King of the Netherlands apologizes for slavery on abolition anniversary

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The King of the Netherlands, William-Alexander, apologized this Saturday for his country's slavery practices on the 160th anniversary of the abolition of a "crime against humanity" that remained unpunished until its elimination.

"Of all the ways you can take away a person's freedom, the slavery it is the most painful and the most degrading", declared the monarch during a speech on the occasion of the National Day of Remembrance of Slavery, held in Amsterdambetween applause and shouts of "Finally!".

In recent months, the king has been regularly called to apologize, for example in February during his visit, accompanied by Queen Máxima and Crown Princess Amalia, to the Caribbean part of the kingdom.

The first Minister dutchMark Rutte, previously apologized for the slavery past on December 19, 2022 in multiple languages.

"Today, on behalf of the dutch governmentI apologize for the actions of the Dutch state in the past: posthumously to all enslaved people all over the world who have suffered for these actions, to their daughters and sons, and to all their descendants in the here and now,” Rutte said.

Now, the monarch looked back at his country's colonial past in the Caribbean and Surinamemainly, by stating that "books only show the facts through the eyes of the librarian, and the voices of the enslaved are pages that the wind has taken away."

"So today I appear before all of you, as your kingas part of the Government, to convey these apologies personally," added the monarchwho regretted that this crime was never punished nor its victims compensated.

"We have not done anything about it," he declared, and recalled that there is an ongoing historical investigation being carried out by the company itself. Real home to discover exactly the role played by their ancestors in the slave era.

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