The president of the Belgian Israelite Consistory, Baron Julien Klener, at the abdication ceremony of Belgian King Albert II and the coronation of his son Philippe praised the new king’s “intellectual curiosity that has led him to take an interest in the diversity of human thought and in the various beliefs and philosophies.”

While he was still crown prince in 1993, the new king had unveiled a plaque in which Belgian Jews expressed gratitude to non-Jewish Belgians for the rescue of many Jews during the Holocaust, Klener noted, according to the World Jewish Congress.

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More recently, in 2012, King Philippe attended the 56th pilgrimage to the Dossin barracks, a former assembly camp from where thousands of Jews and Roma were transported to concentration camps, as part of the National Day of Jewish Martyr of Belgium and the 70th anniversary of the start of the deportation of Belgian Jews.

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