Dutch Protestant Church Apologizes for Failure to Protect Jews During the Holocaust
The Dutch Protestant Church has officially admitted to its failure to protect Jews during the Holocaust, and accepted guilt for its role in perpetuating and promoting antisemitism.
According to the Associated Press, the church’s message came during a ceremony over the weekend marking the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom.
René de Reuver delivered the message on behalf of the General Synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, saying, “For centuries a rift was maintained that could later isolate the Jews in society in such a way that they could be taken away and murdered.”
“Also, in the war years, the ecclesiastical authorities often lacked the courage to choose a position for the Jewish citizens of our country,” which eventually helped lead to the murder of over 100,000 Dutch Jews.
In a statement directed specifically to the Dutch Jewish community, de Reuver said “we hope it is not too late” to make amends and “the church recognizes faults and feels a present responsibility.”
“Antisemitism is a sin against God and against people,” he added. “The Protestant Church is also part of this sinful history.”
Some 75% of the Dutch Jewish population was murdered in the Holocaust — over 100,000 people — which is considered an abnormally high percentage, a topic still debated by historians.