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Re: Prince Bernhard's Nazi membership card found
I am confused. Why is the existence of the card so significant? Because what it stands for or that he kept it? Why are people (aka the media) acting so shocked he registered himself as a member of the nazi party? Is their memory in such a terrible state? We already knew he became a member of the nazi party and the SA and SS during the mid Ď30. Bernhard was quite dismissive about it because he didnít think too much of it. It served his purposes at the time. Like so many others during that time he joined because it would benefit him. In retrospect many were horrified when the learned what they had backed. People often assume all Germans joined the NSDAP because they fully embraced fascism, antisemitism and the extreme nazi doctrines. Many didnít. Like so many Bernhard was an opportunist. Beside being a narcissist, incredibly shrewd and a convincing liar, he also had some pretty good qualities.
We know he got it through an American army contact shortly after the war. Why he never destroyed it remains a question. The former Queen would never have had it publicised her son stated that he feels history needs to be faced warts and all. He is not happy about his grandfather's membership of the NSDAP before his marriage to the Dutch crown princess but it is part of history. He could easily have followed his great grandmother's example. It has been said that Queen Wilhelmina smoked the fireplaces when she went through the archives of her father, halfbrothers and husband. The current king as a trained historian is more respectful of the evidence. He wants the real truth to come out and has opened the private family archives up until the 6th of september 1948, the day his grandmother Juliana succeeded to the throne.
That means still quite a lot remains hidden. Probably because three of the queens daughters are still alive. Besides the actions of a monarch also have way more weight than those of a royal consort.