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“VRT has responded that the ‘Children of the Holocaust’ series has been vetted by four experts. They are clearly not experts in Jewish or Arab Palestinian history!”

Paris, 14 June 2020

In a letter to Belgian Federal Prime Minister, Madam Sophie Wilmès, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at “the Holocaust distortion by the Belgian State broadcaster, VRT, in its Flemish-language television series ‘Children of the Holocaust’.”

The letter slammed, “its voiceover, VRT, outrageously claimed that, in May 1948, ‘Jewish militants perpetrated massacres in 20 Palestinian villages, prompting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee’,”... continuing, “There is no mention of Arab terror and pogroms from 1929 against Jewish villages and cities across the British Palestine Mandate.”

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The 1929 Arab riots against the Jews of the British Mandate of Palestine, related
The New York Times and The Baltimore News (credit:

Samuels noted that, “under the Mandate, only its Jewish population were designated as ‘Palestinians.’ The Arabs of Palestine were led by the Grand Mufti, Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, who fled to Nazi Berlin, requesting Hitler to prepare gas chambers for the ‘Yishuv’ – their Jewish neighbours,”... adding, “In November 1947, the United Nations voted partition of the Mandate, granting 22% to the Jews, who immediately accepted... The Arab states refused, declaring war and al-Husseini ordered the evacuation of all Arabs, to return, at a later date, to a ‘Judenrein’ (Jew-cleansed) Palestine.”

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1943: the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Mohammed Amin al-Hussein, meeting
SS Chief Heinrich Himmler (credit: Bettman/Corbis).

The letter reminded that, “the Israeli Declaration of Independence – and stressed by Zionist leader, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion – called on the Arab population to stay and build a peaceful state for Jews and Arabs together..  800,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries, where they had lived for centuries, as opposed to some 500,000 Arabs, who had followed al-Husseini’s orders... The Jewish refugees – including Holocaust survivors – were absorbed in Israel, while Palestinian refugees were kept by their Arab hosts in ‘UN camps,’ until today, accumulating hate and perpetuating a conflict that could have been resolved decades ago.”

The Centre noted: “Madam Prime Minister, we are aware of the Holocaust impact on your own family. Holocaust distortion to sow hate against Israel and the Jewish diaspora has no place in a Belgian State broadcaster.”

“Madam Prime Minister, we urge an investigation and appropriate measures, as VRT is, reportedly, recidivist with previous provocations on Jewish issues. VRT has responded that the 'Children of the Holocaust' series has been vetted by four experts. They are clearly not experts in Jewish or Arab Palestinian history,” concluded Samuels.