Remembrance on Dam Square

Before the Remembrance of the Dead ceremony, which was held for the first time on Dam Square in 1945, a service is held at the church on Dam Square, the Nieuwe Kerk, attended by members of the Royal Family and government representatives, war survivors, and relatives of the dead. The King and Queen then walk through a veterans’ guard of honour to the monument on Dam Square to lay a wreath on behalf of the citizens of the Netherlands. Finally, the clock of the Nieuwe Kerk chimes, and at 20:00 the nation observes a two-minute silence. This is followed by a rendition of the first verse of the national anthem, and a procession during which all those who wish to can walk past the monument and lay flowers. The flags around Dam Square and in the rest of the Netherlands fly at half mast from 18:00 to sunset on Remembrance Day. Everyone is welcome at the remembrance ceremony on Dam Square. If you wish to attend, please make allowances for the crowds.

Remembrance around the city

During Remembrance Day, there are a wide range of activities in Amsterdam to keep alive the memories of World War II. As well as the National Remembrance of the Dead ceremony on Dam Square, some 40 other ceremonies will take place in different neighbourhoods of Amsterdam. Dozens of events will be organised by neighbourhood committees and civil society organisations. On the morning of 4 May, a municipal remembrance ceremony will take place at De Nieuwe Ooster cemetery. There is also an annual ceremony at the Homomonument, near the Westerkerk.

Silent march

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan will lead hundreds of people in a silent march from Museumplein to Dam Square, departing from the Stedelijk Museum at 17:45. Before the march, there will be short speeches by Mayor Van der Laan and Job Cohen, (chair of the Amsterdam 4 and 5 May Committee). For the full programme (in Dutch), see the 4 and 5 May website.

Theater Na de Dam

The National Remembrance of the Dead on 4 May on Dam Square will be followed at 21:00 by Theatre Na de Dam ('Theatre after the Dam'), with performances inspired by World War II at more than 20 different locations in Amsterdam. There will also be a range of remembrance concerts, for example at Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and the Royal Concertgebouw. Please note that much of the spoken word content takes place in Dutch. You can find the complete programme on the Theater Na de Dam website.

Open Jewish Homes and Houses of Resistance

On both Remembrance Day and Liberation Day, intimate memorial services will take place in the living rooms, attics or cafés of former Jewish residents and members of the resistance. During Open Jewish Homes, speakers will tell the story of life before, during and after the war, persecution, resistance and liberation. The stories will be accompanied by film, music, poetry, photos and diary excerpts. Information about the programme can be found on the Open Jewish Homes website.

Public transport

On 4 May, passengers traveling by public transport should make allowances for changes to the service. The Dam is closed annually to all traffic, including public transport, from the afternoon onwards. Public transport routes will be altered on 4 May, and also on 5 may due to the various Liberation Day festivals. Please consult the GVB public transport website for details, or call customer service on 0900 8011.