Words don’t come easily
How to say sorry, and English in the Dutch-style.
The year is almost out. Goodbye to all that, after the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic. But before the clock ticks and we all wish each other a better new year, let’s not forget that 2020 also brought some historic, surprising and long overdue apologies. Let’s hope that puts the Netherlands on a better trajectory for the coming years.
In January, prime minister Mark Rutte chose the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the holocaust to apologise for the role of the Dutch government during the Second World War. Rutte’s unexpected remarks were made in an emotional speech at a memorial ceremony in an Amsterdam park, reported De Telegraaf.
Rare instances of public reckoning can seem especially poignant, given the current mood of dissent. The shifting rules of this year’s coronavirus lockdowns, serial delays in rolling out a vaccine (now scheduled to start from January 8), and ugly scandal at the tax authority have raised n…