Friday, 2 December 2011

National Library of Wales in Nazi row

Nein, I vill finish my book before invading another country
The magnificent National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is currently embroiled in turmoil after acceprting a bequest of £300,000 from a former member of Hitler's SS.

Louis Feutren was a member of the Bezen Perrot (Perrot Unit) from Brittany which fought with the Nazis.
Heritage Minister Huw Lewis said he was disappointed the library had accepted the bequest, which includes "material of significant historical importance".The library said it had followed expert legal advice in coming to its decision.It said some of the money would be used on projects associated with the destructive effects of war and fascism.

The SS, a notorious wing of Adolf Hitler's army, acted as the Nazi leader's bodyguard, a fighting force and ran death camps during World War II.As well as German soldiers, it had a number of foreign volunteers and conscripts from nations such as France and the Netherlands.After the war, Mr Feutren fled his native France and travelled through Wales, eventually settling in the Republic of Ireland, where he married. He died last year.

The library's retiring president Lord Wigley said its board members, who agreed to accept the bequest, had no right to allow "our feelings to interfere with our decision".

"This is a notable collection that includes material of significant historical importance," he said.
"Though I utterly condemn his political leanings and activities during the war, we had no right, as board members, to allow our feelings to interfere with our decision."I made our position perfectly clear that we felt the acceptance of this bequest could affect the reputation of the National Library of Wales”

The archive and the financial donation worth £300,000 have been received in accordance with the Royal Charter and the library's collection policy, which identify the need to collect, and ensure public access to, material of Celtic interest.

1 comment:

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