Advance Notice: Briefs

Trump ambassador Hoekstra visits Nazi graveyard

By: - July 30, 2020 2:03 pm

Ambassador Pete Hoekstra | Roel Wijnants via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Ambassador Pete Hoekstra, a GOP former Michigan congressman, posted Thursday on Twitter about his trip to a Dutch cemetery where Nazi soldiers are buried.

Graves of many members of the Waffen S.S., an elite Nazi unit responsible for murdering Jews during the Holocaust, are at Ysselsteyn cemetery. Neo-Nazis have been known to visit to honor Nazis buried there, the Times of Israel reports.

“Walked among the graves at Ysselsteyn, a cemetery for German soldiers from WWI & WWII. A terrible reminder of the cost of going to war and why we must always work towards peace,” wrote Hoekstra, U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.

Ambassador Pete Hoekstra tweet

Trump reportedly last summer was considering the former congressman from Holland for acting director of national intelligence (DNI). Hoekstra served in Congress from 1993 to 2011 when he unsuccessfully ran for Michigan governor, losing the GOP primary to Rick Snyder, who would go on to serve two terms as governor. Hoekstra also was trounced by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) in the 2012 election, where his China-themed ad was denounced as racist.

In 2017, Trump tapped him as ambassador to the Netherlands, where he was born. That year, Hoekstra faced controversy while speaking on a panel when he was confronted about anti-Muslim remarks in which he claimed there are “no-go zones” in the Netherlands. Although Hoekstra claimed it was “fake news” — a favorite Trump attack — a Dutch TV interview surfaced with him saying it. He later apologized.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 23-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ people, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 100 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.