Eleven arrested at Amsterdam's Remembrance Day ceremony

Amsterdam prepares for the national commemoration ceremony on Dam Square for Liberation Day, 4 May 2017
Amsterdam prepares for the national commemoration ceremony on Dam Square for Liberation Day, 4 May 2017. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

At 8:00 p.m. on Thursday the Netherlands commemorated the victims of World War II with two minutes of silence. Eleven people were arrested at or around the Remembrance Day commemoration ceremony on Dam Square in Amsterdam. According to the police, most committed minor offenses, AD reports.

Shortly before the two minutes of silence the police arrested a man in Papenbroeksteeg for disrupting public order. The man resisted and two officers were injured. One had to go to hospital. Before that another two people were also arrested for disrupting public order. According to the police, they seemed to be disturbed. Four people were arrested for not being able to identify themselves. And four others were arrested some distance from Dam Square because tear gas was found in their car.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima placed a wreath at the war monument on Dam Square during the commemoration ceremony. The wreath on behalf of the Council of Ministers was placed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and State Secretary Martin van Rijn of Public Health. A number of ministers from Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten also attended the ceremony.

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan gave a speech. According to him, May 4th is a day for counting one's blessings and for continuing down the path of peace with hope and confidence. "On a day like today we realize how many victims the occupier made and how many people lay down their lives for our freedom", the Amsterdam mayor said. "We realize which great achievements like democracy, fundamental rights and rule of law we can - partly thanks to them - cherish and maintain." 

The Amsterdam mayor called on those present to combat intolerance as soon as it shows its head, and to do so without becoming intolerant yourself. "We owe that to everyone we commemorate this evening."

The annual Poet on 4 May competition was won by 16-year-old Guner Tuzgol from Heemstede this year. He read his poem at the Amsterdam ceremony.

The two minutes of silence was observed across the country. NS even stopped all trains at exactly 8:00 p.m. In Groningen a photo was snapped of a Domino's pizza delivery man getting off his bike to commemorate the WWII victims.