Yesterday in the Dutch newspapers, there was an article about a poem that was causing uproar.
Apparently there had been a national school competition, to write a poem about what the Second World War and its consequences meant to the schoolchildren.
A young lad of 15, Auke Siebbe Dirk won the competition, he wrote a poem about his great uncle Dirk Siebe, who he was named after.
The boy’s uncle had been lured away from his poverty stricken background to fight for the wrong side, for the Germans, with the Waffen SS.
The poem was all about making the wrong choices and the consequences of such actions; it did not condone his uncle’s decision.
It was a beautifully written honest bit of prose, describing the sadness of the boy about his great uncle choosing to fight for the Germans, which took him away from his family.
It describes how his uncle Dirk Siebbe ended up fighting on the Russian front, and regretting his decision which meant he could never go home again.
But sadly because of all the arguments surrounding this issue, the organising committee of the commemoration of the dead from the Second World War decided to give in and withdraw the poem.
Real shame I think, because it was very thought-provoking and raised all sorts of questions which would have been good to have finally been discussed.
As far as I can make out regardless of which side they were on, they were all victims of a terrible war.