The Dutch Protestant Church (PKN), the largest Protestant denomination in the Netherlands, has admitted guilt for its predecessors’ failure to combat antisemitism during World War II, and acknowledged that it contributed to the persecution of Jews with its silence.
PKN scribe Rene de Reuver will declare the admission of guilt to the Jewish community at the commemoration of Kristallnacht.
The church makes no apologies, because that does not fit with the church, said De Reuver. “Guilt is the deepest word you can use for failure,” he said. “We do not distance ourselves form the past, but we take responsibility and acknowledge our mistakes.”
“We fell short in speaking and in silence, in acting and in omitting, in attitude and in thoughts,” the confession by the church reads. “The Protestant Church in the Netherlands wants to recognize without hesitation that the church helped prepare the breeding ground in which the seeds of antisemitism could grow.”