I thought this poster, co-signed by the Forum for Democracy, was a good idea. Because May 5 should be the celebration of freedom. But already for the second year there is no more freedom to celebrate and it does not look like we will reclaim it anytime soon.
Not everyone was happy with this poster. In fact, all so-called 'politically correct' were outraged.
How dare they!
The feigned indignation among politicians and the mainstream media was so great that even within the party Thierry got the knife in the back from various Brutussen.
I quote a few notes for you:
Very inappropriate - (May 4th and 5th commitee)
A Painful Affair - (Wybren from Haga)
Disrespect to people who lived through the war - (Cidi)
Lawyer Erik Verweij thinks it is “Misplaced. Inappropriate. Withers. Disgusting. Just a few more terms I'm going to swallow. Cheap stunts for a bit of fuss are better ignored, but this shameless hijacking of the liberation from an occupation celebration for a few likes is really a few steps too far. ”
Former PvdA party chairman and minister Lodewijk Asscher, himself from a Jewish family, says he is furious. “That spit on our history in their crazed attention-grabbing. Comparing the spoiled wrong. The shabby impertinence to smear the memory of many. ”
SP MP Peter Kwint is also angry. “What bastards they are,” he responds on Twitter.
Dilan Yesilgöz, Member of Parliament on behalf of the VVD, mentions the message "Very, very wrong".
And so everyone tumbled over each other to show their shame and dismay… .. But what are they actually talking about? The poster is about May 5. And May 5 is about party, being free! Hug each other and dance with each other. And that is no longer allowed….
The poster is not about May 4, the Remembrance Day!
As far as I am concerned, these reactions come from hypocrites of the same kind as those who joined the Germans at the time. Do not forget that almost all politicians, mayors, civil servants and also the royal family immediately turned their ears to the occupiers to keep their jobs.
Do you also recognize the parallel with the current situation?
Fortunately Thierry keeps his back straight. I publish here his reaction that he posted on the FvD website.
By Thierry Baudet
In recent days there has been a great commotion in our country about an op SOCIAL MEDIA posted image that Forum for Democracy (along with a handful of other organizations) co-signed. The image showed the logo of Liberation Day - the famous hand with torch - but instead of the word “celebration” it said “commemoration” this time. After all, as a subtle cross by the year 2020 explained below the picture: in the past year, the freedom that we celebrate on 5 May has come under heavy pressure. Due to lockdowns, compulsion to vaccinations, tests, 1.5 meters, etc., we have lost many of our rights. What once seemed obvious has now disappeared. And a lot of that will probably never come back.
At the bottom of the image there was a call to “talk” with each other about freedom, and finally there was the URL of a website where that conversation could take place.
To my surprise, the media exploded. What I saw as a natural, perfectly logical position - in line with our beliefs and campaign - was touted as a national obsession with corresponding lynching. Politicians demanded "distance themselves", apologies, acknowledgment of mistakes; newspapers and TV programs tumbled over each other - in NRC Handelsblad one columnist even argued that I should be “broken”. It was how bad it was what I had done! That bad! A bridge too far'!
But why actually? Where exactly did this anger come from? Why the fuss now? It is important to understand that. Because such “fuss” doesn't always have to be scary or bad - it also offers an opportunity to understand how society really works. Just as it offers a psychologist an opportunity when his patient suddenly becomes upset… because then you have the opportunity to come to a real insight.
So let's first consider the image itself. No one, I think, could seriously maintain that this modest picture (which moreover says nothing about May 4 - Remembrance Day - but only about May 5 - Liberation Day) could "hurt" people in itself. That relatives of soldiers, resistance fighters, civilians or others who suffered in the War would see their suffering mocked by this. Or that it would be a crude or blunt provocation: an indirect plea for mass murder, a veiled statement of support for Hitler: no, it is evidently not at all.
None of our party - and certainly not myself - ever downplayed the two-minute silence on May 4; we all have our own stories and losses we remember, our own pain, our own heroes we honor and victims we cherish. Both my own family and that of my fiancé is full of abrasive memories that are passed on or emphatically concealed: events that lead past charged places such as 'Hotel Oranje' (the infamous prison in Scheveningen), Westerbork, Auschwitz, Yad Vashem.
My upbringing was so anti-German that I was looked at with crooked eyes when I chose German as my final exam subject (luckily I focused on the German-Jewish authors Kafka, Heine, Zweig and Thomas Mann). We were so moved by the War that it was unthinkable to ever drive a German car or ever go on vacation in Germany.
But this picture was not about all these things at all. It was about May 5, not May 4. It said nothing about the Second World War, nothing about fascism, Von Paulus and the siege of Moscow, concentration camps, NSBers, Hiroshima, Dresden… it was about the freedom that we would love to celebrate again. Right because we know that it has been fought for.
But was it perhaps the way in which this picture was forced on the people? Was the whole of the Netherlands suddenly full of this political coloring of those days of commemoration and celebration? Not at all. No physical posters of the picture were printed, the image was not massively distributed across the country - it was just a statement on SOCIAL MEDIA from a number of organizations that simply wanted to say: guys, that freedom of ours, which we celebrate these days - when will we actually get it back !?
So why the fuss? Could it be because it would be the first time that the May 4 commemoration or the May 5 celebration was placed in a contemporary or current perspective? It cannot be that either. For since 1981 it has been the explicit aim of the 4 and 5 May Committee to also use the ceremonies to combat “intolerance” in a general sense. To address “racism” - and thus to initiate a very broad social discussion on numerous themes. The memory of the Second World War has thus been political for many years - and the convictions and agenda points of the established power have been defended for decades with an appeal to (or a certain reading of) the 40s-'45.
For example: European unification (with “nationalism” as the so-called culprit), immigration (with Muslims as quasi-new Jews), modern art (because those who oppose it seem to do just like the Nazis with their condemnation of “entartete Kunst”), etc.
Just last year, Arnon Grunberg delivered an acclaimed speech at Dam Square in which he compared Jews with Moroccans and thus directly linked the current debate about integration to the Second World War. A few years earlier, Thom de Graaf had made a similar point at the Anne Frank House in relation to Pim Fortuyn. Indeed, no one will be surprised anymore by such comparisons made by “authoritative voices” in the public debate. “We know where that ends”, the “30s”, the “brown sky”, the “trains are going again”… In every schoolbook, in every youth newsreel - supposedly “lessons” are constantly being drawn from the War and the own political ideas grafted onto the supposed meaning of that struggle at the time. It is literal everyday's business.
So it cannot be that either: FVD has not made something that has been “apolitical” for many years, suddenly, completely unexpected and against every tradition, “political”. Angela Merkel also compared in a speech a few days ago the corona situation with the lack of freedom of a war - and even the cabinet discussed the curfew in the context of WWII.
So why did the establishment get so angry? Only one explanation remains: the memory of the Second World War, its interpretation, the “lessons” we should learn from it: it is taken possession of by the ruling group. Those in power write and interpret history. They determine morality, they claim ownership of what would be “good” and what would be “bad” - whoever thinks about it for a moment sees how evident it is. Power wants to be able to determine morality.
So we have to say “sorry”. "Take distance. Put on the sackcloth. Not because someone has actually been offended or hurt. Not because our position would have changed and we have retraced our steps. But because we've dared the moral power to question. The monopoly on citing World War II - the ethical benchmark of our time. And that is precisely why I do not take a millimeter away from this poster. That is exactly why I fully support it.
Because the War is not from the “left”. Moral power no longer rests with the current elites who have hijacked our society and try to hold on to their position. We no longer recognize their authority. We're going to dethrone them. And if they can keep riding their hobby horses of their own with an appeal to what happened then - then so can we. This moment is therefore of vital importance. This conflict, this fuss is about the essence: whoever bends loses, throws in the towel - recognizes the moral power of the establishment. However, those who stand firm will fight what really matters.
It is the emancipation of our movement. It is the coming of age from the right.
No longer do we tremble at the terror of those who usurped the War. We no longer bow to their morals. The lesson I draw from the 40s-45 period is not that we should be pro immigration or pro EU. Not that we have to be pro modern art. Not that we should shut up when Arnon Grunberg or any other left-wing columnist or writer speaks “shame” of us with a gratuitous reference to “then”.
No. The lesson I learn is that we must protect and defend our freedoms. The freedoms of all citizens, young and old, poor and rich. Regardless of the pressure from the government and the media. Regardless of the followers and followers. Just like then, we have crossed a dangerous line now. Just like then, the faint of heart and opportunists are everywhere. No more occupation, no more oppression! I say it with full conviction. But also: no more lockdown! No more police with clubs that beat up protesters. No more curfews! Freedom!