From my article in The Sunday Times today:

“This disassociation bet­ween the symbols and their creators is grossly insensitive to victims. It is supreme­ly ironic that petards proudly carrying charges from Nazi Germany are lit up on August 15, the anniversary of the Santa Marija Convoy that saved the islands from the imminent prospect of invasion and occupation by the Nazis. It would be just as insensitive to the victims for me to say that perhaps had the Nazis occupied Malta, the memory of the pain they would have inflicted on the inhabi­tants, whom they without a doubt would have considered as inferior and degenerate, would have taught these apparently oblivious fireworks enthusiasts just what they were flirting with.

“But the thousands of our great-grandparents and grandparents who suffered starvation or lost their lives together with the islands’ defenders during World War II are, in comparison with the millions of children, women and men targeted for mass extermination, merely incidental victims of war. If we are incapable of carrying a shred of the incomparable pain that the inheritance of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and the willing executioners that helped them leaves us with, we are incapable of being European.”

Read the full article here.