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Dutch up! on Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) Sunday 1 May


What exactly do the Dutch celebrate at the 5th of May, also known as Bevrijdingsdag? Find out during the new edition Dutch up! on Sunday 1 May from 13:30-15:30 hrs in Central Library The Hague (Spui 68, Den Haag).

(Dutch text below)


During this workshop we will discuss the five long years of oppression which took place during the Second World War in the Netherlands. Important matters which happened during this period will be discussed, such as why the Dutch didn’t succeed to stay neutral during the Second World War (as was the case during WWI, 1914-1918) or how the Dutch military successfully stopped the invasion of the Nazi’s, which resulted in the timely escape of the Dutch Royal family and the Government to England.

What exactly was the reason that the Netherlands capitulated on May 15, and what was it like to live in times of war? Who do the Dutch refer to when they talk about Soldaat van Oranje and what is the Oranjehotel? What does the Dutch term onderduikers mean and how strong was the Dutch resistance? Other events which we will discuss include Dolle Dinsdag (Mad Tuesday) or the Hongerwinter (the Dutch famine of 1944). And finally, who liberated the Netherlands and what was the reason why the song ‘Trees heeft een Canadees’ became so immensely popular?


Additionally, we will talk about some specific events which happened in and around The Hague during the Second World War. For instance, who was responsible for the bombings in the area of Bezuidenhout, which took place on Saturday 3 March 1945, and why did it happen and what caused the evacuation of all the inhabitants of Scheveningen in 1943?

On the 4th of May we commemorate the victims of the war, and on the 5th of May thousands of people visit the liberation festival in The Hague to celebrate our freedom. During the workshop we will watch several fragments from historical documentaries and we will talk about the past and the present of the Dutch phenomenon which The Hague has been celebrating for 71 years, known as Bevrijdingsdag.

Dutch up!

Dutch up! is a great way to practise speaking Dutch while also learning more about typical Dutch subjects. This workshop will be in simple Dutch so you have to have some knowledge of Dutch to be able to fully participate (level A2 +). The entrance is free, registration is required: send an email to


Email to register for one or more places. Please be quick, there are limited number of places available!

> What? Dutch up! on Liberation Day!

> When? Sunday 01 May 2016 from 13.30 – 15.30 hrs

> Where? Centrale Bibliotheek Den Haag (Spui 68, third floor)

> Interested? Mail to register (limited)


Dutch up on ‘Bevrijdingsdag’!

Wat vieren Nederlands precies op 5 mei, op Bevrijdingsdag? In deze workshop bespreken we de vijf lange en bittere jaren van onderdrukking in de Tweede Wereldoorlog en de bevrijdingsdag.

Waarom lukte het de Nederlanders niet om neutraal te blijven zoals in de Eerste Wereldoorlog van 1914-1918? Hoe slaagden de Nederlandse militairen erin om de invasie van de Nazi’s op 10 mei 1940 te verhinderen, zodat de koninklijke familie en de regering op tijd naar Engeland kon ontsnappen?

Hoe kwam het dat Nederland pas op 15 mei capituleerde? Hoe was het om in oorlogstijd in Nederland te leven? Waarom werden alle bewoners van Scheveningen in 1943 geëvacueerd? Wie was de Soldaat van Oranje? Wat en waar was het Oranjehotel? Wat zijn onderduikers? Hoe sterk was het verzet? Wat betekent de naam ‘Dolle Dinsdag’ die op 5 september 1944 gebeurde?

Wat aten de Nederlanders tijdens de Hongerwinter van 1944 en 1945? Waarom en door wie werd de Haagse wijk Bezuidenhout op zaterdag 3 maart 1945 gebombardeerd? Wie waren de bevrijders van Nederland en waarom was het liedje ‘Trees heeft een Canadees’ zo populair? Al 71 jaar viert Den Haag bevrijdingsdag nadat de avond ervoor de slachtoffers zijn herdacht.

We kijken naar allerlei fragmenten uit historische documentaires en praten met elkaar over het verleden en de toekomst van het feest dat mensen weer vrij konden zijn.