Dutch honour the memory of WWII victims

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The Netherlands on Wednesday commemorates all civilians and soldiers killed in military conflicts since the German invasion of the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Many people across the country will observe two minutes of silence in memory of the fallen.  

The national commemoration will take place at 20.00 at the National Monument in the Dam Square in Amsterdam. The ceremony will be attended by Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima as well as representatives of the cabinet. The commemoration of the war dead is held on 4 May in order to precede the celebration of the country’s liberation from the Nazi occupation on 5 May.

Panic  The Amsterdam council, in consultation with the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, has taken additional security measures to ensure there will be no disturbances of public order. 

The move was prompted by an incident last year in which a disturbed man sparked panic when he started screaming loudly during the two minutes of silence. Sixty people were injured when the panicked crowd started to run. 

Liberation Commemorations will be held across the Netherlands: at the Waalsdorpervlakte in The Hague, where many resistance fighters were executed by the Nazi occupiers, in the former concentration camps at Amersfoort and Westerbork, at war cemeteries, and on the Grebbeberg in Rhenen, the site of fierce battles between Dutch and German troops between 11 and 13 May 1940.  

The liberation from Nazi occupation is celebrated on 5 May, the day the German army in the Netherlands surrendered to Canadian general Charles Foulkes at Hotel De Wereld in the town of Wageningen. Acting as commander in chief of the Dutch Interior Forces, Queen Beatrix’s father the late Prince Bernhard also attended the meeting.   

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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