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Dutch caps

by | 14th, March 2006

‘IT is not only the English who are unable and unwilling to forget the war. The Dutch are finding it hard to move on.

Never again

To keep the memory alive, they have taken to wearing Nazi helmets, like the ones worn by the Germans who invaded their country between World Cup 1938 and World Cup 1950. Only these ones are orange.

Understandably, modern Germany is unimpressed. Supt Andreas Morbach, the joint head of the German police’s national football intelligence unit, says: ‘The helmets are a potential provocation.” He goes on: ‘It is not nice to have a sports event compared to war and to wear this helmet in such a way is not to cause a joke, it is to cause offence. All references to the war cause unpleasant feelings.’

Quite so. We could not agree. Mentioning the war is arcane, unenlightened and hurtful, even if it our right as free citizens not enslaved under the burden on unspeakable tyranny to do so.

And the Dutch FA agrees. Football’s governing body in the Netherlands, the KNVB, has banned the helmets, saying they are offensive.

‘We don’t see the joke in wearing these helmets and think they are in bad taste,’ says KNVB spokesman Frank Huizinga. ‘A lot is possible in Holland, but we will not accept everything.’

And the ban has not passed unnoticed among the Dutch. As a direct result of the ruling, sales of the helmets have trebled. “We are now selling three times the previous average daily volume,’ says the helmet’s producer Florian van Laar. ‘We are thinking of sending the KNVB a gold helmet in thanks.”

The plastic hats don’t only come in orange and gold. Laar’s company makes them in the national colours of Australia, England, Germany, France and Italy.

And the news is that although they are banned in Holland, the manufacturers claim German police recently informed them they will allow fans to wear the helmets during the games because they were not adorned with Nazi symbols.

As helmet designer Weno Geerts puts it: “Germany should prepare for an invasion.”’



Posted: 14th, March 2006 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink