Saturday, 5 May 2012

Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

In the Netherlands, we have been celebrating two special days.

May 4th, Nationale Dodenherdenking, Remembrance Day

On May 4th, the Netherlands celebrates the memory of those who died in war, especially during World War II. At 8:00 p.m., two minutes of silence are observed throughout the country. Public transport is stopped, as well as all other traffic. The main ceremonies are observed in Amsterdam at the National Monument in Dam Square. Members of the cabinet and the royal family, military leaders, representatives of the resistance movement and other social groups attend these ceremonies.

This year's video.

May 5th, Bevrijdingsdag, Liberation Day

This day marks the end of the country occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. Usually, a concert is held in the River Amstel in Amsterdam, with the presence of the Queen. The video below is from last year's concert. You will listen to Wende Snijders. She is especially known by singing French chansons. Please, click here, if you wish to listen to her singing some of them.


The end of the Concert in the Amstel is particulary beautiful, with the Queen leaving the ceremonies in a boat decorated with flowers at the sound of the pretty song We'll Meet Again.
If you wish to see how it is, please, take a look at the video below.

To celebrate these special days, I want to share with you three Dutch movies about World War II period. I like them very much, especially the first one, De Tweeling, based on the book of the Dutch writer, Tessa de Loo, who, by the way, is living in Portugal.

De Tweeling (Twin Sisters) (2002)

The film tells the story of twin German sisters Lotte and Anna, separated at a young age. After the death of their parents, Lotte will be raised in the Netherlands by a middle-class intellectual family in Amsterdam and Anna by a poor Catholic German peasant family.

During WWII, Lotte becomes involved in the Dutch resistance and falls in love with a Jew - who is eventually caught by the Nazis and dies. Anna falls in love and marries a young Wehrmacht soldier who is eventually assigned to the Waffen SS and is killed by an American shell in the last days of the war.
In the aftermath of the war the two sisters - both scarred by the war and grieving for their respective lovers - have an explosive meeting, ending with the Lotte vehemently disowning her "Nazi" sister Anna (who, in fact, had little sympathy with Nazi ideology).
Decades later, at their old age, they meet again accidentally at a spa and become reconciled.
(adapted from Wikipedia)

Zwartboek (Black Book) (2006)

The story of a young Jewish woman in the Netherlands who becomes a spy for the resistance during World War II after tragedy befalls her in an encounter with the Nazis.

Oorlogswinter (Winter in Wartime) (2008)

The film is about a young Dutch boy named Michiel van Beusekom who tries to help the Dutch resistance during World War II by helping a British pilot to stay out of German hands during the occupation of The Netherlands.

Have you ever watched any of these movies? What is your favourite one?