Leiden University Fund.

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Wall plaques

On 26 November 2014, three wall plaques and a lectern were unveiled to commemorate three professors, Cleveringa, Van Holk and Barge, each of whom gave a protest speech against the measures of the German occupier on 26 November 1940.

The wall plaques can be found on the walls of the houses in which these professors lived. Each plaque has been inscribed with the name of the professor, the date of 26 November 1940 and the word protestrede (protest speech). It also bears the silhouette of the professor in question, drawn in a single line. This reflects a line from Cleveringa’s protest speech in which he said, ‘to achieve with a single line, a single indication, a single stroke a sketch that forms a suggestion for receptive minds.’

The lectern, the central object, brings the wall plaques together and places everything in the light of the motto of Leiden University ‘Libertatis Praesidium’ (Bastion of Liberty). The lectern can be found in the courtyard of the Academy Building and was unveiled by Rector Magnificus Professor Carel Stolker.


The project was funded with donations from the Barge, Cleveringa and Van Holk families, the Elise Mathilde Foundation, the Van Berch van Heemstede Foundation and the Leiden University Fund (LUF), through the A.E. Cohen Fund.

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