Dutch Protestant Church admits failing Jews in World War II

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch Protestant Church has rendered widespread acknowledgment that Sunday of shame has struggled to provide further aid to the Jews during and after World War II and also to help the Church to prepare "the soil on which the seeds of antisemitism and hate can rise."

The announcement came on Monday to remember the anniversary of Kristallnacht, an anti-Jewish pogrom of the Nazis, or 'the Night of shattered windows.'

On November 9, 1938, Jews were terrorized through Germany and Austria. At least ninety-one people were murdered, hundreds of synagogues were burnt down, 7,500 Jewish corporations were vandalized and 30,000 Jews detained.

René de Reuver said that the position of the church started in Germany long before Adolf Hitler came to power on behalf of the Netherlands General Synod of the Protestant Church.

"A rift has been maintained for decades, such that Jews might be carried away and slaughtered in civilization later," said De Reuver.

"Even in years of war the ecclesiastical officials also lacked the confidence to choose a place for our country's Jewish people," he said.

The rest were deported, along with Romani and Sinti, and executed in nazi death camps. More than 100,000 Netherlands Jews — 70 percent of the Jewish population — had not survived World War II.

De Reuver admitted that the acknowledgement of culpability has long been pending and said to the Jewish group in the Netherlands, 'We trust it'lln't be too late.'

"Anti-Semitism is a sin against God and against people, and the Protestant Community is indeed a member of this sinful past," he said. "It's a sin against Christ, and it is a duty for the people.

The dilemma did not stop with the Nazi loss of 1945 and he accepted the problem of land returns to the Jewish collectivity.

A rabbi also participated in the ceremony on Sunday, during which De Reuver vowed to try to eradicate anti-Semitism in the future.