped Jews hide from the Nazi occupiers and workers who went on strike in support of Jews, Rutte said it was collectively not enough.
“Too little protection. Too little help. Too little recognition,” the prime minister said.
“Now the last survivors are still among us, I apologise today on behalf of the government for the authorities’ actions at the time.”
Holocaust survivor Zoni Weisz told Dutch national broadcaster NOS it was an emotional moment.
“It was beautiful,” he said, adding, “it’s a shame it had to take 75 years before we were offered an apology.”
Of the 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands at the outbreak of World War II, only 38,000 survived.
Read the article in The Canberra Times (AAP).