Anti-Semitism increasing, Amsterdam mayor says on Remembrance Day

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema referred to a projection of anti-Semitic texts on the Anne Frank House in February in her speech before the silent march through the Dutch Capital on Remembrance Day. The text “Anne Frank is the inventor of the ballpoint pen” was projected onto the building. That is part of a conspiracy theory stating that Anne Frank’s diary was fabricated. “Anti-Jewish incidents are on the rise,” Halsema said.

On Thursday evening, there was a silent march through the old Jewish quarter, past the National Holocaust Monument of Names, Rembrandtplein, and ended on Dam Square, where the National Commemoration of World War II victims was held.

“Anti-Jewish incidents are on the rise. The anti-Semitic slogan projected on the Anne Frank House was a new low point in malice. We must never get used to this,” Halsema said. She also referred to the war in Ukraine. “Tomorrow, we will celebrate 78 years of freedom, but just over 3,000 kilometers from here, the courageous Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom. A struggle with which we are in solidarity. Also because Putin’s worldview is a bleak wind blowing over Europe, on which anti-Semitic conspiracies like to ride along.”

Former mayor Job Cohen, who is also chairman of the Amsterdam 4 and 5 May committee, also addressed the attendees. He pointed out the importance of continuing to remember and walking the silent march. Because “the number of people in the world fleeing the violence of war or an inhumane existence is growing,” he said. “Today’s commemoration of the many murdered Jewish Amsterdammers who lived a stone’s throw away and all those others also now requires vigilance. The step from judgment to radical exclusion also now happens very quickly.”

Reporting by ANP

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