In 2013, the Netherlands commemorated the abolition of slavery in 1863. Moreover, the Netherlands abolished the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, 50 year’s prior to this date, in 1814. Numerous individuals from Zeeland were involved with slave trade, due to ties with private trading companies such as the Dutch West Indies Company (WIC) and the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC). This dark page from our history books was also commemorated in 2014, by means of a special program and a national commemoration ceremony which took place in Middelburg on June 14th 2014.
The history of the slave trade should become a part of our collective memory, in a way that does justice to the events which have taken place. This development is crucial both now and in the future, when trying to create a better understanding between people from the Netherlands and descendants of those who were forced into slavery. At the same time, it also plays a significant role in the process of preventing modern human trafficking and slavery.
We commemorate the abolition of slavery in 1814 with debates, statues, personal stories and insights. These activities can be found in Middelburg throughout the year, but become specifically prominent in the month of June and during the national commemoration day on June 14th 2014.
Follow the updates on the commemoration program here, but also on Facebook and Twitter using #slavenhandel2014.
The following organizations are involved with the commemoration (in alphabetical order): Foundation Commemoration of the History of Slavery 2013, Foundation Cultural Heritage Zeeland, Foundation Monuments Middelburg, The Municipality of Middelburg, The Municipality of Veere, The Municipality of Vlissingen, MuZeeum Vlissingen, NiNsee, The Province of Zeeland, Roosevelt Study Center, University College Roosevelt, Zeeland Archives, Zeeuwse Library and Zeeuwse Museum.