Dutch queen sought deal to help top Nazis flee Europe: report

Former Dutch queen Wilhelmina tried to broker a deal through the Vatican to help senior Nazis flee Europe in exchange for the release of Belgium's King Leopold III, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Dutch queen sought deal to help top Nazis flee Europe: report
Queen Wilhelmina broadcasting a message to the Dutch people on Radio Oranje. Photo: ANEFO/Wikimedia Commons
The revelation, a sensitive one for a country still wrestling with the legacy of World War II, comes in the newly released diaries of her foreign minister Eelco van Kleffens, Trouw newspaper said.
The queen acted because she feared that Leopold III, who was being held by the Nazis in Austria, would be killed, according to the book “Your Majesty, You Do Not Know Real Life”.
Despite being “anti-papist and anti-German”, queen Wilhelmina asked van Kleffens in March 1945 to “sound out” a possible swap with senior Nazis.
But she was ready to do the deal to help a fellow member of a royal family, Trouw reported.
Wilhelmina was living in exile at the time following the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. She abdicated for health reasons in 1948 and died in 1962.  
She decided to take action after a conversation with the Belgian Queen Mother Elisabeth in Brussels who feared that her son and his family would be “liquidated”, Trouw reported. 
The Belgian royal family was eventually freed by US troops in May 1945. Some Belgians opposed Leopold III's return home after he was accused of pro-German sympathies. He moved to Switzerland after the war and abdicated in favour of his son Baudouin in 1951.
The Netherlands suffered bitterly under the Nazi occupation, but in recent years has had to come to terms with its failure to prevent — and in some cases with its complicity in — the extermination of around 110,000 of its pre-wartime population of 140,000 Jews.
Perhaps the best known was the diarist Anne Frank, who hid in an Amsterdam house from the Nazis before being betrayed and sent to the Bergen-Belsen, where she died in 1945.

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Austrian rapper arrested over neo-Nazi songs

Austrian authorities said Tuesday they have arrested a rapper accused of broadcasting neo-Nazi songs, one of which was used by the man behind a deadly anti-Semitic attack in Germany.

Austrian rapper arrested over neo-Nazi songs
Austrian police officers patrol at the house where Adolf Hitler was born during the anti-Nazi protest in Braunau Am Inn, Austria on April 18, 2015. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP

“The suspect has been arrested on orders of the Vienna prosecutors” and transferred to prison after a search of his home, said an interior ministry statement.

Police seized a mixing desk, hard discs, weapons, a military flag from the Third Reich era and other Nazi objects during their search.

Austrian intelligence officers had been trying for months to unmask the rapper, who went by the pseudonym Mr Bond and had been posting to neo-Nazi forums since 2016.

The suspect, who comes from the southern region of Carinthia, has been detained for allegedly producing and broadcasting Nazi ideas and incitement to hatred.

“The words of his songs glorify National Socialism (Nazism) and are anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic,” said the interior ministry statement.

One of his tracks was used as the sound track during the October 2019 attack outside a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle.

In posts to online forums based in the United States, the rapper compared the man behind the 2019 Christchurch shootings that killed 51 people at a New Zealand mosque to a saint, and translated his racist manifesto into German.

Last September, an investigation by Austrian daily Der Standard and Germany's public broadcaster ARD said that the musician had been calling on members of neo-Nazi online forums and chat groups to carry out terrorist attacks for several years.

They also reported that his music was used as the soundtrack to the live-streamed attack in Halle, when a man shot dead two people after a failed attempt to storm the synagogue.

During his trial last year for the attack, 28-year-old Stephan Balliet said he had picked the music as a “commentary on the act”. In December, a German court jailed him for life.

“The fight against far-right extremism is our historical responsibility,” Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said Tuesday.

Promoting Nazi ideology is a criminal offence in Austria, which was the birth place of Adolph Hitler.