Monday, September 04, 2006

Why Did Belgian Authorities Destroy Holocaust Records?

Hat Tip: Instapundit

According to the Brussels Journal, Belgian Authorities Destroy Holocaust Records
The Belgian authorities have destroyed archives and records relating to the persecution and deportation of Jews in Belgium in the 1930s and 1940s. Some of this happened as recently as the late 1990s. This was revealed during hearings in the Belgian Senate last Spring. Though the Senate report dates from 4 May the Belgian press has not yet mentioned the affair. [update 3 Sept.: The Brussels Dutch-language newspaper De Morgen published an article on page 6 of its 14 Dec. 2005 edition, under the title: Archives about Persecution of Jews were Intentionally Destroyed] The Senate report says that “documents about the period 1930-1950 have been destroyed on a massive scale.”
Some suggestions for the destruction of the records is offered.
In Charleroi the archives of both the municipal police as well as the judicial police were completely destroyed in the late 1970s. Before the war Charleroi had a relatively large Jewish community which was all but exterminated during the war, while in Antwerp a significant proportion of the Jews managed to survive. Yet in Belgium no-one is familiar with the extermination of the Walloon Jewry, while Antwerp is regularly blamed for having been a “center of anti-Semitism.” By destroying paper trails people are made to forget that certain events ever took place.

Hugo Vandenberghe, the leader of the Flemish Christian-Democrats, suggested that the destruction of the archives “may have had a political motive.” Senator Vandenberghe referred to the anti-Semitism of the Belgian authorities in the 1930s. The historian Nico Wouters told the Senators during the hearings that even after the war the Belgian authorities continued to arrest German Jews who had survived the holocaust by going into hiding, under the pretext that they were “citizens of a hostile nation.”
Is Ahmadinejad planning on visiting Belgium too?

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