NewsDutch king asks pardon for slavery – DW – 01.07.2023

    Dutch king asks pardon for slavery – DW – 01.07.2023

    Dutch King Willem-Alexander has officially apologized for his country’s involvement in slavery. He felt “personally and deeply affected,” said the 56-year-old monarch on Saturday at a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Dutch colonies.

    “Degrading and inhumane”

    He continued in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark to loud applause: “Today I stand before you as your king and as part of the government. Today I apologize to myself.” His apology comes from the bottom of my heart and from my soul, Willem-Alexander continued. “Of all forms of bondage, slavery is the most degrading and inhumane.” The national Dutch memorial against slavery is located in the Oossterpark.

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    Participants in a parade in Amsterdam on the Ketikoti holiday, which always commemorates the abolition of slavery on July 1stImage: Eva Plevier/ANP/IMAGO

    In December, Prime Minister Mark Rutte formally apologized on behalf of the government for past actions by the Dutch state, calling slavery in the country’s former colonies a “crime against humanity”. The king expressly welcomed the decision in his Christmas speech.

    Netherlands: Apology for slave trade

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    King launched investigation into colonial era

    At the end of 2022, Willem-Alexander commissioned an investigation into the role of the royal house of Oranje-Nassau during the colonial period. The Netherlands were one of the largest colonial powers from the 17th century. In more than 200 years, they enslaved an estimated 600,000 people and took them on ships from Africa to South America and the Caribbean. About 75,000 of them did not survive the crossing, as the king emphasized in his speech.

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    This girl also takes part in the memorial march through Amsterdam to the Oosterpark
    This girl also takes part in the memorial march through Amsterdam to the Oosterpark Image: Eva Plevier/ANP/IMAGO

    Officially, the kingdom – as one of the last countries in Europe – abolished slavery on July 1, 1863. Recently, there has been a growing awareness that the wealth of Dutch cities and museums is rooted in the country’s colonial history.

    sti/se (afp, ap, dpa)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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