Antwerp has this weekend celebrated the 73rd anniversary of its liberation, on 4th September 1944. The commemorations began on Friday with, in particular, a “Liberation Ball” and a parade of military vehicles. On Saturday, tributes were paid to monuments dedicated to Belgian paracommandos and police who died in combat. On Sunday, British forces who participated in the liberation of the city were mentioned.
The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart de Wever, returned to the subject of the night raids, of which numerous Antwerp Jews were victims. In particular, he stated, “Our city must not deny this period of its history.” He called for these memories to be kept alive, so as to remember “the horrors of hateful ideologies.”
He added, “Nowadays our city is a haven of peace for those fleeing war, and for men and women who are persecuted for their political opinions, their religion or their sexual orientation. War and violence and hate and anger can never be part of the solution.”