Belgium legislation gives Nazis amnesty

Belgium’s Senate voted to accept draft legislation that would give amnesty to Nazi collaborators.

The legislation, initiated by the far-right Flemish Vlaams Belang party, was approved last week.

In debating the legislation, Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck of the ruling Christian Democratic Party reportedly voiced support for amnesty for Nazi collaborators and suggested that the country should “maybe also forget because this is in the past.”

The country’s Jewish community reportedly was shocked and dismayed by De Clerck’s suggestion.

“Holocaust survivors condemn Minister De Clerck’s proposal as a disgraceful abandonment of the demands of justice and the rule of law,” said Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, in a statement. “His shameful suggestion is offensive and an insult to the memory of all victims of the brutal Nazi occupation of Belgium — Jew and non-Jew. It constitutes a shocking expression of ‘moral amnesia.’ We call on all parties and institutions in Belgium to reject this objectionable proposal.” — jta