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?


Aledys Ver said...

Nice post Sandra! The Bevrijdingsfestival in Amsterdam must be very nice to see, especially the last part when the Queen leaves in a boat - it must be a very special moment - I've never seen it, except now through this video you posted. Thanks for sharing.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

oh I love movies about this time of our history. DO you know my dear, the movie, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas? It is a most POWERFUL film about this era and a friendship between two unlikely matches.

It is so nice to see your comment this morning! I HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU! I have 26 days left of school and I am THRILLED!!!

Be well dearest, Anita

Sara said...

Não vi nenhum dos filmes, mas qualquer um deles me parece uma excelente sugestão cinéfila. Sobretudo, com o regresso do tempo cinzento a Portugal, que convida a horas de cinema :)
E também acho que há memórias que se devem manter, para que as acções na sua base não se repitam.

Beijinhos! Have a nice week!

Isabella J said...

Very nice post about 4 & 5 May -- It's always so nice reading your posts! I hope you're doing well & all is going great this spring for you :-)

Presépio no Canal said...


I've already seen this concert twice, last time, this weekend.
I strongly recommend it. It's really beautiful!


Oh, what a coincidence!!!I watched "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas" for the first time this weekend. :-) Mille Bisous, cherie! :-)


O tempo tambem anda chuvoso e cinzento por aqui. A convidar, portanto, a boas sessoes de cinema em casa. :-))


Hi! Nice to see you here! Thank you for your visit and so nice comment! :-) I hope everything is fine with you too! :-) Beijinhos from Holland!

ana said...

Memórias que se devem perpetuar para não se esquecerem as atrocidades.
Não vi os filmes assinalados, embora seja um tema apaixonante.
Obrigada pela partilha!
Beijinhos. :))

Sami said...

Festejos interessantes e que se devem manter para que todos se lembrem das atrocidades e para que elas nao voltem a ser cometidas. Os filmes q sugere parecem ser interessantes, especialmente o das gémeas. Obrigada Sandra xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

OH YOU SAW THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS??? What a powerful film. My best friend is Jewish and I just wept during this film. DEAREST thank you so much for coming for a visit! OH LIFE IS SO BUSY! I am spending my weekends trying to catch up with my growing Etsy shop and with my blog that is very important for me to keep up. HOW ARE YOU?????

Oh how I wish I could get to the Netherlands. What fun that would be!

LOVE! Anita

Sara said...

Só passei para te deixar um beijinho e para desejar a melhor das semanas! :))

Margarida Elias said...

Estou preocupada contigo. Tudo bem? Espero que estejas a fazer bons passeios e a ver bons filmes ... Bjs!