Dutch royal family anti-Semitism?


This video says about itself:

Amsterdam “The City That Remembers”

22 May 2013

This DVD is digitally converted from the original broadcast tape master of a 30 minute documentary which I produced in Holland in 1997. This is a very personal project with one simple objective: to pass along to future generations awareness of the horrors of Nazi Germany’s systematic genocide in WWII … knowledge so easily lost and forgotten unless we keep it alive. After you have viewed this DVD, I hope you will place it in a school, library, church, synagogue, or other permanent place where it will be shown and viewed again and again for decades to come.

The idea for producing this documentary grew from my many trips to Amsterdam and the urging from a close friend there, Harry Moinat, that I interview Jewish survivors of the Dutch Holocaust before they all died. The more I learned the more I had to tell inspiring Amsterdam’s story of resistance and determination.

Harry introduced me to a contemporary of Anne Frank, Jaap van Velzen, who was just 12 years old when he escaped from his Nazi captors by brazenly slipping away from a kindergarten where he and other children were being held awaiting shipment to the death camps. After his escape he hid in the south of the Netherlands till war’s end. He was the only member of his family to survive. Jaap later became a successful businessman and noted scholar regarding the Dutch Holocaust.

His childhood recollections are woven into this portrait of the systematic roundup of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally impaired and their shipment out of Amsterdam using the city’s own streetcars to deliver them at night to waiting Nazi freight cars at Amsterdam’s central train station. From there they were shipped to Westerbork concentration camp before being sent on to their deaths at Auschwitz and other German death camps.

I wrote, shot, edited and narrated this documentary to share with you an understanding of why Amsterdam is truly “The City That Remembers.”

Larry M. Ray

Translated from the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad (NIW) in the Netherlands:

June 26, 2015

Press Release: Jewish students removed in 1951 from the princesses’ school classes

With knowledge of Queen Juliana in 1951, Jewish students were preventively removed from classes at the Nieuwe Baarnsche School where the princesses Margriet and Irene were placed. This emerges from an article by historian Bart Wallet in the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad published today.

The initiative to remove Jewish students came from “a certain circle of [elite] Baarn town residents’, with the knowledge of Queen Juliana. The parents of the removed Jewish students approached the royal court. After that, Juliana in response stated that “the royal dynasty of Orange are not anti-Semitic.” Ultimately, the issue disappeared under the carpet.

The article was written by prominent historian Bart Wallet. He is research leader in religious history at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He got exclusive access to archives, including the Royal Archives, the archives of the Dutch Jewish Congregation and various private archives.

NIW editor Maurice Swirc declares: “This is a potentially explosive history, especially since it took place six years after the Shoah. Further research will have to establish the exact chain of events. But for Jewish people in the Netherlands the attitude of Juliana – at least – causes questioning.”

The Jewish community has always been very pro-royal dynasty. Until today in the synagogue services there are standard prayers for the royal family.

Questions by the NIW to the Nieuwe Baarnsche School – to which the article had been made available beforehand – did not get any answers.

Ukrainian neo-nazis attack gay pride march


This video is about neo-nazis of the Svoboda party attacking Jews in Ukraine.

If Ukrainian neo-nazis are not murdering political opponents … or are not busy with their well-paid jobs as advisers to the minister of defence war … or with attacking Jews … then they will be attacking others, like LGBTQ people daring to march for their rights.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Violent clashes at Ukrainian gay rights march

Several people on march and police officers injured as far-right groups attack parade in Kiev

Saturday 6 June 2015 13.18 BST

Dozens of unknown assailants have attacked a gay rights march in Kiev, injuring several marchers and police officers.

The attackers hurled teargas and smoke bombs at the 300 marchers as they walked along the Dnipro river bank in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday morning.

The Interfax news agency reported that five police officers were injured, while other local media reported four marchers were hurt.

Several hundred riot police formed a cordon to keep marchers and opponents apart, following a warning that the event was threatened by far-right groups.

Some opponents to gay rights tried to break through the cordon. Some demonstrators were attacked after the march dispersed.

On Friday, the organisers for KyivPride2015 said the march would go ahead despite warnings from the mayor, Vitaly Klitschko, who advised that the event be cancelled because of a threat of violence from far-right groups.

Hitler’s mass murder of Dutch Jews


Memorial at the Westerbork Museum for the deported prisoners by Nina Baanders-Kessler

By Josh Varlin:

75 years since the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands

The Westerbork transit camp and the destruction of Dutch Jewry

11 May 2015

May 10, 2015 marked the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. After the week-long Battle of the Netherlands concluded, the occupying forces began implementing their plans to integrate the Netherlands directly into the German Reich, including the deportation and extermination of Dutch Jews. Over the next five years, tens of thousands of Jews were deported from the Westerbork transit camp to Auschwitz and other camps.

The Dutch government hoped to remain neutral during the World War II, as it had during World War I, but both the Allied and Axis powers considered plans to violate the neutrality of the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg). Hitler ultimately made the decision to invade the Netherlands to secure potential airfield spots in the flat countryside, guarantee troop movement to northern France, and prevent the Allies from gaining these strategic advantages.

The Battle of the Netherlands began May 10, 1940, with attacks by German paratroops airdropped outside Rotterdam, a cross-border assault, and widespread bombing. The Dutch army was unprepared for the war, in part because of the Dutch ruling class’ concentration on “defending” its prize colony, the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

On May 15, 1940, after less than a week of resistance, the Dutch armed forces capitulated and a formal surrender was signed. Fighting continued in the southern province of Zeeland (Zealand) for a few more weeks with the support of French troops, with the last parts of the province occupied by May 27.

The next five years—until the surrender of occupying Nazi forces on May 5, 1945—saw the near-total destruction of Dutch Jewry, with over 70 percent systematically killed by German imperialism.

Anti-Semitic measures began almost immediately after the occupation began. The Nazi-installed civil government banned Jews from many public positions, including at universities. Physical violence was employed against Jews by fascist thugs, and street fights became common. One supporter of the Nationalist Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) died from injuries sustained in a fight on February 11, 1941. The Nazi government responded by “ghettoizing” Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter and engaging in ruthless pogroms to round up Jews.

In 1942, the occupying government took over the Westerbork refugee camp, which had been established in 1939 by the Dutch government to house German-Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Over the next three years (1942-1944), approximately 107,000 Jews were sent to Westerbork, almost all of whom were eventually sent east on the 97 trains that left the camp. The first left for Auschwitz-Birkenau—the most common destination—on July 15, 1942. Over 60,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz from Westerbork, many of whom were gassed on arrival.

Many other trains went to Sobibór—some 34,000 people were deported there, with only 19 survivors. Nine trains went to either Bergen-Belsen or Theresienstadt.

Approximately 102,000 Dutch Jews died in the Holocaust, with only 5,000 liberated in the camps—almost 1,000 of these survivors were freed from Westerbork, which is located nine kilometers south of Assen near the German border. Notable prisoners at Westerbork included cabaret director Max Ehrlich, figure skater Ellen Burka and diarist Anne Frank; only Burka survived the war.

Among the Sinti and Roma victims of the Holocaust in the Netherlands was Settela Steinbach, a 9-year-old Dutch Sinti girl who was deported on May 19, 1944 to Auschwitz, where she was gassed. The deportation was captured on film.

This video shows the deportation from Westerbork of Settela Steinbach and others.

Footage of the child’s face looking out from the cattle car became emblematic of the Holocaust.

Resistance fighters and any detainees who disobeyed were sent to the prison section of Westerbork. In addition to the resistance members sent east, 48 were executed and cremated at Westerbork, along with 4 Jews. Ten additional resistance members were executed elsewhere and cremated at Westerbork.

On April 12, 1945, Canadian troops liberated Westerbork and the remaining 876 prisoners. Westerbork then became an internment camp for members of the NSB or Waffen SS and other Dutchmen accused of collaborating with the Nazis.

National Westerbork Memorial (1970) by Ralph Prins, a survivor of the camp

The internment camp closed December 1, 1948 and was subsequently used as a training ground for soldiers before they were sent to fight for Dutch control of the Dutch East Indies during the Indonesian War of Independence, and, in the 1960s, as a temporary home for “Moluccan separatists,” the remnants of a Dutch proxy army that had aimed at crippling independent Indonesia.

The camp was gradually demolished, and its isolation—which was an important factor in its construction and eventual use as a transit camp—made it the ideal site for radio telescopes. The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, finished in 1970, now contributes to mankind’s understanding of the cosmos through infrared imaging of galaxies. Thus modern technology has been used twice in the same area for wildly different purposes—near-annihilation of an entire people during the Second World War and exploring the universe today.

The Westerbork Museum opened in 1983, with some barracks at the camp partially reconstructed. For each Westerbork inmate that died in the Nazi extermination camps there is a small stone. The 102,000 Jewish victims are indicated with a Star of David, whereas the 245 Sinti and Roma victims are represented by 213 stones topped by a flame. One hundred stones have no emblem and represent the resistance fighters who were imprisoned at Westerbork before being sent east.

Memorial stones at Westerbork

The experience of Word War II and the Holocaust in the Netherlands offer lessons for today’s workers and youth. Neutrality and living in a minor imperialist power did not save the Dutch population, particularly Dutch Jews, during the Second World War. Nor will a nuclear Third World War spare civilians. The horrors of World War II point urgently at the need to avert a third through the working class waging war on war.

The author also recommends:

Seventy years since the defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich
[9 May 2015]

Seventy years since the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army
[16 February 2015]

Imperialism and the political economy of the Holocaust
[12 May 2010]

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice on stage


This video says about itself:

19 August 2009

Brandon Ewald performs a monologue as Gratiano from William Shakespeare‘s “The Merchant of Venice” Act I Scene 1 at the Globe Theatre in London.

By Gillian Piggott in England:

Timely note of tragedy

Wednesday 6th May 2015

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice has dark undertones which directly address issues of racism today, says GILLIAN PIGGOTT

The Merchant of Venice
Globe Theatre, London SE1
3/5

WITH the election battle waged in sections of the media dominated by the issue of immigration, The Merchant of Venice is the perfect Shakespeare play to mount at the present moment.

So it proves in Jonathan Munby’s engaging production in which Shylock, the tragic outsider at the play’s core, is given due gravitas by Jonathan Pryce.

He stands not only for Jews but for all immigrants — or their second-generation offspring — struggling to rub along with host nations while maintaining religious and cultural identity. British Muslims or eastern European immigrants, so maligned by the far right, spring readily to mind.

Munby makes a compelling case for Shylock’s descent into vengefulness in a production which underlines how Antonio (Dominic Mafham), Bassanio (Daniel Lapaine) and the rest of the Christians are a thoroughly racist lot.

Contemptuous and self-satisfied, they openly despise and bully the Jew, with Mafham’s creepily charming and self-regarding colonialist merchant resorting to physically assaulting Shylock before bargaining his flesh for cash.

Pryce’s Shylock has the integrity and dignity that invites audience sympathy in the trial scene. An actor of presence, his wonderful voice breaks into vibrato at moments of passion and his simple truthfulness make his refusal to show mercy convincing.

And it also makes the unravelling of Shylock’s case and the legal bias and conspiracy ranged against him by Portia (Rachel Pickup) all the more ruthless.

With the emphasis on the Christians’ culpability, Jessica’s betrayal of her father is even less intelligible. Munby attempts to address this by having Shylock’s enforced baptism — a violating and brutal ritual — witnessed by Jessica (Phoebe Pryce), who sings a threnody bewailing the destruction she has helped heap upon her father.

It’s a powerful echoing of sectarian violence but it fails to solve the mystery of why Jessica does what she does.

Another issue with the production is that Munby does not appear to know how to make the Globe space work. He obscures the back half of the stage with a trellis and all the action takes place in front of the pillars.

And, while experienced actors such as Pryce and Mafham know how to speak the verse and use their voices effectively in the space, younger members of the company are less technically accomplished.

Intelligibility, unlike the quality of mercy, is thus sometimes strained.

Runs until June 7, box office: shakespearesglobe.com