Thursday 25 February 2021

Turn off your phones to remember the dead, Dutch telecoms firms say

Photo: Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei, Jasper Juinen  via Wikimedia Commons

The ceremony on the Dam. Photo: Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei, Jasper Juinen via Wikimedia Commons

Telecoms companies are urging people to switch of their mobile phones during the official two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day (May 4).

KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile are asking their customers to turn off their phones following an appeal from writer Sidney Vollmer and artist Fabian Sapthu. ‘Turning off your phone is a more powerful symbol than switching down the volume, Vollmer said.

Public transport stops running during the two minute break, which takes place at 20.00 hours. There are also no take-offs and landings at Schiphol airport.

The Netherlands will remember those who died during World War II and subsequent conflicts at a string of ceremonies all over the country on Wednesday.

The main ceremonies will take place in the evening, when the king and queen will lay wreaths in Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.