“Europeans have already forgotten and now politicians are making it official,” Kantor said. “The fact that a European Justice Minister can claim there should be a statute of limitations for genocide should be unthinkable, and the idea is repugnant.”
Calls for De Clerck to resign have grown louder after last week after he came out in support of a pardon for Belgians who collaborated with the Nazis at a televised debate.
At the same time, the Belgiansenate narrowly passed a draft legislation proposed by the rightist Belang party that would grant amnesty to Nazicollaborators. The bill still needs approval by the lower house of parliament.
Kantor said remarks made by De Clerck coupled with the results of a recent survey carried out by the EJC which showed two thirds of respondents under the age of 45 did not know that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust were particularly concerning. The recent conviction of by a German court for his part in the murder of thousands of Jews at the Nazi concentration camp of Sobibor is no consolation for the seemingly growing ignorance among Europeans regarding the Holocaust, he said.
“The message that the conviction of Demjanjuk sent has now been undone in a matter of days due to the irresponsible words of De Clerck. While aging Holocaust survivors thought that they could see justice, even in their final days, the Justice Minister has robbed them of that.” Kantor claimed that statements like De Clerck’s were seeping down to Europeans, and that is the main reason why there is so much ignorance of the Holocaust.