- Category : Science-Physics
- Type : R
- Profile : 5/2 - Heretical / Hermit
- Definition : None
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Obscuration 2
Willem Aantjes (Bleskensgraaf, 16 January 1923) is a Dutch politician and a prominent member of the CDA party.
Aantjes was born in Bleskensgraaf on 16 January 1923. His father, Klaas Aantjes, was alderman in Bleskensgraaf and from 1 October 1950 to 14 January 1951 mayor of Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht. His brother Jan was also mayor of several municipalities. Aantjes attended the Marnix-school in Rotterdam, where he didn't make himself very popular because he sympathized with the bombing of Rotterdam.
On 8 February 1940, Aantjes started to work for the postal mail company PTT. On 19 July 1943, he was selected for Arbeitseinsatz, and sent to Güstrow to deliver mail. Aantjes would later say he didn't refuse that selection, because the board of PTT would otherwise send a married employee. In September 1944, he wanted to go back to the Netherlands. Other Dutch forced laborers spoke of an escape route: if one became member of the Germaanse-SS, he could ask for an assignment in the Netherlands and then be trained as a police officer on the Avegoor estate near Ellecom. Aantjes decided he would try this method, and enlisted in the SS. To his dismay, he was assigned to Landstorm Nederland, a division of the Waffen-SS and he received a uniform. After transfer to Hoogeveen, Aantjes refused to wear the uniform and enlist in Landstorm Nederland. He was arrested and imprisoned in Port Natal near Assen, an abandoned psychiatric hospital that was turned into a work camp by the Nazis.
After the war ended in May 1945, Aantjes started to study law at the University of Utrecht. He never mentioned his enlisting in the Germaanse-SS to anyone.
Aantjes became a member of Parliament for the Anti Revolutionary Party (ARP) in 1959. He was offered the ministry of Housing and Spatial Planning in 1967. He turned it down, because several party members knew enough about his war past to make them object his candidacy in public. On 6 July 1971, Aantjes became leader of the ARP fraction.
Aantjes played an important part in the fusion of the Anti Revolutionary Party (ARP), the Christian Historical Union (CHU) and the Catholic People's Party (KVP) into the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). His address to the first joint congress of the three parties, which was held in 1975, has become known as the "Sermon on the Mount". After the Dutch general election of 1977, Aantjes was offered the Ministry of Justice in the first cabinet of prime minister Dries van Agt. Again, Aantjes refused, and used his continuing involvement in the development of the CDA party as reason for his refusal. He then became the first leader of the CDA fraction in the Tweede Kamer on 20 December 1977.
War past controversy
On 6 November 1978, dr. Loe de Jong of the Dutch Institute for War Documentation stated in a press conference that Aantjes had signed up for the Waffen-SS in World War II, and that he had been a camp guard in Port Natal. Aantjes, then leader of the CDA fraction in the Tweede Kamer, resigned his position as fraction leader and member of Parliament the next day. Later it turned out that De Jong had confused the Waffen SS with the Germaansche SS and above all that he had completely misinterpreted the motivations of Aantjes' behaviour. Aantjes had signed up for the Germaansche SS because, he then believed, that this was the only legal way to escape from forced labor in Güstrow, Germany and become again a civilian in the Netherlands. De Jong mistakenly believed that Aantjes had joined the Germaansche SS because of mere opportunism or because of his sympathy for the Nazi ideology or the Dutch collaborating fascist NSB party.