Tuesday, 7 October 2014 - 10:38
Remembrance Day should welcome Jews, Indonesians
The National Committee for 4 and 5 May advocates for a different approach to Liberation day. They want to focus more on World War II. In a "vision document" published today the National Committee for 4 and 5 May states that Liberation day becomes Freedom Day, World War II is again central and on May 5th everyone is free. Vice President Jacques Wallage calls it good to reconsider May 4th and 5th from time to time. Comments from the Jewish circle and Indian-Dutch community saying that the commemoration at the Dam is not for them, startled the Committee. Events such as the bombing of Rotterdam and the Hongerwinter (the Dutch famine during the war caused by the Nazi blockades) are generally seen as shared experience. That does not apply to the Jews and Indian-Dutch who found themselves in isolation during the war. The Committee feels that they have been through a war within the war, especially due to their chilly reception in the Netherlands after 1945. Their position deserves special attention so that they too can feel at home on the Dam. The Committee also wants the Dutch to not only focus on the "white pages" of the war. The "black pages" should also form part of the collective memory. The Committee wants to hold on to the commemoration of all the Dutch war victims who died since the outbreak of WWII. According to Wallage, the experience of the war must be connected to the peace missions. Sobering words dedicating the committee to the celebration of Liberation day and the lack of consistency with the Remembrance day the day before. He calls the morning meeting with the May 5th reading "not very convincing", Trouw reports. About the Liberation Festivals he wonders how long the Ambassadors of Peace can still fly between festivals "until they are turned into a cliche". To make Liberation day a day of significance, everyone should be free from work on May 5th. The Committee asks employers and employees to contribute to the "strengthening of a common identity". The National Committee for 4 and 5 May was established on November 27th, 1987, by the government under then Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers. The Committee is placed under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, the Minister of General Affairs and the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports. The Committee has many responsibilities including organizing the national commemoration of Remembrance Day, organizing the national celebration of Liberation Day and enhancing understanding about the purpose and significance of these days.