The Netherlands observed a two-minute silence at 8.00pm this evening in memory of war victims during and since World War II. Around 20,000 people attended the national remembrance ceremony at Dam Square in Amsterdam, in the presence of Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima.
In a speech, Amsterdam’s Mayor Eberhard van der Laan praised those who “despite terror and fear” had summoned the courage to join the resistance. “If we in turn in our time – in all freedom – are not prepared to stand up for justice where it is being oppressed, we may as well not be here today,” he said.
The mayor said that he is reminded virtually every day of the fact that 61,000 of Amsterdam’s 80,000 Jewish inhabitants were carried away before the eyes of their fellow citizens and murdered. “It remains a raw nerve in the city, in the country.”
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide