Two arrested in Amsterdam as the Dutch remember their war dead

The king and queen lay their wreath. Photo: Wesley de Wit | Hollandse Hoogte
One man is led away by police. Photo: Frank van Beek / Hollandse Hoogte

The national ceremony of remembrance passed of peacefully in Amsterdam on Friday evening, although two people were arrested.

One man was picked up near Madame Tussauds waxworks museum on Dam square shortly before the two minute’s silence. According to broadcaster NOS, he was arrested shortly after a loud shout was heard.

The Telegraaf says a second man was arrested during the two minutes silence because he was carrying a banner with a controversial text.

The traditional two minutes silence itself took place at 8pm without disruption. Protesters had threatened to hold a ‘noisy demonstration’ but were banned from doing so by a judge.

On Friday morning, the campaigners, who say the ceremony excludes Indonesian national who died during the war of independence, said they would not be holding their protest.

The king and queen lay their wreath. Photo: Wesley de Wit | Hollandse Hoogte

King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima laid the first wreath at the national war memorial on the Dam watched by a crowd of several thousand.

The Nationaal Comite 4 en 5 Mei, which organises both the Remembrance Day event on May 4 and Liberation Day celebrations on May 5, says the two minutes silence is to ‘remember Dutch victims of war, whether citizens or soldiers… who died or were murdered in World War II, and in war situations and peacekeeping operations since then.’

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