Yorick Jansens

Delwaide Dock to be renamed Liberation Dock

A new name has been chosen for what was the Delwaide Dock in the Port of Antwerp. Antwerp’s City Cabinet has advised the Port Company that in future the dock should be known as Liberation Dock. The authorities decided that the name of the dock should be changed after recent revelations about the active role played by the city’s former Mayor, the late Leo Delwaide in the persecution of Antwerp’s Jewish community during the occupation.  

The Port Company is responsible for naming docks within the Port of Antwerp. However, the port company is owned by the city and it approving the new name is no more than a formality.    

A recently-published book by the historian Herman Van Goethem reveals how prior to 1942 the then Mayor of Antwerp Leo Delwaide played a much more active role in the persecution of Jews than had been previously believed. The Green Party asked whether in the light of this it was still appropriate that the dock should still be named after Mr Delwaide. The nationalist Mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever also said that the name should be changed.

A while ago the City of Antwerp convened a scientific commission to advise it on how it should deal with what happened during the occupation. However, the City Cabinet didn’t wait for its findings to be published and decided last Friday that the name should be scrapped. A week later the new name has been announced.