Hans-Adam II Angers the Jewish with Comments about Holocaust

  August 21, 2009 at 2:51 am by

Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein has angered the Jewish community with his comments regarding the Holocaust in an interview with the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt.

The 64-year-old Prince stated that it was the tiny alpine nation’s banking secrecy laws which allowed “some Jews to buy their safety during the Holocaust by using money they had deposited in Liechtenstein or Switzerland.” He also claimed that the laws helped citizens of Europe’s former communist countries, and are still “saving the lives” of those currently living in Third-World countries run by “bloodthirsty dictators.”

The comments were escalated by the current feud between Liechtenstein and their northern neighbour, Germany. Germany has been pressuring the government of Liechtenstein to clamp down on their confidential banking laws that it claims allows wealthy Germans to avoid paying taxes. German authorities last year paid a former LGT Group employee (the Liechtenstein national bank owned by the Princely Family) to obtain the names of Germans who are believed to be tax cheats.

Hans-Adam also fired a shot at Germany themselves, stating: “Germany and many other countries have an unbelievable mess with their state finances…Germany should clean up its own act, and think about its past.”

The Prince’s comments were heavily criticised by the German Central Council of Jews; with their General Secretary Stephan Kramer telling Bild newspaper that “the comments are a mockery of the Holocaust and its survivors.” As Liechtenstein was a mainly neutral player in World War II, Kramer claims it is “historically incorrect” for the Prince’s portrayal of Liechtenstein as the “merciful helper of the Jews” to be voiced.

Kramer ended his interview by commenting on the Prince’s reigning status: “His Highness would be better off retiring.”

Information about the Liechtenstein Princely Family can be found in this forum.

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