May 5 2021, the Netherlands held a celebration of the 76th anniversary of Liberation Day in The Hague, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was invited to attend by video link. In her speech, she stressed that it was Germany’s eternal responsibility to remember history. Germany and the Netherlands will work together to combat antisemitism, racism and any form of xenophobia to meet the challenge.
Merkel recalled that the Dutch people suffered greatly during the German occupation from 1940 to 1945. Less than a quarter of the Jews living in the Netherlands at the time survived, the total number of victims exceeded 200,000, and more than 600,000 were sent to Germany to take part in forced labour. Thus, 5 May 1945 was a day of freedom for the Netherlands.
“There is nothing to fill the void left by the killers, nothing to make up for the loss and suffering of the survivors,” Merkel said. The crimes that have been committed will not go away. It is Germany’s eternal responsibility to remember history. ”
Merkel called on the Netherlands to work with Germany to eliminate racial discrimination and hate crimes. “Every citizen should resolutely resist any form of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia,” Merkel said. We will never forget that, although the past cannot be changed, we must learn from history for the sake of present and future generations of both countries and for a peaceful and free Europe. ”
Merkel is understood to be the second German leader to speak on Dutch Liberation Day, following then-German President Angela Merkel in 2012. She is scheduled to attend the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in 2020. However, the activity was delayed because of the outbreak.