The World War II-era links between Flemish nationalism and Nazism

The VB does have historic roots in the Flemish nationalist movement which was at least in part pro-Nazi during the war. Filip Dewinter has acknowledged this in an interview with Ha’aretz and even posts the interview at his website. I found this initially at LGF. However, the LGF poster only quoted part of Dewinter’s reply. Here is a fuller excerpt:

Ha’aretz: Gustave “Staf” de Clercq, the Flemish nationalist leader during the war, openly collaborated with the Nazis. After the deportation of Jews began, he was said to have remarked: “Now we can breathe easier.” Nevertheless, many members of your party revere his memory and participate in ceremonies to mark the anniversary of his death.

Dewinter: He is one of the historic leaders of the party. This is part of the history of the Flemish nationalist movement and it is impossible to deny this. We are the descendants of this movement. Some of the members of the party attend these events because they want to honor the heritage of the Flemish movement. This does not mean that they agree with Nazism. Not at all. I understand that this is hard to understand as a Jew. I respect very much that Jews have a problem with this. But Jews must also understand that this is not as simple as it seems. Not all of the [Nazi] collaborators wanted to kill the Jews in Europe. Most of the collaborators had other motives. I think that if they were living today, most of them would be ashamed of what happened to the Jews. The only thing I can do today is to say that I respect very much the suffering of the Jewish people, to express my sympathy and condolences about what happened and to try to move far away from this. But the Jewish people must understand that not every collaborator was necessarily anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz: This does not help those whose relatives perished in the Holocaust.

Dewinter: That is clear. But we are politicians of today. We should be judged by our actions of today, not by the things others did 60 years ago.

VB has a history. But the fact remains that there is nothing about VB today as a party that has any connection with its World War II-era ideology, except for Flemish independence. Meanwhile, Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, David Littman, and Bat Ye’or (the latter three being Jews) spoke at the anti-jihad conference. Other Jews were at the conference. Filip Dewinter and Paul Belien were also there. Why doesn’t Charles Johnson at LGF denounce Spencer and Bostom for associating themselves with these “repugnant” figures, these supposed neo-Nazis? Why does he just attack Paul Belien?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 04, 2007 01:24 PM | Send

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