june 2002 |
Zalm Standard for Japanese War Victims.
On acceptance of the leadership of the VVD (liberals), parliamentary party Gerrit Zalm (50), outgoing Minister of
Finance, will not return into the Cabinet if his party should participate in the new center-right government. As
finance minister he wrote history, according to the leading paper NRC/Handelsblad. Thanks to the economic boom during
the nineties he was able to turn the year-old budget deficits into a surplus. These surpluses became known as the Zalm
Minister Zalm also tackled another old problem:
The financial compensation of the victims of the holocaust – in sofar this is at all possible with money - to minister
Zalm this was a matter of honour, for which he was decorated by the University of Jerusalem in 2001.
Apparently, the compensation of the victims of the Japanese prison camps was no matter of honour for mr Zalm.
And neither for his colleague, outgoing minister Els Borst, who had to decide about the compensations. And honours
are not to be had either from a group of persons from a country of origin that does not exist anymore. It even looks
like it that the situation of the white and coloured Dutch people from Netherlands East Indies is not at all prioritized
nor recognized. The Zalm Standard for this group of war victims did not amount to more than € 1.361,34 each!
No compensation. Only a gesture of goodwill (Gebaar). ‘As for compensations, please, apply with the Japanese government’,
as the chairman of the Gebaar Commission Mr Wiebenga advised. Apparently, Wiebenga never even heard of the year long
unsuccessful attempts of all the organisations of Japanese warvictims (including JES) in the Japanese Courts. And he
apparently also missed out the news that the governments of Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Norway
eventually did pay relatively substantial amounts to their Japanese prisoncamp victims (including their next of kin).
Cabinet Kok II was not in a hurry
To the questions of the Christian Democrats (CDA) in parliament, outgoing minister Borst answered:
'The Government Kok II sees no reason to promote big-heartedness concerning the issue of
war victims of the Second World War’.
Question 7 by CDA MP Marry Visser-van Doorn:
Do you also agree that it is lamentable that until this day groups of victims of war still have to struggle for a just
Answer by Minister Els Borst:
To my judgement there is no such thing as an unjust treatment of groups of war victims.
The Christian Democrats (CDA) persisted to disagree with the minister and will, as Theo Corsmit, secretary general of
the 'Oud Clienten Contact 45' reported on the OCC45 website, put the issue on the agenda of the new government in
which they will participate as senior party (together with VVD and LPF).
According to the CDA MPs: It is high time that we get down to talk business.
Theo Corsmit pleaded with Her Majesties cabinet formation consultant mr Jan-Hein Donner to put the compensation issue high on the agenda of the new government.
‘Justice for the war victims has not yet taken place, with the sole exception of the jewish nationals’.
(See his letter - in Dutch).
We consider this sympathetic action of mr Corsmit and his board as a great support for our (and your) case! His
foundation OCC45 is the only supportive organisation.
june 2, 2002
Lid Support Groep SVJ