Flemish PM to visit Auschwitz

The Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist) is to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on Tuesday 21 January. The visit has been organised as part of the commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp. On the eve of his visit to camp, Mr Jambon will speak at a dinner to be held by the European Jewish Association. As well as expressing his abhorrence about the crimes committed by the Nazis in the death camps, Mr Jambon will also condemn anti-Semitism and also talk about the still controversial issue of Flemings that collaborated with the Nazis. 

On 27 January an international day of commemoration for the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau will be held in Poland. Numerous Head of State, including King Filip will attend the ceremony.

Mr Jambon will travel to Auschwitz on Tuesday 21 January. His office says that this is so that he is able to visit the camp “in a serene fashion”. A spokesperson also said that Mr Jambon believes that it is important that he attends the commemoration.

Mr Jambon will speak at a European Jewish Association dinner due to be held early next week. There he intends to discuss the difficult theme of collaboration and the complicity with on the part of the authorities in Flanders and Belgium as whole.

Other Belgian politicians that will be travelling to Poland for the commemoration include the Flemish Nationalist MEP Assita Kanko, the Flemish Christian democrat federal MP Hendrik Bogaert (CD&V) and the former Chief Editor of the Jewish magazine Joods Actueel Michael Freilich, who is now a federal MP for the Flemish nationalists.