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On 4 May, the National Theater honors the National Commemoration with stories of people from the city who have experienced the war. Freedom stands for mobility but in the war years that was not comparable to our freedom in mobility that we enjoyed outside the corona crisis know. Yet we want to dwell on 75 years of freedom with stories from then.

For the sixth year interviewed The National Theater 'the last witnesses', people who experienced the Second World War. Seven people from The Hague tell what happened to them, but the memories of poverty and hunger, fear, violence or loneliness do not end when the occupation is over. And what is freedom then?

Connection with the public

Previous editions of The Last Witnesses took place in a packed hall in the Koninklijke Schouwburg. Actors read personal stories of eyewitnesses on stage. In the presence of the last witnesses themselves. In the year in which we celebrate 75 years of freedom, we must now commemorate in a different way. 

That is why Het Nationale Theater is making a documentary in collaboration with Omroep West, which will be shown on May 4 after the two minutes of silence through various channels. Among others via a livestream event on facebook. HNTeducatie developed a tablecloth with a route of war stories. In this way, the National Theater also hopes to make a memorable connection moment from 4 May 2020 about stories from then for now.

Actors read stories in key locations around the city

The film crew of the documentary about the last witnesses went together with the actors to important locations in The Hague to record the stories. For example, Mark Rietman tells the story of Arie Toet on the Malieveld, this location plays an important role in one of the most exciting moments in Arie's war story. 

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And Malou Gorter tells the story of Henny Dormits in front of the house where Henny lived, until one night she walked with her family to the Valkenboskade to go into hiding. The other five actors who tell stories are Jaap Spijkers (also responsible for directing), Yela de Koning, Mariana Aparicio Torres, Antoinette Jelgersma and Johannes Wirix-Speetjens.

HNT education tells stories through a tablecloth

Young people from The Hague, under the direction of makers Lotte de Leeuw, Ashley Boermans and Junadry Leocaria, wrote letters with older people who had experienced the war. These letters formed the basis for Where we talk about freedom together - a tablecloth edition. With the tablecloth, the table can be set at home on May 4. 

By following the route on the tablecloth you will find yourself in moments of young and old about the war. The National Theater will open its doors again for the first time on 4 May between 15 and 00 p.m. Then ordered tablecloths can be collected in a safe environment.

Also read: Celebrating Liberation Day at home this year through corona misery

75 years of freedom, what does that mean in the light of the experiences that the war years brought?
The National Theater celebrates 75 years of freedom with stories from then for now
For the sixth year, the National Theater interviews the last witnesses