The puppets would often get burned, “but in Europe this led to hostility from non-Jews who thought the Jews were burning effigies of Christians, so it stopped [there],” historian Yuval Malachi said.
A lawyer representing the alleged victims said he hoped prosecutors would appeal to the Supreme Court.
‘Sometimes I miss that Israeli directness’
In 1985, Nieuwlande became one of only two locales honored collectively by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum for rescuing Jews, alongside Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in France.
"I didn’t mean it," Benali said. "I distance myself from those remarks, they weren’t meant literally. I also have Jewish friends and interview Jewish authors.”
The move was welcomed by leaders of leading Jewish communities and organizations in the Netherlands and Europe.
Hollands Diep, van Rijn’s publisher, said it “fully stands behind the book,” which Elco Lenstra, a company spokesperson, stressed was being marketed as a novel.
A tradition that had been paused for 70 years after the Holocaust, its resumption is helping to unite and revitalize a dwindling and divided community with its glorious past.
Dutch Protestant Church spokesman Peter de-Boer said “unfortunately, Christian theology contributed much to the antisemitic discourse that led to the events of the Holocaust.”