In the Netherlands , Liberation Day is celebrated each year on May the 5th to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The northern part of our nation was liberated largely by the First Canadian Army under commander Lieutenant General Guy Granville Simonds, which included in addition to Canadian forces the British 1st Corps under Lieutenant General Michael George Henry Barker and the 1st Polish Armoured Division under General Stanislaw Maczek, as well as, at various times, American, Belgian, Dutch and Czechoslovak troops. 1st Armoured Brigade Group under General Major Alois Sitek was expanded to 5.900 Czechoslovak officers and men, Sitek died age 90 in 1993.
Parts of the country, in particular the south-east, were liberated by the British Second Army , which included American and Polish airborne forces, (see Operation Market Garden) and French Airbornes (see Operation Amherst). Operation Amherst began with the drop of 700 French Special Air Service troopers of 3 and 4 SAS (French) on the night of 7 April 1945. It was led by Brigadier Mike “Mad Mike” Calvert of Chindit fame. Calvert died old age 85 on 26-11-1998 in Surrey. On 5 May 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander in Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the caputilation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen
. One day later, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next door.
After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every five years. Finally, in 1990, the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year.
On 4 May, the Dutch hold “Dodenherdenking,” Remembrance of the Dead for the people who fought and died during World War II and in wars in general. There are remembrance gatherings all over cities and in the country, the better-known at the National Monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam
and at the Waalsdorpervlakte in the dunes near The Hague, one of the infamous Nazi execution places. Throughout the country, two minutes of silence are observed at 8 p.m. On May 5, the liberation is celebrated and festivals are held at most places in the Netherlands, with parades of veterans and 14 musical festivals through the whole country.