The National Committee feels it is important to involve young people in commemorations and celebrations in order to keep the memory of the Second World War alive, but also to pass on the idea that freedom is not something to be taken for granted. The National Committee does this not merely by offering existing educational material for teachers and pupils, but also by developing its own products for both elementary and secondary education.
Denkboek [Think Book] is an educational publication from the National Committee for 4 and 5 May that challenges children to really think about the Second World War, about commemorating and celebrating, and about freedom and democracy. For many children, Denkboek is their first introduction to these topics. The booklet is provided free of charge to all primary schools, both in the Netherlands itself and in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
For pupils in the Caribbean part of the kingdom, a special edition of Denkboek has been developed: the Caribbean Think Book for 4 and 5 May. Available at no cost in three languages (Papiamentu, English and Dutch), the Caribbean edition tells stories about life in the Dutch Antilles during the Second World War.
The Adopt a Monument project brings local wartime history to life for children. They discover the story behind a nearby war monument. In the process, they learn about commemorating and why it is so important to pass on the stories from the war. By doing research on ‘their’ monument or war grave and by organising a commemorative ceremony themselves, pupils become engaged with history.
School classes with pupils from the age of 12 can ‘adopt’ a war monument in their own village or neighbourhood. This project helps children learn more about the local history of the Second World War and lets them experience for themselves how it is to attend a commemoration ceremony.
4FREE is a magazine made for and by students of secondary vocational schools. It is about freedom and making choices, but also about identity, responsibility, commemorating, celebrating and the future.
4FREE is produced in collaboration with ProDemos (House for Democracy and the Rule of Law) and the Anne Frank House, and it challenges the readers to think about societal themes such as freedom and responsibility, inclusiveness and exclusion, commemorating and celebrating. Published in an edition of 75,000 copies, 4FREE is distributed at all secondary vocational schools in the Netherlands. Besides the magazine itself, there is also a digital learning environment and guide for teachers.
In the video series Jong in Oorlog [Youth in Wartime], eyewitnesses tell about their childhood during the Second World War. Each film lasts approximately ten minutes.