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On May 5 locals allowed using ponton bridge over the IJ


70 years ago in World War II a bridge was made of several ferries over the IJ, so people could go to North to look for food. People walked to Waterland and even to West Friesland. Many didn’t survive this trip. On May 5 this bridge is built again this year.

This time the bridge is made of pontoons instead of ferries and serves as temporary monument in memory of the wartime in Amsterdam. It is an initiative of the Amsterdam May 4 and 5 Committee. The bridge can be used from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.. The people who used the original bridge may be the first to cross. After that all the people of Amsterdam, as in the war, may use the ponton bridge for walking over the IJ. One will have to make areservation in advance.

Also the mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan is present at the opening. At the northern bank of the IJ a  freedom meal will be organized for about a thousand men. And there will be a farmers ‘ market. There will be a world class chef cooking dishes with the help of a historian of the second world war.

Food shortage

At the end of the second world war the center of Amsterdam and the north part of Amsterdam were connected by a pontoon bridge, or actually a bridge made of ferries. Ferries were linked together, in order to save scarce fuel. Thus was born the connection between downtown and the northern part of Amsterdam. It was the only physical connection ever.

In the last year of the second world war there was a great shortage of food. The inhabitants of Amsterdam pulled out of town to surrounding farms for example,  to trade their last possessions for a sack of potatoes. They walked from Amsterdam, over the bridge of ferries, to Waterland and even to West Friesland. Many survived not this tour, because of the intense cold and hunger.

Memorial Services

With more than two hundred programs on May 4 and 5 the second world war will be remembered. The pontoon bridge over the IJ is the center of commemorations, open houses, freedom and liberation festivals in the city.

Photo credit: dbaron / Foter / CC BY-SA

About Frank Scheers

Mijn geboortestad Amsterdam is een prachtig uitgangspunt voor journalistiek. Amsterdam staat voor vrijheid van meningsuiting en tolerantie. Als journalist wil ik mij vrij en zonder beperkingen kunnen uiten over hetgeen zich in Amsterdam afspeelt, maar ook in de rest van de wereld. Ik schrijf zoveel mogelijk mijn eigen content, maar scan ook de rest van de wereld af naar opvallend nieuws. Dit nieuws hoeft niet altijd breaking news te zijn. Dit kan heel interessant nieuws zijn dat even belangrijk is als breaking news, maar iets minder bekend is, maar net zo belangrijk kan zijn voor de opinievorming. Naast nieuws uit Amsterdam en wereldnieuws richt ik mij ook op fraaie artikelen over politiek, mode, luxe artikelen, gezondheid, het milieu, entertainment, life style, business, onderwijs, shopping, gastronomie, reizen et cetera. Amsterdam Today is een actief online news magazine en wij brengen artikelen in het Nederlands en in het Engels. Belangrijk om te noemen is dat Amsterdam Today zich bezig houdt met Immersive Journalism. Dat wil zeggen dat wij fascinerend nieuws brengen in combinatie met virtual reality technieken. Je ervaart dan het nieuws alsof je er zelf bij bent. My hometown Amsterdam is a wonderful starting point for journalism. Amsterdam stands for freedom of speech and tolerance. As a journalist, I can express freely and without restrictions on what is happening in Amsterdam, but also in the rest of the world. I write my own content as much as possible, but also scan the rest of the globe for striking news. This news doesn't always have to be breaking news. This can be very interesting news that is as important as breaking news, but slightly less known and just as important to the way people form their opinions. In addition to news from Amsterdam and the world news I also write about articles on politics, fashion, luxury, health, environment, entertainment, life style, business, education, shopping, wining and dining, travel and so on. Amsterdam Today is an active online news magazine and we bring articles in Dutch and in English. Important to mention is that Amsterdam Today deals with Immersive Journalism. That means that we bring fascinating news in combination with virtual reality techniques. You will experience the news as if you were there. Contact: Website | More Posts