Member of extreme-right group performs Hitler salute in Breendonk Nazi prison camp
Saturday, 23 November 2019
The member that performed the salute is the son of a former member of the extreme-right Vlaams Belang party. Credit: Screengrab
One of the members of the extreme-right group Right Wing Resistance was photographed performing a Hitler salute during a visit in the Fort of Breendonk, an old Nazi prison camp.
Several members and sympathisers of the Flemish branch of the Right Wing Resistance group visited the Fort of Breendonk, near Mechelen, in August. The member that performed the salute is the son of a former member of the extreme-right Vlaams Belang party, and has taken part in several extreme-right activities before, according to an investigation carried out by VRT NWS and De Morgen.
During the Second World War, the fort was used by the Nazis as a transit camp for about 3,600 people, mainly dissidents, resistance fighters and Jewish people. Over 300 people died in the camp, and many others were transferred to other camps in Germany and died there. Today, the fort serves as a memorial for the victims of the Second World War.
“This is a slap in the face of the victims and their family members. Half of the deportees who were held here did not survive the war,” said Dimitri Roden, one of the conservators of the Fort, reports VRT NWS.
“We have about 100,000 visitors every year, and we have never had an incident like this before. On the contrary, most visitors are very affected by what has happened here. Many young people learn here just what extremism can lead to. Our presentation is also fully scientifically substantiated and objective,” he added.
“Deliberately performing a Nazi salute and posting it on social media is a criminal offence,” said Lode Nolf from the centre for Equal Opportunities, Unia, reports De Morgen, adding that the centre will further investigate the incident.