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Why 1 may in the Netherlands is not a free day
No big parades, military parades, or even a day off. 1 may - Labour Day - going by our neighbors quietly over. Crazy enough, the Amsterdam stock exchange, however, the ultimate symbol of capitalism, today or closed. This used to be different.

In most of Europe, people are today free to the Labor Day to celebrate. In Berlin and Hamburg is traditionally done with brawls between ultra-left protesters and the riot police, in other cities, there are demonstrations with red flags and slogans. And everyone has a day of leave, except the Dutch.

Read also therefore they are still socialist

Used to this day in the Netherlands is celebrated, tells historian Sjaak van der Velden. “Until the 60s of the last century was this day celebrated with parades in the cities. May 1 was for the socialists and communists what Christmas is to christians.’

Labor Day has its origins in the United States. There were the trade unions in the 19th century on may 1 for an eight-hour working day. That requirement was taken over by the Socialist International in Europe. From 1890 it was also on this continent on 1 may, stopped and demonstrated for the eight-hour working day.

Events

With the growth of the socialist and communist movement grew in the 1 may day rally in the Netherlands. “Already in the years 10 of the previous century had everywhere manifestations’, says Van der Velden.

Also in the Netherlands, The International singing and was dancing round the maypole. “There was a lot of folklore, such as the flag,’ says the historian. “It was a feast to the to hold everything together, and the mutual bond to strengthen, but that was not all. It was also a day to look back and see some new energy for the fight.’

global movement

it is Precisely in such a celebration all the people saw how big the movement was, and what strength and power lay there. “And there was also abroad, are considered. You saw that you was part of a large international movement,’ says Van der Velden. That gave the workers courage and energy to the fight in the companies. The bosses saw the well-organized labour movement, and could not ignore. the

That saw Hitler in Germany also. The workers ' movement, put his position in danger, so he took action. He made may 1 an official day off. To mark the occasion were union leaders to Berlin. All of them were arrested and transported to the concentration camp. Still, may 1, as free-day existence, just as in many other European countries. the

In the Netherlands it never came so far. “Sometimes local. Officials in Rotterdam got a long time on 1 may. Rotterdam was always a real Labour party, city of’, says Van der Velden. “And funny enough is may 1 in the new employment agreement for Dutch cleaners designated as a free day.’

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