After offering apologies, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) also takes the purse for the role that the central bank played in the slavery past of the Netherlands. 5 million euros will be deposited in a special fund for “local initiatives that contribute to improving the living conditions of descendants”.
To this end, DNB is working with the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, which will assess the applications over the next ten years. The first applications have already been submitted and approved. This concerns money for the yet to be built National Slavery Museum in Amsterdam, the Elisabeth Samson House in Suriname and the Tula Museum in Curaçao.
Last year, during the national commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Amsterdam, DNB president Klaas Knot apologized for the bank’s role in the slavery past. In a statement, DNB says that since the apology, “extensive discussions have been held with descendants, organizations and academics about how the central bank can help raise awareness and reduce the impact of the slavery past”.
ABN Amro previously apologized for the role of the bank’s predecessors. ABN Amro did not want to go further than apologizing at the time. CEO Robert Swaak did promise that the bank would work against social inequality and for diversity and inclusion in society.
Knot addressed descendants of enslaved people in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark last year:
- Vlissingen is going to apologize for its slavery past
- More and more enthusiasm for ‘dialogue tables’ about the slavery past