Universiteit Leiden

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Hour of Remembrance

Every year on 4 May we commemorate the victims of World War II who were part of our university community.

Lecture and film screening

The lecture this year, 'The proximity of Nazi science: Archaeology in Leiden during World War II', by Professor Martijn Eickhoff, followed by a screening of the film 'Archaeology of Resistance' can be viewed on 4 May on this page starting at 19.00 hrs. The video will continue to be available here after the lecture.

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Who was Chaja van Leeuwen? And who was Herta Mohr? These are just two names from 20th-century history, both students at our university, who were sent to Nazi  extermination camps, from which they never returned. Two eminent professors Meijers and Cleveringa both - narrowly - survived the War, but this was not the fate of at least 663 people who were at one time part of Leiden University. 

Every year on 4 May, at the end of the working day, lecturers, students and support staff at our university commemorate former members of our university community who were victims of World War II. Each year a scholar from a different faculty gives a lecture on research related to the Second World War, followed by a presentation by students.  

The 'Hour of Remembrance' committee organises the lectures. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the chair of the committee, Sara Polak.

‘On 4 May you can view the poignant Hour of Remembrance, with a lecture by NIOD historian, Martijn Eickhoff, and a video made by five of our students on their moving family history. In his work and in this lecture, Eickhoff poses questions about who we are and what we stand for in times of war and violence. On 4 May he will also address the role of our own university in the War, taking into account the complexities of the time and knowledge that is never completely neutral.' 

‘Then, five of our students will talk about how war and violence have impacted their lives and those of their families. Their stories help us to realise that freedom is never a given, and that we have an important role in fighting for freedom. The programme for this year's Hour of Remembrance will be both moving and significant. I hope that many members of staff and students will watch and reflect on the enormous impact of war and violence, even in the present day.'  

Hester Bijl, Rector Magnificus, Leiden University

Previous lecture


Dr Ethan Mark - Half the Battle: Remembering the Netherlands as an empire in the Second World War

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