Nieuws - 30 april 2015

Where to go on May 4th and 5th?

Yvonne de Hilster

Foreign students and staff of Wageningen need additional explanation about liberation day. This emerged during a survey on campus. That rising demand for English information is confirmed by the May 4 and May 5 Committee in Wageningen.

Pictures copyright May 4 and May 5 Committee Wageningen

The growing demand for English information is not only due to the high number of foreigners living in Wageningen, but also more and more information is requested from abroad. Resource has put the most important information together.

Commemorating and celebrating

The end of the Second World War in 1945 is commemorated on May 4th and celebrated on the 5th. In Wageningen 5 May is special because on that day the German capitulation was signed in Hotel de Wereld on the 5 Mei Plein (5 May square).

Many Wageningen citizens are involved as volunteers with the organization of the festival.

All the activities on May 4 and May 5 are displayed in a booklet with a plan, which can be bought for 1 euro at the WURshop in Forum (before the festival) or on the terrain itself (May 5).

Two minutes of silence

On May 4 everybody is silent in the evening at 20:00 for two minutes, to commemorate all the Dutch citizens and soldiers who have been killed. This includes casualties in the Dutch Kingdom during World War II and Dutch soldiers who have died in war situations and peace operations elsewhere in the world since the outbreak of the Second World War. These two minutes of silence literally mean to be silent and stand still: no talking, no cycling, no working out and no grocery shopping. Also trains and buses stand still for two minutes along the side of the road/rails. The Dutch flag is at half-mast.

Official commemorations

In Wageningen there is an official commemoration with a garland setting at the ‘Monument for the fallen ones’ at the Costerweg (near the Grebbedijk). If you live in Berghem, Bennekom, then you can go to the Bart van Elst plantation. Make sure you are present well before 20:00.

Very impressive is the commemoration on the military cemetery on the Grebbeberg in Rhenen (starts 19:00; also to be seen on TV). The king and queen lay down a garland in Amsterdam, at the monument on Dam square (also on TV).

From 20:00 – 23:30 candles illuminate the Grebbeberg along Wageningen. That is always a fantastic sight. You are also allowed to place your own jar with a candle to shed light in the dark.

Freedom fire

In Wageningen the freedom fire is then ignited at midnight, at the 5 May Square near Hotel de Wereld – always a goose bump moment. The fire is not ignited with a match, but with a flame which is carried each and every year from Normandy (France), where the allied forces landed, by Wageningen citizens. Teams of runners from 190 municipalities in the Netherlands consecutively carry under loud cheering of the crowd a torch with this fire back to their place of residence, so that the freedom fire will light in the entire country.

Start 22:30, freely accessible.

Opening liberation day celebrations
Opening liberation day celebrations
Annual Procession with Second World War veterans
Annual Procession with Second World War veterans
Liberation day

From 10:00-20:00 you can, on the university complex de Dreijen on the mountain, see more of the war history, with among others military vehicles from that time and re-enactment groups. With nice weather paratroopers will land between 12:00-13:00 

At 12:40 astronaut André Kuipes will open the liberation festival in Wageningen on the market square. From 13:00 onwards the podia will open, at different locations, in all genres, until midnight. Topacts such as this year Dotan and Kensington. In the Torckpark Parka Kultura can be found with jugglers, acrobats and magicians.

Between 15:30-16:30 the music is shut down. The annual procession with Second World War veterans and army vehicles takes place. Probably this year the veterans will take part, 70 years afterwards, for the last time. Also airplanes from the war period will fly over the  city as a salute.

Practical information

Entry is free of charge and for everyone. What is not allowed: bringing drinks in glass or cans to the terrain, urinating in public (penalty 140 euro) and bringing hard-or softdrugs. Carrying pet-bottles is allowed, but safety guards can be strict about them at the entrance. The party is partially financed by what people spend together on the party.

Paying for toilets, drinks and food is this year only possible via ‘cashless’, with a card that you should buy for 2 euros and where you need to put at least 10 euros on. Until May 10, you can reclaim the remaining balance, after that you lose it.