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Models for commemoration

Possibilities to increase participation of immigrants

Commemoration models on 4 and 5 May (pdf)
  • Examples celebration 4 May intercultural (Hoorn)
  • Liberation Festival (Haarlem)
  • Multicultural Festival (Haarlem)
  • Play Back Festival and Fair (Hoorn)

    Commemorations 14 and 15 August (pdf)
  • Commemoration victims Netherlands Indies (Amstelveen)
  • Commemoration end of WW II and capitulation Japan (Den Helder)
  • National commemoration capitulation Japan (Den Haag)

  • Picture: Pim Ligtvoet

    Seven tips for intercultural commemoration

    Much immigrants share the feeling that the 4th of May is something for the white Dutch, that it's about 'their dead’. Many feel they're not welcome. They think it isn't proper to stand before a monument of war and think about Indonesian, Surinam, Antillian, Turkish, Moroccans or other dead. Dutch society will have to explain to immigrants that the 4th of May remembers all dead of the Second World War and the wars after, not only the ones who fell in 1940-1945 in Holland.
    • Invite mosks and other immigrant organisations personally for the remembrance on the 4th of May and discuss with them what happens during the commemoration and why. Ask them for suggestions. Only a written invitation isn't enough for a theme like this.

    • In places where there is a local consultation group or a platform, it's possible to discuss remembrance and celebration in these circles. At the moment (2006) Hoorn involves the interreligious council in preparing the remembrance. In addition to this the mini-documentary ‘That day didn't feel good’ was presented (see site).

    • At schools with many immigrant students - and elsewhere – information can be given in a contemporary way about the backgrouns of the 4th and 5th of May in their own city. At the moment Hoorn recrutes narrators who'll connect 4 and 5 May with their own stories about human rights, immigrants rights, women, homosexuals and other minorities. A good motto is ‘Every human deserves Respect’.

    • Informatie about 4 and 5 May can be linked to stories about the role of Morocco, Turkey, Surinam, the Netherland Antilles, Indonesia and other countries during the Second World War and other wars (examples on the site). The same applies to nationale holidays of immigrant countries.

    • Every monument and every remembrance has its story (see remembrances North-Holland on the site). Usually this is hardly known, also within the Dutch community. The organisation itself has to be aware of this.

    • Monumenten or their surrounding sometimes are in bad shape. Immigrants could quite rightly ask themselves if remembrance is that important. Maintain monuments and their surroundings.

    • Programming of world music and participation of immigrants artist leads to more immigrant visitors. Culinairy stalls appeal to a wide range of people. Sometimes information about the surveillance by the Food Inspection Departement is necessary.

    Haci Karacaer on commemoration

    Foto: Pim Ligtvoet

    We must share the stories from our past

    The fourth of May never meant a thing to me. I mean, it didn't come on its own. It wasn't something from me, I was kept out. The fourth of May was from the Dutch and on the fifth of May tolerated because 'multicultural' was the legacy of the fourth of May, from the Second World War. Never again war, never again racism, that sort of things.

    The fourth of May never meant a thing to me. I mean, I never figured out how you can remember the countless victoms of one criminal man in one line with the soldiers you sent to death yourself in the aftermath of your colonialism.

    The fourth of May never meant a thing to me. I mean, until I talked with a neighbour from level three who put some tulips at the tiny monument at the Riva-garage. It was for her brother and for the girl nextdoor who both didn't return. Then the fourth of May meant something to me.

    What should the fourth of May tell me?
    Our education is backdated. Sixty percent of our youth has no grandparents who were in the Second World War. Or at a different way. In the luggage of Turkish youngsters the battle for Gallipoli from 1915 is etched in their memory. Hundredthousands of Turkish civilians and soldiers were slaughtered in a battle fought between the English and Germans on Turkish soil. Who lifted a finger for us? And when there was no room for Armeniens in the making of nowadays modern Turkey: who lifted a finger for them?
    Our education is backdated. What do we learn at school about the Moroccans who fought in the Second World War and gave their lives for the liberation of Europe? Almost nobody knows there is a military grave yard in Zeeland where these Moroccan heroes are buried.
    Our education is backdated. What do we learn about Anton de Kom, the Surinam resistance hero, who was murdered in a concentration camp?

    We miss a shared collective memory and what we do collectively remember, we remember from different angles. Think about slavery and colonialism. Did you know that the grandfather of the present Moroccan king, Mohammed V, held his back during the Second World War a lot straighter than many of the European leaders? Wiith the risk of a civil war he refused to hand over jewish citizens to the collaborating French Vichy regime.

    Yes, the fourth of May does tell me something.
    Yes, the fourth of May is about people who didn't return. About dreams being destroyd. About fears that stayed. About highly placed who turned out to be cowards or followers. About ordinary civilians who were heroes and payed with their lives.
    The fourth of May is about our jewish fellow-citizens, who were carried off and left an empty place in our city and hearts.
    The fourth of May is about little Ali who lost his family and his arms in a civil war that wasn't his'.
    The fourth of May is about vulnerability, about defenceless, about an unparalleled challenge.

    Did we learn from the past? Do we have antibodies in our brains which instantly alert us if tendency show up which want to distinguish between race, religion or sexual nature? Are we ready to think critical about our own past? Our own war in the Netherlands Indies, our colonial past and slavery? Not because to answer who's to blame, but because of the honesty towards generations to come. So we can say with our hand on our hearts: we did everything we could to face the truth.

    Haci Karacaer, dir. Milli Görüs on 4 May 2003 in Amsterdam, published as an article in the NRC newspaper of 5 May 2003

    Commemoration data and holidays in some countries and in North-Holland

  • 28 November: National Holiday (Liberation from the Ottoman Empire - 1912)
  • 29 November: Liberty Day (WWII - 1944)

  • 24 april: Commemoration Armenian genocide (WWI - 1915)

  • 5 May: commemoration victims of national socialism (WWII)
  • 26 October: Neutrality Day (Day of the Republic on which the country declared its neutrality forever - 1955)

  • 21 July: National Holiday (Vow King Leopold I after separation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands - 1831)
  • 11 November: Remembrance of the armistice (End WWOI - 1918 and end WWII - September 1944)

  • 3 March: Liberty Day (Liberation from the Ottoman Empire - 1878)
  • 6 September: Unification of Bulgaria (Union of East-Rumelia with Bulgaria - 1822)
  • 22 September: Independance Day (Independant Kingdom - 1908)

    Cape Verde Islands
  • 20 January: Day of national heroes (Death of Amilcar Cabral, murdered - 1973)
  • 4 July: Independance Day (From Portugal - 1975)

  • 1 October: National Holiday (Foundation of the Peoples Republic of China - 1949)

  • 25 juni: National Holiday (Foundation of the Republic - 2001)

    Czech Republic
  • 8 May: Independance Day (WWII)
  • 17 November: Day of the battle for liberty and democracy Velvet Revolution - 1989

  • 5 May: Five-year Commemoration (German capitulation WWII)

  • 24 February: Independance Day (Proclamation of independance - 1918)
  • 20 August: Day of the renewed independance(From the Soviet-Union - 1991)

  • 6 December: Independance Day (Proclamation of independance at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution - 1917)

  • 8 May: Commemoration end WWII (German Capitulation in Europe - 1945)
  • 14 July: National Holiday (Assault on the Bastille - 1789)
  • 11 November: Remembrance armistice 1918 (End WWI)

  • 27 January: (International) commemoration of the holocaust (Liberation of Auschwitz - 1945)
  • 20 July: Commemoration of the attack on Hitler (- 1944)
  • 3 October: Day of the German Unity (Fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989 and entry of the Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990)
  • Early November: Volkstrauertag (mourning day) (Victims WWI and WWII, and victims of the dictatorship)

  • 11 November: Commemoration of the victims of WWI and WWII (because of the armistice in WWI on 11 November 1918)

  • 25 March: Independance Day (Breaking away from the Ottoman Empire - 1821)
  • 28 Oktober: 'No'-day (Refusal of passage to the Mussolini army - 1940)

  • 15 March: Liberty Day and Day of the Revolt (Liberation of the German occupation in WWII and commemoration of the revolt in 1848)
  • 23 October: Day of the Revolution and Day of the proclamation of the Republic (Uprise 1956 and foundation republiek in 1989)
  • 1 November: Commemoration victims of WWI and WWII buried in Hungary

  • 26 January: Day of the Republic (Foundation Republic of India - 1950)

  • 17 Augustus: Independance Day (Proclamation of independance by Soekarno - 1945. In 2005 the day was officially recognised by The Netherlands)

  • 18 April: Jom Hasjoa (- 1943 Oprise in the Warsaw ghetto; remembrance of the holocaust in WWII)
  • 14 May: Independance Day (Foundation of the State of Israel - 1948)

  • 25 April: Liberty Day (Liberation from fascism - 1945)
  • 2 June: Day of the Republic (Foundation of the republic - 1946)

  • 11 February: Commemoration of the foundation of Japan (first emperor - 660 BC)
  • 4 May: Dag of the constitution (introduction democratic constitution - 1947)

    Kurds (Iranians and Afghanes)
  • 21 March: Newroz / New Year (The blacksmith Kawa defeats an Assyrian tyrant - 1000 v.Chr.)

  • 14 June: Commemoration victims of Soviet deportations (1941)
  • 18 November: Independance Day (Proclamation in 1918)

  • 16 February: Independance Day (Proclamation in 1918)
  • 14 June: Day of mourning and hope (Commemoration victims Soviet deportations - 1941)

  • 23 June: National Holiday (Birthday of the Grand Duke)

  • 2 March: Celebration independance (From France - 1956)
  • 18 November: Aid el Istiklal, Independance Day (Also from Spain; return of the king - 1956)

  • 25 April: Proclamation of the RMS (Proclamation on Ambon of the Republic Malaku Selatan - 1950)
  • 15 May: Pattimura Day (Pattimura, Thomas Matulesia, was the leader of the uprise against the Dutch authority on the Moluccans - 1817)

    The Netherlands
  • 4 May: Nationale commemoration day (WWII)
  • 5 May: Liberty Day (WWII)
  • 15 August: End WWII in Asia (capitulation Japan - 1945)

    The Netherlands Antilles
  • see Dutch days
  • 18 March: Dia di Himno i Bandera - Day of the Flag - 'Aruba-day' Status aparte in 1986)
  • 2 July: Dia di Himno i Bandera - Dag of the Flag - Curacao-day (Abolition of slavery on Korsow - 1863; Island Council - 1951)
  • 17 Augustus: Commemoration Slaves Uprise - Curacao (50 slaves under the leadership of Tula and Carpata - 1795)
  • 6 September: Dia di Himno i Bandera - Day of the Flag - Bonaire-day 'Discovery' by Alonso de Ojeda - 1499)
  • 11 November: St. Martins' Day 'Discovery' by Columbus (?) on the holiday of St. Martin - 1493)
  • 16 November: Statia Day - St. Eustatius-day 'Statia' was the first country in the world to recognize the independance of the United States - 1776)
  • First week of December: Saba-day
  • 15 December: Charter Day (Self-determination rights - 1954)

    Palestine authorities
  • 30 March: Dag of the Country (Revolt in Galilea - 1979)

  • 11 November: Independance Day (From the Soviet Union - 1918)

  • 25 April: Liberty Day (Carnation Revolution - 1974)
  • 5 October: Day of the Republic (1910)

  • 1 December: National Holiday (Romanian Unity - 1918)

  • 9 May: Day of the Victory over Germany (1945)
  • 12 June: Independance Day (from the Soviet Union - 1990)

  • 8 May: Liberty Day (Victory on fascism - 1945)
  • 29 August: Commemoration national uprise (against the Germans - 1944)

  • 25 June: National Holiday (Day of Sovereignty - 1991)

  • 27 April: Day of Democracy (First democratic elections - 1994)

  • 1 July: Day of liberties - Keti Koti (Abolition of slavery - 1863)
  • 5 June: Immigration Day (The 'Lalla Rookh' arrives from India with contract workers - 1873)
  • 25 November: Independance Day (from The Netherlands - 1975)

  • 6 June: National Holiday, Day of the Flag (New constitution - 1809)

  • 18 March: Commemoration of the Battle of Gallipoli (WWI: Landing British Army - 1915)
  • 29 October: Foundation of the Republic of Turkey (1923)

    United States
  • 4 July: National Holiday (Independance Day - 1776)
  • 11 November: Veterans Day (WWI, all wars)

    Worldwide (UNO)
  • 27 January: International commemoration of the holocaust (Liberation of Auschwitz - 1945)
  • 10 December: International Day of Human Rights

  • 1 August: National HOliday (Commemoration of the foundation of the Swiss Confederation in 1291)


    Everywhere in North-Holland 4 May commemorations and 5 May celebrations are held. In some cases special attention is paid to the contributions of immigrants, like in the Amsterdam district De Baarsjes. Details about this can be found on municipal websites.
    Much information about commemorations and the many monuments can be found on the websites of the National Comittee 4 and 5 May:
    www.herdenkenenvieren.nl and www.oorlogsmonumenten.nl

  • 14 August: Commemoration victims in WWII in general and in the Netherlands Indies in special (The 'Indies-monument' is erected in the memory of the two million people who died because of the Japanese occupation of the former Netherlands Indies. Location: side entrance of the C.P. Broerse Park)

  • 25 January: Commemoration at the Mirror monument. (In memory of the victims in the concentration camp Auschwitz. Location: Wertheim Park)
  • 27 January: Commemoration of the Holocaust (Hebrew: Sjoa). UNO-day. (Liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz (1.5 million dead) - 1945)
  • 25 February: Commemoration at the Dock Worker. (In memory of the February strike in 1941. Location: Jonas Daniël Meijer Square)
  • 25 February: Children commemoration in the Hollandsche Schouwburg, afterwards procession at the Dock Worker. (The former theatre now is a monument in memory of the minimum of 20,000 Amsterdam jews who were detained in this clearing-house before being deported from the city. Location: Plantage Middenlaan)
  • 12 April: Commemoration at the De Flesseman. (In memory of the four children who were shot in the latter days of WWII, because they were out past 20.00 hrs. Location: Nieuwmarkt)
  • 18 April: Commemoration at the Hollandsche Schouwburg; Jom Hasjoa. (Uprise in 1943 in the jewish ghetto of Warsaw against the German occupier. Location: Plantage Middenlaan.)
  • 20 April: Commemoration at the National Dachau Monument. (In memory of all people who died in concentration camp Dachau. Location: Bosbaan)
  • 25 April: Commemoration at the monument Women of Ravensbrück. (In memory of all the women who were held prisoner in concentration camp Ravensbrück. Location: Museumplein)
  • 4 May: Commemoration in De Nieuwe Kerk (remembrance window), afterward laying of wreaths at De Dam. (Erected in memory of all the people who fell by acts of war during the occupation and to the liberation of Holland and the former Netherlands Indies, of the German and Japanese occupiers. Location: Dam)
  • 4 May: National commemoration at the National Monument. (In memory of all the Dutch die tijdens who fell by acts of war during the Second World War. Location: Dam)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument for Fallen Dutch Military Men. (In memory of all the soldiers who fell during the invasion in the May days of 1940. Location: Kruislaan)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the Graves of the Allied Forces. (In memory of all allied military men who fell on Dutch soil. Location: Kruislaan, cemetary Nieuwe Ooster)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument of the Children in hide and protectors. (An homage to the Amsterdam people who, while risking their own lives, gave jewish children a refuge in their homes. Location: Van Boshuizenstraat)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the Gay Momonument. (In memory of all homosexual victims of war. Location: Westermarkt)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the KNSM monument. (In memory of the 247 staff of KNSM who fell during the years of occupation. Location: KNSM-laan 311)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the Buchenwald monument. (In memory of all the people who were killed in concentration camp Buchenwald. Location: Kruislaan)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the former Icecream Parlor Koco (named after the owners Kohn and Cohen). (In memory of the incidents here. Alfred Kohn and visitor Ernst Cahn were arrested. The raid on the shop was one of the occasions for the February strike of 1941. Also see:rdscohen and razzia's. Location: Van Woustraat)
  • 5 May: Liberation Festival
  • 1 August: Commoration at the Gypsy's Monument. (In memory of all gypsy's (Sinti and Roma) who were deported and killed. Location: Museumplein)
  • 20 August: Commoration of Kerwin Duinmeijer. (In memory of the by racism inspired murder on the Antillian Kerwin Duinmeijer in 1983. Location: Vondelpark)
  • 3 November: Commemoration at the Childrens monument. (In memory of the Market for jews and the violation of childrens rights in WWII. Location: Gaaspstraat)
  • 9 November: Commemoration at the monument of Jewish Resistance 1940-1945. (In memory of all jewish civilians who died in WWII. Location: Amstel)
  • 11 November: Commemoration at the Hollandia-Kattenburg monument. (In memory of 367 jewish staff who were arrested during the raid on the factory in 1942. Location: IJplein)

  • 4 May: Commemoration at the Jewish Monument. (In memory of 17 jewish fellow-citizens who were deported and killed. Location: Kerkedijk)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument For British Military Men. (In memory of the pilots and crew of the Royal Air Force who fell on Dutch soil. Location: Kerkedijk)

  • 30 November: Commemoration at the monument For the fallen(In memory of the about 300 fallen people in the resistance and other victims of war from Bussum. Location: Frederik van Eedenweg)

    Den Burg
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the British Field of Honour. (In memory of the 167 allied military men of the British Commonwealth who fell on Dutch soil. Location: Kogerstraat)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at The Story Behind the Gravestone. (In memory of the 167 allied military men of the British Commonwealth who fell on Dutch soil (booklet). Location: Kogerstraat)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument Tree of Life. (In memory of all fellow-citizens who fell during the years of occupation. Location: Kogerstraat)

    Den Helder
  • 15 August: Commemoration of the formal end of the Second World War, the capitulation of Japan and all fallen in South-East Asia in 1941-1949 at the monument 'For those who fell'. (Location: De Vijfsprong)

  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument Cemetary Westerveld. (In memory of the 324 Dutch who were shot and cremated on this cemetary. Location: cemetary Westerveld)
  • 4 May: Commemoration ath the British honourary graves (In memory of the 6 Britsh military men who fell in this district during WWII. Location: Duin en Kruidbergerweg)

  • 4 May: Commemoration at The Schadow Correction 1995. (In memory of the 7 resistance fighters, in memory of the sorrow WWII brought about and underline the importance of the struggle for peace and liberty. Location: Nelson Mandeladreef)

  • 5 May: Liberation Festival
  • 27 November: National Hannie Schaft commemoration at the monument Woman in the Resistance. (In memory of Hannie Schaft. Location: Kenaupark)

  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument Women in the Resistance. (In memory of 21 women in the resistance who died in the concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz. Location: Clara Wichmanntuin)

  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument The Man from Vught. (In memory of the pride and immovability of the people who fought to regain our liberty. Location: Maas Geesteranusweg)

  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument The Falling Man. (In memory of all Dutch who died during WWII and in special of the 13 people from IJmuiden who are buried at the cemetary 'Duinhof'. Location: Slingerduinlaan)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the monument at the Dudokplein. (In memory of the 4 members of the Distribution Service Velsen who died of violence during the occupation. Location: Spaarnestraat)

  • 5 Februari: Commoration of the newspaper Parool staff at the war monument. (In memory of the illegal Parool staff, who were shot in 1943 or sent to concentration camps and prisons. Location: Zeeweg)
  • 10 May: Commemoration of the occupation at the war monument. (In memory of the political prisoners during occupation. Location: Zeeweg)

  • 11 June: Commemoration at the monument Oorsprongweg. (In memory of the former internment camp Schoorl where the occupier held jewish and political prisoners before being transported to other camps. Location: Oorsprongweg)

  • 11 October: Commemoration Battle of Rustenburg. (In memory of the 13 resistance fighters who fell during the Battle of Rustenburg and of all fellow-civilians who died by acts of war. Location: Noordervaart)

  • 7 April: Monument at the Joost Dourlein Barracks. (In memory of the 10 fallen Dutch at the first day of the Georgian Revolt, at the end of the war)
  • 4 May: Georgian Cemetary Loladse at the Hoge Berg between Den Burg and Oudeschild (In memory of the fallen during the Georgian Revolt of 6 April until 20 May 1945. Among them 475-500 Georgians, many hundreds of Germans [400 to 2.300] and 117 Dutch)

  • About 25 February: Commemoration at the monument February Strike. (In memory of the general strike of 1941. The strike was the first major protest of the population against anti-semitism and the terror of the occupier. Location: Wilhelminasluis)
  • 17 April: Commemoration at the Hannie Schaft Monument. (In memory of all fallen resistance fighters, Hannie Schaft and Jan Bonekamp. Location: Westzijde)
  • 4 May: Commemoration at the bij monument Jewish Cemetary. (In memory of all jewish fellow-citizens who were deported by the occupier to the destruction camps in Germany, Poland and Austria. 171 of them didn't return. Location: Westzanerdijk)

    Please do feel free to comment on our English translation. We welcome any improvement!