Dutch Prince Bernhard, grandfather of King Willem-Alexander, was a member of the Nazi party NSDAP. A historian has found Bernhard’s original membership card in the Royal House Archives, the daily NRC reported on Wednesday. The historian Flip Maarschalkerweerd was director of the archive and discovered the ID card in the private archive of the German-born prince.

Until his death in 2004, Bernhard always denied that he had belonged to the NSDAP. He had always presented himself as the country’s top resistance fighter, despite several hints of Nazi sympathies. The membership card is now clear proof. Why Bernhard didn’t destroy him is a mystery.

Shortly before his death, the prince said in a series of interviews with De Volkskrant: “I can declare with my hand on the Bible: I was never a Nazi. I never paid membership fees, I never had a membership card. “

The Jewish community advocacy group CIDI called on the government to order a detailed historical investigation into Bernhard’s past. All facts must now be on the table, said director Naomi Mestrum to the radio station NOS. “It’s about the credibility of the Netherlands and the royal family.” The royal family and Prime Minister Mark Rutte did not want to react for the time being.

Prince Bernhard (1911-2004) of Lippe-Biesterfeld came from Germany. When he became engaged to the then Crown Princess Juliana in 1936, he canceled his membership. This emerges from an exchange of letters. According to the historian’s research, he received the membership card from Berlin shortly after the Second World War and apparently always kept it. In 1996, historians had already found a copy in New York. But Bernhard had explained that it was a fake. He only admitted that he had belonged to a special SS unit.

The Netherlands was occupied by Germany in 1940. Bernhard went into exile in London with Queen Wilhelmina. At the end of the War of Wilhelmina he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Dutch armed forces and thus also of the resistance.