Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig

In February 1941, non-Jewish people protested against the persecution of Jews by the Nazi regime by holding a general strike in Amsterdam. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands wanted to remember the role of the citizens of Amsterdam during World War II and created a motto consisting of the Dutch words “Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig”, meaning “Valiant, Steadfast, Compassionate”. 

“Never will I forget the emotion that overwhelmed us, when eyewitnesses first notified us in London of how the entire population had actually turned against the inhumanity of the cruel tyrant.” – Queen Wilhelmina

On March 29, 1947, Wilhelmina presented the motto as part of the coat of arms of Amsterdam to the city government.

As a boy I recall my father mounting this sticker on a board and using a coping saw to meticulously cut it out. It’s hung up in my family’s home all this time.

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