"The Wiesenthal Centre will ensure that no Nazi war criminal ever be included among the honoured."
Manama, Bahrain, 30 June 2018
Our alert regarding the French-Belgian nomination of First World War cemeteries and memorial sites was distributed to World Heritage Committee member-states. We feared that in cemeteries, also serving Second World War battlefields, Nazi murderers may be honoured in common graveyards with Allied units or - as we had identified on the nomination list - memorials that serve currently as shrines for neo-Nazis. During the WHC debate, several states expressed reservations, mostly regarding the terms of reference of memory sites, especially battlefields.
The WHC decided to adjourn the nomination until its 44th session in 2020.
In the meantime, a working group will review "the boundaries of the site’s components and provide additional information". The Wiesenthal Centre offered its expertise.
A second French site, Nîmes, was deferred, leading the Ambassador to publicly condemn the politicization of the WHC.
Bottom line: any Great War 1914-1918 cemetery expanded for World War Two burials will be identified. The Wiesenthal Centre will ensure that no Nazi war criminal ever be included among the honoured. Our slogan is: "Reconciliation is valid for WWI - Never so for WWII."