The ‘Nazi’ grandfather of the king of the Netherlands

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King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands confessed that he is not bad at imitations and, specifically, that his daughters find it very amusing to listen to him with the tone of voice and expressions that characterized their maternal grandfather, the prince bernard. It was one of the revelations made in a series of podcasts on the occasion of his tenth anniversary on the throne with which the monarch tried to showcase his most personal side.

Today he would probably prefer not to mention his ancestor. Because in the Netherlands the news has caused a deep impression that the card has been found that would confirm what was a persistent rumor throughout the life of Bernard of Holland: his membership in the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP, in its German acronym), the formation led by Adolf Hitler, before his marriage to the Princess Juliana. Many Dutch historians have always maintained the certainty of this stain on the aristocrat’s biography. But his role during the Second World Waralready as royal consort of the Netherlands, facing the Germany coconut, made him a figure of enormous popularity in his adopted nation, so rumors about his past in the ranks of the NSDAP did not harm his public image. However, what is most surprising about this matter is that Bernard of Holland denied with Numantine insistence until his death, in 2004, that such a sanbenito was true: “I can declare with my hand on the Bible that I was never a Nazi. “I never paid to be a member of the party, I never had a party card.”

That is why now what many citizens regret is that Queen Juliana’s husband maintained the lie throughout his life instead of having assumed his own biography and having carried out some gesture of contrition.

A copy of Prince Bernard’s Nazi card was found in the 1990s in the United States. And recently the original, the authentic one, was found in the personal archive of the current king’s own grandfather. The discoverer has been Flip Maarschalkerweerdformer director of the Royal Archive, who revealed it this week, while presenting his book The Left Behind (Those who were left behind). The renowned historian has long been scrutinizing the documents of the Orange, the reigning dynasty, corresponding to World War II, with the permission of William Alexander, who is determined that all information related to his ancestors with historical interest is accessible to the general public. of citizens, although this may have opened Pandora’s box, as has just happened at the first opportunity.

Bernard of Lippe-Biesterfeld was born in 1911 in what was then the German Principality of Lippe. With the end of the First World War, the monarchy was abolished in this small territory. The aristocrat met Princess Juliana of Holland in 1936, during the Olympic Games held in Germany. The crush was instantaneous. At the then Queen Wilhelmina He seemed to her a suitable candidate for her heir, since he was a prince from an ancient lineage of Protestant religion, although the connection caused some debate since there were already important misgivings in the Netherlands towards Hitler’s Germanywho had not yet shown all his teeth.

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