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  #221  
Old 05-04-2020, 12:57 PM
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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrive at the Palace on Dam Square for the National Remembrance Day.

https://www.anpfoto.nl/royalimages/s...ventid=6007240

https://www.rexfeatures.com/set/10633984


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  #222  
Old 05-04-2020, 02:29 PM
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Here are a few more photos of the King and Queen arriving at the Palace in Amsterdam ahead of the ceremony.

https://www.ppe-agency.com/show.php?...20%20Amsterdam

And some from the Ceremony at Dam Square

https://www.ppe-agency.com/show.php?...20%20Amsterdam
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  #223  
Old 05-04-2020, 03:16 PM
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So many events were planned for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. We usually have a Bank Holiday on the first Monday in May (I know most countries always have one on May 1st), but this year it's been moved to May 8th. We'll all have to mark the event at home.


Strange to see Dam Square so empty. I stayed at a hotel very close to there, a few years ago.
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  #224  
Old 05-04-2020, 03:59 PM
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It is noteworthy that the king not only speeched at the Remembrance at the Dam (which he normally doesn't) but also that he included the following phrase:

Quote:
"Medemensen voelden zich in de steek gelaten, onvoldoende gehoord, onvoldoende gesteund, al was het maar met woorden. Ook vanuit Londen, ook door mijn overgrootmoeder, toch standvastig en fel in haar verzet. Het is iets dat me niet loslaat."
Translated: "Fellow men felt let down, insufficiently hear, insufficiently supported, if only with words. Also from London, also by my great-grandmother, yet steadfast and fierce in her resistance. It's something I cant let go of."

This phrase most likely refers to queen Wilhelmina hardly ever touching upon the persecution of the Jews in WWII and never explicitly condemning it - while doing regular radio speeches during the war.


This comes less than 2 months after the public apologies by the king in Indonesia. I guess him being a historian plays off and apparently the current PM also let's him do so (unlike his mother who also wanted to offer apologies but wasn't allowed to during her state visit to Indonesia).
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  #225  
Old 05-04-2020, 04:38 PM
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What an impressive ceremony. An empty Dam square is quite special in general but today even more so. The King's speech was very good and frank, perhaps the best one he ever held. His words about his great-grandmother were surprising to me and remarkable, esp. coming from the king himself. But his general warning about 'looking the other way' seems very relevant today & seems to have struck a cord with many. Esp. as we discovered last week that anti-semitism is rampant in one of the Dutch political parties.

In the Volkskrant - not usually the biggest fans of the monarchy - Sheila Sitalsing called it 'perhaps the bravest words of his public life'. Algemeen Dagblad and the Telegraaf called the speech 'historic'. Zihni Özdil of VN and the NRC calls the speech brave and unique.

Although his great-grandmother's silence should be seen in the context of that day and age -she was hardly alone in her silence - it does feel right to look back now and say it was not the right thing to do. I am sure some of the survivors & their children will have greatly appreciated the King's words. Also in The Hague there is much praise for the King. The leader of the Labour party (in opposition), even calls the speech 'breath taking'.

In his speech the King referred to remarks by the late Jules Schelvis, one of the last Dutch survivors of Sobibor. SBS interviewed his daughter Marianne who was touched by the King's words and she called it 'a very beautiful and wonderful tribute to my father'. The King's remarks in his speech came as a surprise to her.
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  #226  
Old 05-04-2020, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
It is noteworthy that the king not only speeched at the Remembrance at the Dam (which he normally doesn't) but also that he included the following phrase:

Quote:
"Medemensen voelden zich in de steek gelaten, onvoldoende gehoord, onvoldoende gesteund, al was het maar met woorden. Ook vanuit Londen, ook door mijn overgrootmoeder, toch standvastig en fel in haar verzet. Het is iets dat me niet loslaat."
Translated: "Fellow men felt let down, insufficiently hear, insufficiently supported, if only with words. Also from London, also by my great-grandmother, yet steadfast and fierce in her resistance. It's something I cant let go of."

This phrase most likely refers to queen Wilhelmina hardly ever touching upon the persecution of the Jews in WWII and never explicitly condemning it - while doing regular radio speeches during the war.


This comes less than 2 months after the public apologies by the king in Indonesia. I guess him being a historian plays off and apparently the current PM also let's him do so (unlike his mother who also wanted to offer apologies but wasn't allowed to during her state visit to Indonesia).
Thank you for bringing that interesting comment to attention and explaining its meaning (and Marengo's explanation of the similar comments in the thread for the Indonesia state visit was very helpful as well). So in your judgment, the initiative for these groundbreaking statements began with the king rather than the government?
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  #227  
Old 05-04-2020, 04:57 PM
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Thank you for posting this. Very sombre.

I remember reading a book about Audrey Hepburn & her experiences as a girl during the occupation & the hungry winter of 1944/1945.

The comments by the king are interesting.
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  #228  
Old 05-04-2020, 05:04 PM
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The almost empty Dam Square was very much a striking image.
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  #229  
Old 05-04-2020, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Thank you for bringing that interesting comment to attention and explaining its meaning (and Marengo's explanation of the similar comments in the thread for the Indonesia state visit was very helpful as well). So in your judgment, the initiative for these groundbreaking statements began with the king rather than the government?
The King and the Prime Minister not only share the same age, they are both Historians as well and have family closely linked to WWII.

The father of the King was enforced into the Wehrmacht and sent to Italy to resist the second invasion of the Allied Powers in Western Europe. On his tenth the young Claus was enlisted in the Foreign Hitlerjugend (he lived with his parents at the colonial plantation in East-Africa). He was - in the best aristocrat tradition- sent to a boarding school: the Baltenschule in Misdroy (Vorpommern). Claus was enlisted into the Luftabwehr (Air Defence), then in the Reichsarbeitsdienst (compulsory auxiliary service) before the Fahnenjunker (Officer Aspirant) Claus von Amsberg was enlisted in the Totenkopf Panzer Division, was one of the 145.000 Germans made Prisoner of War at the Italian Front.

The father of the Prime Minister was a banker in Batavia (now Jakarta), was Reserve Lieutenant, was mobilised in 1941. When Japan invaded the Netherlands East-Indies, Lieutenant Rutte was made Prisoner of War in 1942. His wife and three children were captured in a concentration camp. In 1945 his wife died in the camp. She is still buried at the Netherlands Cemetery in Bandung, Indonesia.

Lieutenant Rutte returned to the Netherlands. He married the younger sister of his late wife. From this second marriage, his son Mark Rutte was born in 1967. The same year as Willem-Alexander was born.

Therr is a chemistry between King and Prime Minister, which translates in a totally relaxed but respectful relationship between the two.

Picture: the King signs a Royal Decree, the Prime Minister waits for his contresigné.
https://www.koninklijkhuis.nl/binari...ekening-kb.jpg
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  #230  
Old 05-04-2020, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Thank you for bringing that interesting comment to attention and explaining its meaning (and Marengo's explanation of the similar comments in the thread for the Indonesia state visit was very helpful as well). So in your judgment, the initiative for these groundbreaking statements began with the king rather than the government?
For this mention of 'his great-grandmother' today at the Dam, I am quite sure it was the king himself. I cannot imagine the government making this suggestion; apparently, the king recently spoke to several survivors in Israel (during his visit to commemorate the Holocaust) who (again) shared their pain of not being recognized by queen Wilhelmina. So, that might have contributed to his decision to open up today (next to it being 75 years and the first time he was given this opportunity at this significant day of the year).

For the apologies in Indonesia it could have been either; the government surely knew that (former) queen Beatrix wanted to publicly apologize but wasn't permitted at that time; so either party could have brought that up in preparations for the state visit.
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  #231  
Old 05-04-2020, 07:06 PM
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The Remembrance on the fourth of May is impressive every year, but even more so this year. To see Dam-square nearly completely empty is unique and so terribly sad.
The survivors of the war deserved this 75th aniversary and now they haven't gotten it.
The Kings speech was excellent. It really sticked with me.
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