Luxembourg Apologizes Over WWII

Luxembourg apologizes to the Jewish community for its "suffering" during the Nazi occupation in World War II.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flag of Luxembourg
Flag of Luxembourg

Luxembourg apologized to the Jewish community on Tuesday for its "suffering" during the Nazi occupation in World War II, in the first such gesture since the conflict ended 70 years ago, reported AFP.

The government acknowledged that "certain representatives" of the Luxembourg authorities had been complicit.

Out of 3,700 Jews living in Luxembourg before the war, 1,200 were killed from May 1940 until September 1944, the period of Nazi occupation, according to the Luxembourg government website.

"The government presents its apologies to the Jewish community for the suffering that was inflicted on it and the injustices that were committed against it, and recognizes the responsibility of some public officials in the unforgivable events committed," said a declaration signed by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and a group of ministers and quoted by AFP.

60 Luxembourg MPs also adopted on Tuesday a resolution recognizing the "suffering inflicted on the Jewish population, to its Luxembourgish and foreign members, during the Nazi occupation of Luxembourg."

The parliament also apologized "for wrongdoing, in which the Luxembourg public authorities were also engaged."

Tuesday's apology came after the government commissioned  local historian Vincent Artuso to write a report on the complicity of Luxembourg authorities.

"The Luxembourg administration collaborated politically with the German administration in anti-Semitic persecution in three ways: identifying people believed to belong to the Jewish race according to criteria set by the Germans; their expulsion from public roles, professions and schools; and the theft of their property," he wrote in the report published in February.

Neighboring Belgium made a similar apology in 2009. Elsewhere in Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban acknowledged recently that many Hungarians chose "bad instead of good" in helping deport Jews to Nazi death camps. This marked his first acknowledgement of his country's complicity in the Holocaust.

AFP contributed to this report.