Why Grey – 4th of May

The Netherlands is the only country in Europe that commemorates the victims of the Second World War and celebrates its liberation on two separate but consecutive days. We remember the dutch victims of wartime violence on 4 May, and on 5 May we celebrate our freedom.

The fact that the Netherlands observes Remembrance Day and celebrates Liberation Day, the day on which the German army capitulated, on two separate days is primarily the result of the strong influence that former members of the resistance had in Dutch society directly after the Second World War. The Dutch resistance had already gained considerable authority during the war. After the country had been liberated, the former resistance was relatively well organised and prominently represented in government circles. The most important reason why the national commemoration of Remembrance Day takes place on 4 May and not on 5 May is that directly after the Second World War, both the survivors and the bereaved in the former resistance circles found it inappropriate to mourn the victims of war and to celebrate the liberation on the same day. In their view, the emotions that went along with both sets of memories were incompatible. As the Netherlands had not played an active role in the First World War, the country did not already have a tradition of commemoration in the mid 1940s. Whereas most other European countries had commemoration traditions of a military character stemming from the First World War, the Netherlands was free to commemorate and celebrate in its own distinct manner. Want to know more; please read here.

On the 4th of May at 20:00 CET everyone remembering our fallen during wartime will obey a 2 minute of silence; as we can’t just disable our servers we decided to make our website black and white from 16:30 till 20:30 CET. So no, nothing is wrong with your monitor or your browser; we are just remembering our fallen in our own unique digital way.

So if your ticket at 20:00CET is delayed for a few minutes, you now know why.