Nazi-era singer returns to stage

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 08:56 (UTC +04:00)

( BBC ) - A 104-year-old Dutch cabaret singer who once performed in Nazi Germany has given a concert in the Netherlands for the first time in four decades.

There were protests and tight security around the theatre in Amersfoort where Johannes Heesters appeared.

Although Heesters insists he never espoused Nazi politics, he performed for Adolf Hitler and visited the Dachau concentration camp.

Correspondents say many Dutch people have never forgiven him.

"He kept singing for the Nazi regime, for the Wehrmacht, and he earned millions," said Piet Schouten, representative of a committee formed to protest against Saturday's performance.

"We have a problem with that on behalf of all the victims," he told national broadcaster NOS.

Johannes Heesters, born Johan, began his career in Amsterdam in the 1920s and moved to Germany in 1935, where he enjoyed a successful career.

Heesters was never accused of being a Nazi propagandist, and the Allies allowed him to continue performing after the war.

He was booed off the stage in Amsterdam when he previously tried to stage a comeback in the early 1960s.