Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Belgium, Flemish Parliament Honours Nazi Collaborators.

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Flemish Parliament funds brochure honouring Nazi collaborators - European Jewish Congress

Flemish Nationalists Honour Nazis.

This story began over the weekend.

Flemish Parliament funds brochure honouring Nazi collaborators

The Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organisations (CCOJB), the country’s EJC affiliate, has expressed outrage after a brochure honouring Nazi collaborators was published with funding from the Flemish Parliament.

The brochure, which was published as part of a special edition celebrating 50 years of the Flemish Parliament, depicted Nazi collaborators Staf De Clercq and August Borms among figures which have “shaped the emancipation of our language and our people”, as reported by the daily, De Standaard.

De Clercq, one of Belgium’s most notorious collaborators and the leader of the pro-Nazi Flemish National League (VNV), is described in the brochure as “an educator and language border activist”. Borms, who was sentenced to death as a collaborator and refused to denounce the Nazis is described as “a teacher and figurehead of activism during World War I.” The brochure does acknowledge that they were both Nazi collaborators.

“Honouring these collaborators of the Nazi regime is scandalous, at a time where we face growing concerns about our safety and our children being increasingly exposed to unbridled antisemitism”, said CCOJB President Yohan Benizri.

RTBF, today.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Flemish Parliament (or rather the creation in 1971 of the Cultural Council of the Dutch Community), it has decided, under the aegis of its president Liesbeth Homans (N-VA), to highlight 14 personalities who ” contributed to the emancipation of the people and their language ” in a special edition of Newsweek magazine. Among these rare hand-picked representatives are two notorious collaborators: August Borms and Staf De Clercq. A ” scandalous ” honour declared  Yohan Benizri, president of the Coordination Committee of Jewish Organisations in Belgium (CCOJB).

Le Soir today.

La mise à l’honneur de deux collaborateurs nazis par le Parlement flamand irrite

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Flemish Parliament (or rather the creation in 1971 of the Cultural Council of the Dutch Community), the assembly decided, under the aegis of its president Liesbeth Homans (N-VA), to highlight 14 personalities having “contributed to the emancipation of the people and their language”. Among these rare hand-picked representatives are two notorious collaborators: August Borms and Staf De Clercq. A “scandalous” honour for Yohan Benizri, president of the Coordination Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB).

“Many young Belgians do not know the history of their country,” he laments. “You can’t fight hate speech effectively when you celebrate a shameful legacy. This effects of this message are totally deleterious. “

 

Le Soir notes that the Flemish paper of record De Standaard also reacted,

 De Standaard also wondered last week: “Is it appropriate to honour two Nazi sympathizers, collaborators with the German occupier, including one (Borms) during the two world wars in addition?” “Wondering whether the Flemish parliament had become ‘masochist’, the daily recalled that ‘if Borms and De Clercq had achieved their ends, there would never have been a question of a Flemish parliament, or even of a democracy in general “.

The biggest group in the Flemish Parliament is the hard right  N-VA. New Flemish Alliance (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie) led nationally by Bart  De Wever. and in the region by Wilfried Vandaele.

There is also a strong pres ence (outside the ruling coalition) of the more openly far-right Vlaams Belang 23 seats, which has roots in the nationalist movement, such as the Flemish National League,  which collaborated with the German occupation. There is only limited Green and left-wing representation.

Flemish Parliament:

Government (70)

  •   N-VA (35)
  •   CD&V (19) Christian Democrats/Flemish nationalists.
  •   Open Vld (16) Right wing Liberals.

 

Opposition (54)

De Weever is a right wing nationalist, with ‘conservative’ views on just about everything. In October 2007, in reaction to the apology of the Mayor of Antwerp for his city’s collaboration in the deportation of Jews during the Second World War, Bart De Wever said that:

“Antwerp did not organise the deportation of the Jews, it was the victim of Nazi occupation … Those who were in power at the time had to take tricky decisions in difficult times. I don’t find it very courageous to stigmatise them now.

Bart De Wever is a fervent supporter of Catalan nationalism, and a close ally of its leading figure, Carles Pauigdemont.

De Wever : “Puigdemont est un ami que l’on ne laisse pas tomber”

De Wever: “Puigdemont is a friend that we will never let down”.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 19, 2021 at 1:16 pm

5 Responses

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  1. There seem to be some tangled threads around the “friends” of Carlos Pauigdemont. From the little I know of the guy it seems, despite his pretty extreme Catalan nationalism, that he desn’t seem to be anywhere near fash. He is, I gather a bit Perry Andersonish when it comes to the EU, but he appears to feel there is a place for small nations in a reformed structure. Hence the fact that he gets a lot of kudos from Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP who adhere to the same template, and whilst the SNP have faults they are not – apart from some wingnut jokers on social media – anywere near fascism.

    And, despite his backing from the extreme neo-Nazi right in Flemish politics, when he chose to live in Belgium he settled in the commune of Argenteuil, about 16 miles outside Brussels and solidly Walloon. Given that Flemish nationalists have the same instincts as a DUP Councillor meeting the boundary commission when it comes to communal territorial divisions, I thought that would have consigned him to utter darkness. But not, it seems.

    My advice to Carlos Pauigdemont – choose your new found pals with extreme caution.

    david walsh

    January 19, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    • The Catalan nationalist movement has its origins on the nationalist right, adopting ideas taken from French extreme right wingers like Maurice Barres.

      But ideology aside, the main point is that the largest party is deeply corrupt, They have basically made a business out of Catalan nationalism.

      “Jordi Pujol may be considered the father of modern Catalan nationalism by many people, but the recent revelations that he kept millions of euros in overseas tax havens for more than three decades, now mean that he has become a liability for the movement driving for a referendum on sovereignty for the region in November, led by regional premier Artur Mas.”

      https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2014/08/01/inenglish/1406893767_723731.html

      ” a string of corruption cases involving Mas’s own Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) party had begun to reach the courts.

      The Palau case, involving large-scale embezzlement by managers of Barcelona’s landmark concert hall Palau de la Música, produced solid evidence that CDC had taken €6.6 million in illegal commissions in exchange for public works contracts during the last government of Jordi Pujol (1999-2003), who is considered the founding father of Catalanism.>”

      https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2017/12/12/inenglish/1513070093_790213.html

      The nationalist party that has governed Catalonia for most of Spain’s modern democratic era has been found guilty of receiving millions of euro in bribes and its former treasurer has been handed a four-year jail sentence.

      A court in Barcelona ruled on Monday that Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) had received €6.6 million in illegal commissions from building firm Ferrovial between 1999 and 2009, in exchange for lucrative public works contracts. The scheme was channelled through the Palau de la Música Catalana concert venue, which was used as a front for false invoicimg.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/corruption-sentence-hits-catalonia-s-dominant-nationalist-party-1.3356372

      Because of this they renamed themselves, Puigdemont is a leader of the Nacional per la República, Crida or CNxR)

      One of the most obvious problems is the use of Catalan. Under devolution laws people can be educated in Catalan, and there is a thriving Catalan language media and literature. It is not difficult for Romance language speakers to understand – I can get the main gist of press stories without Google Translate During the latest independence crisis I got Teach yourself Catalan out from the library (with casettes) and a got a basic grasp in a few months, something which I doubt most of us would do for, say Latvian.

      But, as Spanish speakers point out, positions in a lot of jobs that depend on nationalist run institutions demand a level of proficiency in Catalan equivalent to our school leaving A levels or the French Bac.

      Not everybody wishes to invest that amount of time and effort in an achievement that has little value outside of Catalonia – and certainly far from equivalent use to a world langage like Spanish/Castellion. .

      Andrew Coates

      January 19, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      • As you say “But, as Spanish speakers point out, positions in a lot of jobs that depend on nationalist run institutions demand a level of proficiency in Catalan equivalent to our school leaving A levels or the French Bac. Not everybody wishes to invest that amount of time and effort in an achievement that has little value outside of Catalonia – and certainly far from equivalent use to a world langage like Spanish/Castellion.”

        But I have heard and read the same from – say, teachers – who wanted to apply for teaching posts in some schools in West and NW Wales………

        But PC, regardless of the likes of historic figures like Saunders Lewis, is now if anything, of the left.

        david walsh

        January 19, 2021 at 11:11 pm

        • Learning Welsh or any Celtic Language is beyond my ken.

          Because I have a strong Scottish family background I once got a Teach Yourself Gaelic book (sill here..).

          I could not even get to grips with the beginning, on lenition, front mutation of nouns.

          Catalan, most people say is a language you can learn to speak, if you live, in, say Barcelona. after a few months. Not just for Romance language speakers. English which is so infused with Romance words that one that one can get many words without translation. . I recall being in Barcelona and not having the slightest difficulty with getting the general sense, a mix of knowledge of French and English words). People who’ve worked there say that after a year or so they are fluent .

          Which is not the same as being competent in the written standard clerical and other types of work requires.

          Andrew Coates

          January 19, 2021 at 11:30 pm

  2. From a libertarian distance, most of what the christian “right” and communist “left” wings of the mixed-economy Kleptocracies say about each other sounds roughly about right. They struggle to ignore everyone else with binary blinkers. So who else would they choose to honor other than specimens from inside the national and international socialist circle on a Venn diagram?

    oiltranslator

    January 19, 2021 at 8:32 pm


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