WWII is still 'the war' for Dutch people

22nd April 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — World War II still represents 'the war' for a majority of Dutch people and the feeling of liberty has declined in recent years as terrorism fears intensify, a survey has found.

22 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — World War II still represents 'the war' for a majority of Dutch people and the feeling of liberty has declined in recent years as terrorism fears intensify, a survey has found.

When questioned whether they think about WWII when 'the war' is discussed, almost three-quarters of respondents said yes, the survey on commission of the National 4 and 5 May Committee revealed on Friday.

And a total of 51 percent spontaneously referred to WWII as 'the war', while 36 percent thought of Iraq and the Gulf War as 'the war'.

Eighty percent of Dutch people are pessimistic about the chances of world peace and he feeling of liberty has declined rather than increased over recent years.

The loss of liberty is due partly to terrorism, which is seen as the most important global problem. Terrorism fears are considerably higher in the Netherlands now than in previous years.

Feelings of solidarity and tolerance have also fallen, while the preparedness to share declines every year. A majority of people believe that everyone has a right to express an opinion, but that figure has also contracted.

The National 4 and 5 May Committee holds the National Liberty Study every year, gauging the Dutch population's response to its wartime past, commemoration activities and liberty. The committee also organises the nation's Remembrance and Liberation Day ceremonies.

The Netherlands will observe a two-minute silence at 8pm on 4 May, highlighted by a ceremony at Dam Square in Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix and the nation's political leaders will attend the wreath-laying ceremony.

The nation's liberation from Nazi forces is celebrated on 5 May with various festivals around the country. The day is a public holiday every five years, including this year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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