Item 679 - Speech by President Mandela on receiving De Guilden Ere Medaille of Amsterdam (The Golden Medal of the City of Amsterdam)

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Speech by President Mandela on receiving De Guilden Ere Medaille of Amsterdam (The Golden Medal of the City of Amsterdam)


  • 1999-03-10 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Website

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On receiving the Golden Medal of the City of Amsterdam ; South African Government Information Website has the date as 11 March 1999. It is not known which is the correct date.

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  • English

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Mr. Mayor
Ladies and Gentlemen

I feel most honoured by your warm reception and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We knew, of course, that to return to Amsterdam would be to return to a city where the people of South Africa have many friends.

No-one could forget the tumultuous welcome Amsterdam gave us in 1990 soon after the people of South Africa and the international community had together opened the doors of apartheid's prisons.

The Netherlands had to be one of the first countries we visited. How could it have been otherwise? Amsterdam was one of the strongest anti-apartheid cities in the world.

That hour stands as a moment of rebirth, when the warmth of international fellowship and love transformed itself from solidarity in struggle into partnership for peace and development.

Mr. Mayor

It is with pride that I receive the Golden Medal of the City of Amsterdam, as your tribute to all the people of South Africa, who have joined hands to make a reality of the hopes that your city shared with us through all those difficult years.

I am told that Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina allowed the City of Amsterdam to carry on its official seal the legend honouring its courageous behaviour under Nazi-occupation: "Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig". I know of no words that better express our people's gratitude to yours for the resolute and compassionate support in their heroic struggle against apartheid.

How fortunate we are to have such friends.

I thank you.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 12/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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