13th of November 2014, Letter to the German President Mr. Gauck

Kein Volkstrauer oder Mitleid für die mörderische SS Toten in Holland
No remembrance or pity for the murderous SS dead in Holland

Dear Mr President,

On Sunday, the 16th of November 2014, the German national remembrance day, a large event will take place at a German military cemetery – not in Germany, but in Holland. Buried there in Ysselsteyn are almost 32,000 Nazi soldiers, including about 2,500 SS-men. This is the second largest Nazi-cemetery in Europe, situated in the town of Venray near Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

The organiser of this event, the Volksbund Deutscher Kriegsgräberfürsorge, is planning a major but highly questionable gathering and has ensured the attendance of the German ambassador to Holland as host, the governor of the province of Limburg, the mayor of the town of Venray, NATO-generals and other Dutch and NATO-officers stationed at the Eindhoven air base and at the German-Dutch unit in Münster, in Brunssum and other dignitaries.

The Volksbund is planning an afternoon of shameless and willful deceit. The Volksbund is deliberately confusing perpetrator and victim, trying to propagate the idea that most 'German' soldiers were just 'victims' also. We will have none of it.

In documentation issued just weeks ago (see attm.), the Volksbund implies that the 'German' soldiers of WWII were just as 'brave' and 'deserve' just as much honour, remembrance and compassion as the soldiers of WWI and the Allied liberators of WWII. The Volksbund is now expressedly trying to blur the memory of the horrifying and murderous crimes against humanity of the Nazis, the Wehrmacht and more particular the SS.

The Dutch anti-fascist AFVN/BvA object totally to this. They demand that if this must go on this year, that this be the last honorific or rather horrific remembrance here ever. This must be the last time in Europe that Nazis and especially SS-men are granted such dignity. The SS-graves should be cleared as soon as possible, so that Holland can have a peaceful year of remembering the 70st year of liberation in 2015 in a Nazi-free country.

In Ysselsteyn, the Volksbund tries to combine the remembrance of the 87 morally innocent German WWI soldiers buried there also, with that of the forever guilty perpetrators of the limitless suffering - and the holocaust. The common German soldiers of WWI carry not a gram of moral blame for their war. Their position is forever uncomparable to that of the German and other nazi-soldiers of WWII, and especially the SS-men. Honoring these dead also is an insult to the 30,000 German and Austrian draft refusers and deserters that were executed by the Nazis. And to the Dutch victims.

You, mr President, came to Holland on the Dutch national liberation day on May 5, 2012, although I had advised you not to, while a Dutch convicted SS-murderer was still living freely in Germany. This concerned Klaas Carel Faber, who remained free till his death, some weeks later. Now can you assure us that no German official takes part in the event in Ysselsteyn? You were heavily criticised then and still carry a debt of honour for coming to Holland in that year, but now you can redeem yourself by calling back the ambassador or any other German government official.

We are also asking prime-minister Rutte of the Netherlands with the utmost emphasis to forbid his misguided officials to take part in the service in Ysselsteyn, especially now they have declared to be sure to take part, as they have, regardless of the travesty of history being performed here and the pain that will inflict on survivors of the atrocities of the WWII.

Once before, also in 2012, a local mayor in Holland caused an uproar when he wanted to participate in a remembrance of Nazi-soldiers in Vorden, in the town of Bronckhorst. Finally, he declined. It was believed then, that other Dutch or German officials would understand the message: 'Thou shalt not honour the Nazis'....

We shall demonstrate in Ysselsteyn on the 16th and hope that this will be the last of the Nazi-remembrances of European history. You know the song, mr President, that will be sung there: 'Ich hatt' ein Kameraden...' - indeed, comrad, because you kept on killing. But how will you be forgiven, comrad?

Sincerely Yours,

Arthur Graaff

spokesman of the Dutch AFVN/BvA Anti-fascist League

editor-in-chief of a Dutch website on WWII
son of a decorated WWII-resistance fighter

- Nobel-prize laureate Günther Grass, a former SS-man
- Prime minister Mark Rutte of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- the usual institutions and the Dutch and German press.

PLEASE SEE: 'Volkstrauertag 2014' by the Volksbund etc, Oct 2014, esp. the 'Gleitwort' and p15, right column by Klaus von Dohnanyi (attached)

Duitse ambassadeur gaat SS'ers in Venray herdenken
Protesteer tegen herdenking van 2.500 SS-graven 16 nov 2014 in Venray-Ysselsteyn