Celebrating freedom in Amsterdam
On 5 May, all of the Netherlands will pause to commemorate the country’s liberation. The German army surrendered on this day in 1945, bringing the Second World War to an end for the Netherlands. Since then, the Netherlands has strived to be the capital of freedom, independence and tolerance. To celebrate its continual liberation and societal freedoms, various activities and events are planned throughout the city.
The Liberation Festivals taking place across the country are a highlight of Liberation Day. The festivals will have extensive musical programmes and big-name acts relating to the theme of freedom. At various spots in the city, Dutch bands and international musicians and DJs will perform live.
Open Jewish Homes – Resistance Homes
On both Remembrance Day and Liberation Day, there will be small-sized commemoration gatherings in the living rooms, attics or cafés of former Jewish residents and resistance fighters. At Open Jewish Homes – Resistance Homes, speakers will tell their stories about life before, during and after the war, persecution, resistance and liberation. These stories will be accompanied by films, music, poems, photos and personal diary fragments. Information about the programme can be found on the Open Jewish Homes website (Dutch link).
Celebrate freedom together, and join or help cook one of the Freedom Feast locations! Everyone is welcome this day to participate in the Freedom Feast, which is organised all around the city. You can look forward to intimate and grand feasts in community centres, parks and living rooms or on streets or squares.
The War in My Neighbourhood
Prior to 5 May, primary school students throughout Amsterdam will interview senior citizens about their neighbourhoods during the war. The students will receive the title 'new heritage bearer of a war story' in the Amsterdam City Archives on Liberation Day. They’ll then head out to the neighbourhoods to tell the war stories to all willing listeners. The project ‘The War in My Neighbourhood’ (Dutch link) aims to keep these stories alive, so that they can be passed on to a new generation.
Liberation Day for kids
Special events for kids are being organised to celebrate freedom. For instance, there's a special Liberation Day festival for kids taking place in the Vondelpark’s Open Air Theatre. There’ll also be guided tours, historic tram rides and city walks relating to war, freedom and resistance on 4 and 5 May. For more information, see the website of the National Committee for 4 and 5 May (Dutch link).
Liberation Day will conclude with one of the biggest events of the day, the Amstel Concert. Starting at 21:00, artists from diverse musical genres will perform on an enormous floating podium, with the stately Royal Carré Theatre in the background. The concert will be attended by the King and Queen, as well as all volunteers for the 4 and 5 May festivities.
Due to the various Remembrance Day gatherings and Liberation Day festivals, the routes for public transport will be different on 4 and 5 May. To find out more, check the GVB's website later or call the Customer Service Department at 0900-8011.