Nazis in the Family Tree

In the ongoing discussion in the state-funded Dutch media, the comparison of Geert Wilders with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis has become an everyday occurrence. “Far-right” is the kindest epithet, to which “extremist” is usually appended. “Fascist”, “neo-Nazi”, “racist”, “xenophobic”, “Islamophobic” — all the adjectives familiar to Gates of Vienna readers are routinely applied to the leader of the PVV.

It’s an open secret that Queen Beatrix — officially neutral towards the political factions — intensely dislikes Geert Wilders. Does she, too, fling the “Nazi” epithet in the direction of the turbulent blond? In any case, she has shown herself to be in general agreement with all those left-wing journalists who do.

Queen Beatrix’s father was Prince Bernhard, who — in addition to being one of the two founders of the Bilderburg Group — was reputed to be a Nazi sympathizer before and during the war. The Prince denied any Nazi connections to the end of his days, but the rumor persisted.

However, evidence has recently surfaced indicating that the young prince’s interest in the Third Reich was more than casual. Our Flemish correspondent VH has compiled a report about a newly-released account of Prince Bernhard’s “hidden history”.

First, a translation from De Volkskrant:

Dutch Prince Bernhard was a member of the NSDAP

Prince BernhardThe sympathy of Prince Bernhard for — and his involvement with — German National Socialist organizations was significantly more than he later acknowledged. This is what writer Annejet van der Zijl concludes in her thesis “Bernhard, A Hidden History” which she promoted this Thursday in Amsterdam.

During five years of investigation, Van der Zijl stumbled upon a membership card of the Deutsche Studentenschaft that was signed by Bernhard.

The Deutsche Studentenschaft was a student organization with a National Socialist character, which for that reason in 1945 was banned by the Allies. On this membership Bernhard’s membership of the National Socialist Party (NSDAP) is mentioned.

Bernhard himself denied until his death that he was ever a member of the NSDAP or sympathized with the Hitler regime.

Below are images of both sides of Prince Bernhard’s student card:
– – – – – – – –

Prince Bernhard's ID Card 1

Prince Bernhard's ID Card 2

VH continues:

I circled the NSDAP membership registration: April 22 1933, and on the flip side I circled his signature. I also underlined Prince Bernhard’s SA and SS membership since April 22 1933, specifically of the Fliegerstürm, an SS unit:

SS-Fliegersturm was a flying unit of the Allgemeine-SS that was formed Nov 1931 in Munich and was absorbed by the Deutscher Luftsport Verband (DLV) Sep 1933. A special variant of the pilot wings (the SS-SA Fliegerabzeichen, an early SS eagle flanked by the SS and SA logos) was worn by qualified members of this unit.

Further Notes:

Socialism runs in the royal family, or so it seems. Prince Bernhard’s NSDAP membership is not unique among Dutch royalty.

The father of Pieter van Vollenhoven (married to Princess Margriet, a sister of Queen Beatrix), was a member of the Dutch National Socialist Party (NSB) before WWII. The husband of Queen Beatrix, Prins Claus von Amsberg, was a member of the Hitlerjügend and a member of the Jungvolk, or German youth movement. “In 1944, he served with the German army in Denmark, and the 90th Panzer Division in Italy […] and in 1945, aged 19, he was captured by US forces near Merano, Italy, and sent to a PoW camp at Ghedi, near Brescia.” In 1966 he married he Dutch Princess (now Queen) Beatrix.

7 thoughts on “Nazis in the Family Tree

  1. Accusing others of one’s own faults is called projection. It seems particularly likely to happen when somebody wants to cover up past associations with Nazism. Pot, meet kettle!

  2. This story actually broke a few years ago. The US and UK knew about the Prince’s Nazi affiliation but chose to ignore it for reasons of political stability rather than prosecute him for war crimes.

  3. I think there is a lot of dishonesty displayed by various groups when discussing Nazi-Germany anno the 1940’s. There seems to be an overwhelming eagerness to brand anyone who joined the German army in this period in its fight against the Bolsheviks as evil monsters. I think it’s important to remember that communism and the Soviet Union was feared by the average freedom loving citizen just as much, if not even more, than Islamism and Islamic terrorism are feared by freedom loving people all over the world today.

    Tens of thousands of Europeans youths joined the German army at the time to fight against what they perceived to be an aggressive expansion policy by the communists in the east. During the ‘Winter War’ of 1939 when communists invaded Finland, thousands of people in northern Europe rushed to fight alongside the Finns and to repel the communists. Later on when the same people had the opportunity to reclaim the land that was taken from the Finns in the aftermath of the winter war they did, even though this time that meant joining the German army. Their distaste for the Soviets communistic ideology overrode any qualms they might harbour against Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

    It is also worth remembering that the majority of the foreigners who joined the German army fought on the eastern front (against the communists).

    This tactic of joining forces with rather dubious democratic forces in the fight against communist aggression has also been used by the US on numerous occasions in the years following WW2. The US has backed dozens of not so democratic organisations and governments in their fight against communistic aggression and expansion policies. Just because you join someone in the fight against a common enemy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are the best of friends. I doubt very much that the mujahedin and the US are the best of buddies even though they joined forces to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the 80’s.

  4. Yes, politics and war make strange bedfellows indeed.

    It’s also true that they are so often painted black or white while the reality is more often shades of grey. It is true for example that many Europeans who joined the German army did so to repel the communists from their territory whom they considered the worse of two evils at the time. For example, the Soviets were widely known to rape women in conquered territories while the German army was more disciplined in this area.

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