Irish Minister says Ireland’s neutrality on Hitler was morally bankrupt
Says De Valera ‘lost the moral compass’ during the Second World War
Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, has apologized for the way the 10,000 Irishmen who fought Hitler were treated after World War II. The minister also said Ireland’s stance of “neutrality” during the war was morally bankrupt.
Shatter, who is Jewish, gave a landmark speech just days before the Holocaust Memorial Day (Friday, 27th January). His speech was part of the launch of “The Shoah in Europe” exhibition in the Department of Justice and Equality, in Dublin.
He admitted that the Irish regime in the 1930s denied visas to Jews desperately trying to flee Nazi occupied Europe.
Shatter said, “the doors to this state were kept firmly closed to German Jewish families trying to flee” commenting on the anti-Semitic Berlin ambassador Charles Bewley.
He explained “The advice of the anti-Semitic then Irish Ambassador in Berlin, Charles Bewley, that Ireland should be protected from the contamination that would result from granting residential visas to Jewish refugees resulted in practically all visa requests being refused.”
He also apologized for how the Irish soldiers who returned from fighting in World War II were treated. He suggested that as many as 10,000 were barred from getting jobs and state pensions. They were condemned to poverty and stigma. It is likely that these men will now receive a full pardon.
“I believe it is also appropriate that we revisit the manner in which they were treated whilst also remembering that those who served in our Defence Forces throughout that time performed a crucial national duty. It is untenable that we commemorate those who died whilst continuing to ignore the manner in which our State treated the living, in the period immediately after World War II, who returned to our State having fought for freedom and democracy. This is an issue to which I hope to return in my role as Minister for Defence later this year,” the Minister said.”
The Minister stated that the administration at the time, led by Eamon de Valera, has “lost its moral compass”.
He said, “This position was maintained from 1939 to 1945 and we should no longer be in denial that, in the context of the Holocaust, Irish neutrality was a principle of moral bankruptcy. This moral bankruptcy was compounded by the then Irish Government who, after the war, only allowed an indefensibly small number who survived the concentration camps to settle permanently in Ireland whilst refusing entry and permanent residence to many more and also by the visit of President De Valera to then German Ambassador Edouard Hemple in 1945 to express his condolences on the death of Hitler. At a time when neutrality should have ceased to be an issue the Government of this State utterly lost it’s moral compass.”
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There is some evidence that Queen Victoria spilled the beans in the 19th century. She was told what the English Royal family believed then, that one dIrish students told “No Irish Need Apply” to Chicago for summer 2014
Brolaur that was brilliant very well put. We do have crazies in Canada just not the violent kind. The quicker that this idiot puts himself away the beIrish students told “No Irish Need Apply” to Chicago for summer 2014
I was wondering where the real Chuck was hiding. I meant nothing by my comment except to invite the Irish students to our fine country and was only giNelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning its arms during 2000 talks
Chuck very well said, you are really a man of vision. I wish I could have said that. The world needs men like that, he was a lot like the great Presid