by Bruno Waterfield
05 March 2010
Prince Bernhard, the father of Queen
Beatrix of the Netherlands, was a member of the Nazi party, a new
book has claimed, contracting the German-born Dutch war hero's
Prince Bernhard and his
daughter Queen Beatrix
Photo: REX FEATURES
A Secret History" has revealed that the prince was a member of
the German Nazi party until 1934, three years before he married Princess
Juliana, the future queen of the Netherlands.
Annejet van der Zijl, a Dutch historian, has found membership
documents in Berlin's Humboldt University that prove Prince
studied there, had joined Deutsche Studentenschaft, a National Socialist
student fraternity, as well as the Nazi NSDAP and its paramilitary wing, the
He left all the groups on leaving university in December 1934, when he went
to work for the German chemical giant,
The prince always denied having been a member of the Nazi party, although he
admitted that he briefly had sympathized with Adolf Hitler's regime.
In one of the last interviews he gave before his
death in 2004, he said:
"I can swear this with my hand on the Bible:
I was never a Nazi."
As the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940, the young
prince consort, then aged 28, organized a group of palace guards that
engaged in combat with German forces.
Denied the chance to stay and organize resistance by the then Queen
Wilhelmina, he became head of the Dutch Royal Military Mission based in
As "Wing Commander Gibbs" - an honorary rank he held in the RAF - the prince
later flew Allied bombing raids over occupied Europe before returning in
1944 as a Dutch war hero.