Urk disgusted by young people 'protesting' in Nazi uniforms
The municipality of Urk reacted with horror on Monday to images of around 10 young people marching through the village in Nazi uniforms on Saturday evening, allegedly protesting against the coronavirus measures. Photos online show one of them wearing prisoner stripes and a Star of David, while the others aim fake weapons at him.
I am ashamed of those people who think they are funny in Nazi uniforms in The Netherlands village Urk, a "Christian" community. pic.twitter.com/JAjjqxlFgo— Berend van der Weide (@VanBerend) September 13, 2021
"This behavior is not only highly objectionable and extremely inappropriate, but also hurtful to large population groups. With this tasteless action, a line has very clearly been crossed as far as the municipality of Urk is concerned,' the municipality said in a statement.
"We understand that these young people want to make their voices heard about the impact of the current and upcoming coronavirus measures," mayor Cees van den Bos said, NU.nl reports. "This discussion is not only taking place in Urk, but throughout our country. However, we do not understand the way they are doing it. Not only the municipality of Urk, but the entire community completely disapproves of this way of protesting."
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) confirmed the incident and is investigating whether a criminal offense was committed.
The young people apologized on Monday evening, according to Hart van Nederland who saw the letter of apology they wrote. "It was absolutely not our intention to arouse memories of the Second World War," they wrote, though they did not clarify what their intention was. "We want to emphasize that we are absolutely not anti-Semitic or against Jews, or support the German regime. Our sincerer apologies."
This is not the first incident around the coronavirus in Urk. In January, a GGD testing center in the village was set on fire. In March, journalists were attacked by churchgoers who continued to attend church despite the coronavirus measures.
The predominantly Christian village has the lowest vaccination rate of all Dutch municipalities. Only 23 percent of adults in the municipality are fully vaccinated, according to NU.nl.