Editor of Major Dutch Daily Apologizes for Publishing Cartoon That ‘Evokes Memories of Nazi Era’
One of the leading newspapers in the Netherlands has apologized for publishing a cartoon that lampooned a well-known Dutch pollster using antisemitic tropes.
Pieter Klok, editor of the daily De Volskrant, issued an apology on Monday morning for the cartoon, which appeared in the Sunday edition of the paper. It showed a caricature of Maurice de Hond — a Dutch pollster who is Jewish — holding two sets of puppet strings in his outsized hands, in a manner reminiscent of cartoons in the Nazi press that showed Allied leaders as the marionettes of powerful Jewish bankers.
The cartoon “evokes too many memories of the antisemitic caricatures of the Nazi era and should never have been published,” Klok wrote to the paper’s readers. “We apologize.”
Klok explained that the problem had “started with a picture editor with not enough historical awareness. He proposed [the cartoon] and approved it. After that too many people did not look at it closely enough. At the weekends we have fewer staff and fewer chances to review an image like this, so you run the risk of this kind of dreadful incident.”
The cartoon in the paper illustrated a feature on a 1999 murder case in which de Hond had led a campaign alleging that a miscarriage of justice in the Dutch courts had convicted the wrong man.