Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dutch Megaship Named after Nazi: Someone was asleep at the Helm

How did the Dutch government let this happen? Haaretz reports that a mega ship will be named after the prominent Nazi industrialist and Waffen-SS officer Pieter Schelte.

It's offensive to the Dutch, much less to lots of other people, particularly to those who were persecuted and murdered by the Third Reich.

Seems that his son
Edward Heerema, who is the president of the offshore giant which is building the mega ship, Allseas made the decision.

Shouldn't someone have caught on sooner.

And has the son no sense of decency?

Ironically all he has done is call lots of attention to his father's misdeeds.

The investigative journalist Ton Biesemaat, who exposed the affair, said he found this "characteristic of the passivity and moral decline in Dutch society," and of a "desire to forget" inconvenient truths about Dutch collaboration with the Nazis in WWII.

As I have often said, while the deniers are very dangerous, those who simply want to ignore inconvenient history are far more dangerous.....


Epaminondas said...

Considering that there are parties, such as Vlaams Belang (Belgium) who wish amnesty for Nazi collaborators (they are just so old, you see) none of this is even slightly surprising.




Good investigative reporting there by that Dutch reporter!

hockey hound said...

People seem to forget that there was once a Dutch Nazi Party. And it's not like Dutch citizens did not betray Jews to the Nazis. If I remember right, there were more Jews deported from Holland than from any other country during the 2nd World War. I am not surprised that a Dutch ship would be named after a Nazi.

hockey hound said...

The NSB was founded in Utrecht in 1931 during a period when several nationalist, fascist and national socialist parties were founded. Founders were Anton Mussert, who became the party's leader, and Cornelis van Geelkerken. The party based its program on Italian fascism and German National Socialism, unlike the latter before 1936 the party was not anti-semitic and even had Jewish members.

In 1933, after a year of building an organization, the party organized its first public meeting, a Landdag in Utrecht which was attended by 600 party militants. Here the party presented itself. After that the party's support began to grow. In the same year the government forbade civil servants to be members of the NSB.

In the provincial elections of 1935 the party gained 8% of the votes and two seats in the Eerste Kamer. On the background of the party's success was the Great Depression. Mussert's image as a reliable politician and his pragmatism which allowed him to unite the different types of fascism also contributed to the party's success, as did the party's strong organization and its political strategy, which was not oriented towards violent revolution but a democratic legal take over of the party. In 1936, under influence of Meinoud Rost van Tonningen the party became openly anti-semitic. Rost van Tonningen began to question Musserts leadership with support of the German NSDAP, raising internal divisions within the party. This led to decreased support for the party and a strong anti-fascist reaction of the political parties, trade unions and churches. In the 1937 general elections the party gained only 4% of the votes and 4 seats in the Tweede Kamer, it expanded its seats in the Eerste Kamer to five. In parliament the NSB MPs showed little respect for the parliamentary procedures and rules. Many NSB MPs were called to order by the chairman of parliament for physical and verbal violence. In the provincial election of 1939 the party also gained 4% of the votes.

[edit] 1940-1945
After the Second World War broke out the NSB sympathized with the Germans, and advocated strict neutrality for the Netherlands. In May 1940, 800 NSB members and sympathizers were put in custody by the Dutch government,[1] after the German invasion. Soon after the Dutch defeat on 14 May 1940, they were set free by German troops. In June 1940, Mussert held a speech in Lunteren in which he called for the Netherlands to embrace the Germans and renounce the House of Orange, which had fled to London.

In 1940 the German occupation government had outlawed all socialist and communist parties; in 1941 it forbade all parties, except for the NSB. The NSB openly collaborated with the occupation forces. Its membership grew to about 100,000. The NSB played an important role in lower government and civil service; every new mayor appointed by the German occupation government was a member of the NSB. On the national level, Mussert had expected he would be made leader of an independent Dutch state allied to Germany; in reality, however, the Austrian National-Socialist Arthur Seyss-Inquart was in charge of an occupation government. Mussert had several meetings with Adolf Hitler in which he pleaded for an independent Netherlands, but he was unsuccessful. Although Seyss-Inquart had proposed that Mussert should be made prime minister of the Netherlands, he was only given the honorary title 'Leader of the Dutch People', and he was allowed to build a marginal State Secretariat, but he was given little or no actual power. His influence in the party waned at the expense of Rost van Tonningen and other more pro-German members. Beginning in the summer of 1943, many male members of the NSB were organized in the Landwacht, which helped the government control the population.

On September 4, 1944 the Allied forces conquered Antwerp and the NSB expected the fall of the Netherlands to come soon. On September 5, most of the NSB's leadership fled to Germany and the party's organization fell apart, on what is known as Dolle Dinsdag (Mad Tuesday).

After the German signing of surrender on May 6, 1945, the NSB was outlawed. Mussert was arrested the following day. Many of the members of the NSB were arrested, but a few were convicted, including Mussert, who was executed on May 7, 1946.

There were no attempts to continue the organization illegally.

[edit] Name
The party was called National Socialist Movement in The Netherlands. National Socialism is an obvious reference to the German NSDAP. With the word Movement it sought to separate itself from conventional parties and the partisan strife that had characterized pillarization. Using the phrase "in The Netherlands" referred to the fact that the NSB was the Dutch wing of the international fascist movement.

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[edit] Ideology & Issues
The NSB started out as a classical fascist party, which based itself on the principles of leadership. It wanted a healthy nation with a strong government, order and solidarity. It put the national interest above the individual interest and the interest of social groups, (pillars) that had characterized Dutch society. The party was anti-parliamentary and authoritarian. Its program which was modeled on the program of the NSDAP lacked reference to anti-semitic or racist ideology of the NSDAP. After 1936, under influence of Rost van Tonningen, the party became more oriented towards the NSDAP and took over its anti-semitic and racist ideas. It also began to sympathize with the aggressive foreign policy of Italy and Germany.

Practical demands of the NSB were: abolition of individual voting rights, corporatism, a duty to work and serve in the army, limits on the freedom of the press, laws against strikes. It demanded a reunification of the Netherlands with Flanders in a Greater Netherlands. This state would not be a part of, but only an independent loyal ally to Germany.

[edit] Rituals and Symbols
The NSB copied elements of the Italian Fascists and German Nazis. Like Mussolini's Fascists, the NSB uniforms included black shirts, and the Party adopted the Fascist salute. Since 1933 it used the salute "Hou Zee!", which, Anton Mussert said, connoted courage and referred to the glorious maritime history of the Dutch Republic. It also began using titles like 'Leider' for Mussert (Leader; similar to F├╝hrer), 'Kameraad' for men (comrade) and 'Kameraadske' (a newly invented word) for women (comradess)... One party slogan was "Mussert or Moscow", evoking the Fascist defense against supposed Communist subversion. [2]. Although the Party later adopted the Nazi red and black colors and the swastika symbol, the original NSB flag used orange, white and blue, the (17th century) Dutch tricolors. A blue wolfsangel (a hooked symbol of a wolf trap) on a white disc was set against an orange field[3].

The NSB was methodically isolated by other parties. Before The war the socialist SDAP and NVV coordinated counter-demonstration and propaganda with a separate organization 'Freedom, Labour and Bread'.