Wilders wants official apology for wartime inaction

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The leader of the Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, is demanding that the Dutch state apologise for not doing enough to save Dutch Jews during the Second World War. His call comes a few months after the publication of a book, Judging the Netherlands, in which two former ministers say that the then monarch, Queen Wilhelmina, and the government-in-exile hardly did anything to help Jewish citizens.

A spokesman for the Jewish community, Ronny Naftaniel of the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel, says Jews would welcome an official government apology for having ignored what was happening to the Jews. "Turning a blind eye," he says, "is often a more serious crime than committing it yourself".

Geert Wilders' demand puts Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a tight spot. Any apology would get him in trouble with Queen Wilhelmina's granddaughter, Queen Beatrix.