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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Netherlands. The king apologized for the country’s slavery past

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King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands apologized on Saturday for the slave history of the Netherlands. The monarch did so in Amsterdam in a speech on the occasion of the National Slavery Remembrance Day. Research shows that the Dutch royal family earned more than half a billion euros thanks to colonies where slavery existed.

“I stand before you as your lord and personally apologize.” For this crime against humanity, I ask for forgiveness,” the king said. His words were received with applause by those present. However, as noted by the media, someone in the audience shouted “finally!”.

The King of the Netherlands has apologized for the slave history of the Netherlands PAP/EPA/Remko de Waal / POOL

The King of the Netherlands has apologized for the slave history of the Netherlands PAP/EPA/Remko de Waal / POOL

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The King of the Netherlands has apologized for the slave history of the Netherlands PAP/EPA/Remko de Waal / POOL

The king said he was aware that not everyone in the country could identify with his words. – However, I want to ask everyone to open their hearts – said the monarch. William Alexander received a standing ovation after his speech. The monarch was also warmly welcomed during a short walk in the center of the capital.

Prime Minister at the end of last year Mark Rutte apologized for the slave past of the Netherlands. In a speech in December, he called slavery a “crime against humanity.” At the same time, the Prime Minister dispelled doubts about possible claims for compensation, saying that “Netherlands will pay no reparations.

The infamous heritage of the Netherlands

The Dutch state was “intentionally, long-term and structurally” involved in slavery in former colonies, the researchers conclude in the study “State and slavery” commissioned by the government. The study also shows that the Dutch Royal family earned more than half a billion euros thanks to colonies where slavery existed.

The history of slavery has already been researched in several Dutch cities and provinces such as Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. This led to apologies, including last month it was issued – for its role in the slave past – by the province of South Holland.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Remko de Waal / POOL



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