Putting Vlaams Belang in perspective
I asked reliable sources who had attended the counterjihad conference in Brussels what they think of the charge that Vlaams Belang is a Nazi-like, racist, anti-Semitic party. The following is culled from that exchange.
Is there a smoking gun after all? I have read that they have historic roots in collaborationist elements in WWII. But what is the significance of that today?First source replies:
This is the saga and legacy of most of Western Europe’s current leading political parties, certainly in those nations that were overrun and occupied by the Nazis. Moreover, on a more personal level, Dewinter’s father was in the Resistance.Second source replies:
1) Collaborationism is not a problem of Vlaams Belang only. It is the problem of much of Europe—Austria, France, Italy, etc. If all the collaborators had been jailed or excluded from politics, the ranks of postwar European politicians would have been decimated. De Gaulle declared an amnesty and took into his cabinet former collaborators. Maurice Couve de Murville, who had been a Vichy civil servant, joined the government of postwar France. He was the French ambassador to Egypt when Nasser welcomed many German Nazi war criminals who helped him in his anti-Jewish propaganda and policy. Couve de Murville later became a minister. Francois Mitterand was a former Vichy civil servant who became president of France. He nominated as a minister Maurice Papon, who had been responsible for sending hundred of Jewish children to Auschwitz just before the end of the war. Austria elected as its president Kurt Walheim, former Secretary General of the U.N., a great friend of Arafat and a former Nazi officer in the Balkans during the war. Masses of former Nazis moved to the socialist parties and linked up with their former allies, the Arabs who are against Israel, America, and a free Europe. The same can be said about the European Communists. They first allied with the Nazis during the Hitler-Stalin Pact before the Nazis invaded the USSR, and they never apologized for having supported an inhumane regime that killed 40 million people.LA replies:
Let’s put it this way. What are the two worst things that can be said about VB, and what are the answers to those?First source replies:
Honestly, the whole thing is beyond me. I’ve read Belien, I’ve read the Vlaams Belang platform, I see their public behaviors, and their positions are as follows: philo-Semitic vis a vis Jews and the State of Israel, including the denunciation of the Belgian Parliament for hosting Arafat and for refusing to host Sharon; pro-American, pro traditional liberal values (as I learned from reading you, those are now “conservative!”).LA replies:
This is very helpful.First source replies:
I think this is a fair assessment.
James P. writes:
I don’t think it’s proper to call Austrians like Kurt Waldheim “collaborators.” Austria was not an occupied country like France or Belgium, despite their postwar efforts to represent themselves as Nazi victims.Ken Hechtman writes:
I don’t know … I think your Second Source is being a bit simplistic, as in “Everything we currently don’t like (Eurabia and liberals) has a direct-line connection to everything we didn’t used to like (Nazis and Communists).”LA replies:
Well, it seems that Mr. Hechtman has only underscored the main point that was made in defense of Vlaams Belang: that Europe in the postwar period was filled with and run by amnestied former collaborators; but that now the former collaborators who have a pro-Islamization and at least implicitly anti-Jewish program are condemning the former collaborators (or rather the people politically descended from former collaborators) who have an anti-Islamization and pro-Jewish program. And this group that is pro-Jewish and anti-Islam is being condemned, as Nazi-types, for seeking the same sort of amnesty for its members as other parties which are pro-Islam and anti-Jewish have gotten for their members.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 09, 2007 04:30 PM | Send