Liberation of the Netherlands National Historic Event

Historic black and white photo of the liberation of the Netherlands
© Veterans Affairs

The liberation of the Netherlands was designated a national historic event in 2000.

Historical importance: Canadian services contributions to the liberation of Holland, the German surrender and VE Day during World War II

Commemorative plaque: Apeldoorn, NetherlandsFootnote 1

Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Infantrymen of The West Nova Scotia Regiment in a Universal Carrier en route to Rotterdam are surrounded by Dutch civilians celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands
© Lieut. G. Barry Gilroy / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-134390

 English plaque inscription

Canada brought liberty and life to the Netherlands at the end of the Second World War. Between October 1944 and May 1945, with fierce fighting and heavy loss of life, the Canadian military opened the Scheldt estuary and the port of Antwerp to Allied supplies, cleared much of the country of the enemy, and fed a Dutch people left starving by the Nazi occupier. On May 5, 1945 in Wageningen, the Germans surrendered to Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes and H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, commander of the Dutch armed forces. The bonds of friendship forged between Canada and the Netherlands stand strong to this day.

Dutch plaque inscription

Canada bracht in Nederland vrijheid en een nieuw leven aan het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Tussen oktober 1944 en mei 1945 veroverde de Canadese krijgsmacht, na hevige gevechten en een enorm verlies aan manschappen, de Scheldemonding en de Antwerpse haven, de weg vrij makend voor bevoorrading van de geallieerden, verjoeg de vijand uit een groot deel van het land en verstrekte voedsel aan het door de Nazibezetter uitgehongerde Nederlandse volk. Op 5 mei 1945 gaven de Duiters zich in Wageningen over aan de Canadese luitenantgeneraal Charles Foulkes en aan Z.K.H. Prins Bernhard der Nederlanden, bevelhebber van de Nederlandse strijdkrachten. De vriendschapsbanden die toen gesmeed werden tussen Canada en Nederland houden tot op de dag van vandaag stevig stand.

 

Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Rifleman R.M. Douglas of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles with a group of Dutch women who are celebrating the liberation of Deventer, Netherlands, 10 April 1945
© Lieut. Donald I. Grant / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-140683
Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Sgt. W. Anaka, Fort Garry Horse, 2 Canadian Infantry Division, with Dutch girls, celebrating liberation of Beveland area of the Netherlands. Goes, Netherlands, 30 Oct. 1944
© Kenneth Bell / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-137921

 

Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Dutch civilians on a WASP of 7th Reconnaissance Regiment (17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars), 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, celebrating the liberation of Zwolle, Netherlands.
© Donald I. Grant / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-136176
Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Infantrymen of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division resting after liberating Apeldoorn, Netherlands, 17 April 1945
© Lieut. G. Barry Gilroy / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-161922

 

Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Sergeants R.Y. Williams , J.J. Coghill and W. Anaka, all of The Fort Garry Horse, talking with Dutch women in the newly-liberated city of Goes, Netherlands, 30 October 1944
© Lieut. Ken Bell / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-137920
Historic black and white photo of the Netherlands getting liberated
Personnel of the 14th Canadian Hussars meeting Dutch children during the liberation of Oostkerke, Netherlands, 1 November 1944
© Lieut. Ken Bell / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-137924

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