Rotterdam 2020

Plan to put ‘Brandgrens Rotterdam’ spectacularly in the spotlight during Eurovision

On 14 May 2020 it is exactly 80 years ago that the Germans attacked Rotterdam during World War II. On that day, the day of the second semifinal, the Netherlands wants to commemorate this 80th anniversary in a spectacular way.

A mini history course

May 14, 1940: A German attack during World War II, and subsequent fires, almost completely destroyed Rotterdam. After the war, Rotterdam chose to renovate the city center and not to rebuild it. For a long time, the Dutch celebrated the rebirth of Rotterdam on May 18, the day on which the renovation started. Looking ahead and not looking back was the motto.

De bronafbeelding bekijken
Rotterdam in 1940

This memorial took place for the first time in 2007, so 12 years ago. 128 light beams along the 12-kilometer route cast a mysterious glow on the cloud cover. A few years later, in 2010, the municipality of Rotterdam made this so-called ‘fire limit’ permanent. They did that by planting a ribbon of special ground spots in the street. We are talking about a border of 12 kilometers marked with lights in the pavement.

De bronafbeelding bekijken

In the Dutch newspaper AD, spokesman Frank Migchielsen says that he is very enthusiastic about this idea. “We have expressed this as a wish to the Magic 100, but it does have a considerable price tag on it.”, he explains. She adds that he finds the combination with the Eurovision Song Contest ideal. In this way, the Netherlands can show a bit of its dark history, but also the beautiful city that Rotterdam has become today. It will remind us why our beloved Eurovision Song Contest was designed at the time. The world wars have completely exhausted our small continent. The purpose of the EBU and its member broadcasters was to reunite Europe and develop it into a strong continent.

Commemorating bombing during Eurovision a good idea?

Jeroen Everaert is the founder of the Mothership company. That company was responsible for the memorial project in 2007 and 2008. He declares that he will certainly see a new edition in 2020! Next year there will be two important commemorations in the Netherlands. In addition to the bombing, the liberation will also be commemorated in May. However all this may sound very dark and sad, Jeroen explains that he sees it in a positive way. “Eurovision stands for the future,” he adds.

A fantastic opportunity to show how Rotterdam has risen from its ashes

Jeroen Everaert

Another enthusiast is Paul van de Laar, director of Museum Rotterdam. He suggests that they might spend a part of the Eurovision budget on this. This way they can bring the bombing to international attention.

Do you think it’s a good idea to remember these historical events during the Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know in the comments below!

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