Liberation Day (Netherlands). 05-05-1945


In the Netherlands, Liberation DayBevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May the 5th to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany in World War II .

The nation was liberated largely by the First Canadian Army   undewr Command of Brigade General Henry Crerar which included in addition to Canadian forces the British I Corps under command of General Sir John Tredinnick Crocker   and the 1st Polish Armoured Division  under command of General Stanislaw Maczek as well as, at various times, American, Belgian, Dutch and Czechoslovak troops. John Crocker died age 67 on 09-03-1963. Parts of the country, in particular the south-east, were liberated by the British Second Army under command of General Miles Dempsey which included American and Polish airborne forces, (see Operation Market Garden) and French airbornes. On 5 May 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes  and the German Commander in Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation  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 IIand 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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *