The kingdom of the Netherlands remembers the Dutch victims of World War II on Saturday May 4 with Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) ceremonies all over the country. Trains and cars will come to a halt throughout the country and there are no taking-offs and landings at Schiphol airport during 2 minutes of silence, which takes place at 8pm on 4th of May. On this day even all the shops and supermarkets are required by law to close at 7pm, and bars and restaurants alert their customers about the music will stop for a short period of reflection.
On 5 May 1945, German General Blaskowitz signed the surrender of the German occupational forces in the Netherlands in Hotel De Wereld in the town of Wageningen. Five years of war had scarred the flat polder land: 7,900 soldiers, 88,900 civilians and 106,000 Jewish compatriots had been murdered.
Since 1946, the victims have been remembered each year on 4 May with commemorations held across the nation. A remembrance ceremony is held on Dam Square in Amsterdam with the King and various representatives of both the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Parliament in attendance. Over 20,000 people attend this event and at 18:00, the flag is hung at half-mast. The King, lays a wreath just before 20:00, when the nation falls silent for two minutes.
Image credits: Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei, Jasper Juinen