By Beila Rabinowitz
May 14, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Instead of trying to reinforce Dutch historical identity, one of the country's politicians is trying to rewrite it in the name of diversity. On the eve of "Liberation Days," Minister Jet Bussenmaker [Labour party] decided to include Moroccans, Surinamers and Antillians as liberators of Europe, despite their insignificant contribution.
Bussenmaker also concluded that this "history" must be taught to public school teachers and be included as part of the standard curriculum. According to one commentator the Dutch May 4th and 5th celebrations are "too white."
Concern about the feelings of the non-native Dutch population feeling left out of the World War II commemorations was raised several years ago when Moroccan youths were seen playing football with memorial wreaths which had been laid at a monument for the war dead.
In the ensuing furor over Bussenmakers proposals some Dutch papers carried headlines proclaiming, "Did the Moroccans really liberate Europe?" "Moroccans liberators? Utter nonsense or history?"
One journalist wrote:
"How can it be that the people from Morocco, Suriname and the Antilles has remained so long ignored?...Maybe because their role was really small?After searching long and hard the graves of 19 Moroccan soldiers were found...Now I don't want to belittle these soldiers, [because] they are heroes wherever they come from, but their contribution pales in comparison to the tremendous number of victims who fell in Europe...[So] it's fine that we take a look at the contribution of these soldiers but let's not make out as if it was the Moroccans who won the war." [source, translated from the Dutch, http://www.elsevier.nl/opinie/weblog/asp/artnr/204329/weblogid/63]
A staff member at the National Institute for War Documentation commented that one "shouldn't expect much" from the efforts to present non-native born Dutch as the the liberators of Europe. When asked if his research would help include more non-native Dutch by the memorial ceremonies, he stated:
"It's an absolute necessity. If there is something "white" it is the 4th and 5th of May." [source, translated from the Dutch, http://www.nrc.nl/binnenland/article1076559.ece/Marokkanen_vochten_niet_om_Europa_te_redden]
The PVV [Freedom Party] wants to have a speedy debate over the question. They accuse Bussenmaker and her party of pandering to their Islamic followers.
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