Dreadful sense of Deja Vu at Antwerp Railway Station

Scene at Antwerp station Credit: StationschefBMO Twitter

THERE was a dreadful sense of Deja Vu at Antwerp Railway Station in Belgium as commuters arrived on the morning of Wednesday May 25 to see Nazi flags hanging in the grand entrance hall.

Belgium was occupied by the German Army from May 1940 until February 1945 with around 140,000 people forcibly conscripted to work in Germany whilst 24,000 Jews were exterminated in concentration camps.

It transpired that the station was in fact a huge set for a new film Wils based on a book by Flemish author and playwright Jeroen Olyslaegers which is being directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Tim Mielants who has previously been involved in Peaky Blinders.

This, his second Belgian movie covers the period of the ‘round up’ of workers, Jews and Roma Gypsies by the Nazis.

One of those who was shocked by the sight of the flags, as reported by Brussels Times, Hans De Ceuster tweeted “An image I never thought I would see. It appears to be a recording in the central station of Antwerp, a bit of explanation can never hurt… Respect for those who gave their lives so that we can now live in freedom.”

It transpired that although an agreement existed between the filmmakers and the station that there should be stewards present at each entrance to hand out leaflets explaining what was happening, they had not arrived.

In addition, no Nazi symbols should have been on view if no filming was actually taking place, so eventually all was resolved and the filming was completed by the end of the day with stewards finally on hand.

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