Dutch Prince Bernhard 'was Member of Nazi Party'

Prince Bernhard, the father of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, was a member of the Nazi party, a new book has claimed, contracting the German-born Dutch war hero's life-long denials.

Prince Bernhard | Photo: REX FEATURES
 By Bruno Waterfield | Telegraph | Mar 2010
"Bernhard, a secret history" has revealed that the prince was a member of the German Nazi party until 1934, three years before he married Princess Juliana, the future queen of the Netherlands.

Annejet van der Zijl, a Dutch historian, has found membership documents in Berlin's Humboldt University that prove Prince Bernhard, who studied there, had joined Deutsche Studentenschaft, a National Socialist student fraternity, as well as the Nazi NSDAP and its paramilitary wing, the Sturmabteilung. He left all the groups on leaving university in December 1934, when he went to work for the German chemical giant, IG Farben.

The prince always denied having been a member of the Nazi party, although he admitted that he briefly had sympathised with Adolf Hitler's regime. In one of the last interviews he gave before his death in 2004, he said: "I can swear this with my hand on the Bible: I was never a Nazi."

As the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940, the young prince consort, then aged 28, organised a group of palace guards that engaged in combat with German forces.

Denied the chance to stay and organise resistance by the then Queen Wilhelmina, he became head of the Dutch Royal Military Mission based in London.

As "Wing Commander Gibbs" – an honorary rank he held in the RAF – the prince later flew Allied bombing raids over occupied Europe before returning in 1944 as a Dutch war hero.


One Response to “Dutch Prince Bernhard 'was Member of Nazi Party'”

Martin Koeman

Bernhard is generally considered a level-headed figure in the Netherlands, but it was he who introduced faith healer Greet Hofmans into the royal household, which eventually resulted in a scandal because of her influence on Queen Juliana. About two decades before coming into contact with Hofmans, however, in 1937, Bernhard consulted a faith healer of his own, namely Hiranmaya Ghosh (a.k.a. Pranananda). In that same year he wrote letters to the Fuhrer (published in Trouw newspaper in 2004). Edwin de Roy van Zuidewijn, former husband of princess Margarita – presented as an unreliable person in the Dutch media, likely because of his criticism of the royal family, which he wanted to abolish – claims that Berhard was involved in “Teutonic rituals” in the east of the Netherlands, and that Berhard also enjoyed visits of Felix Kersten, a “miraculous healer” and former personal physician of Heinrich Himmler. The SS being an occult unit (which few people seem to be aware of in Holland), it is not surprising that, contrary to the general impression of the Dutch, Bernhard was indeed into the occult.

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