Today, Canada is fondly remembered by the Dutch for ending their oppression under the Nazis. V-E Day marked with 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. The Liberation of the Netherlands, from the fall of 1944 to the spring of 1945, was one of Canada’s most recognized efforts during the Second World War, helping lead to Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. Remembrance events and activities will be held across Canada and in the Netherlands, providing opportunities for Canadians to learn about Canada's role in the liberation of the Netherlands.
We let you some comments and stories collected from CBC News which show this very close personal friendship between Canadians and Dutches:
- Phil Phyfer (08/05/2015).- "A personal story, when I was just nine years old. Two or three weeks before the end of the war, the Canadians came through our town. It was at breakfast on the morning of the 16th of April, 1945. All of us rushed out to town to see them. The first Canadian I saw was sitting in the turret of some kind of machine. He was tanned, scruffy, with a big mustache, and the biggest grin on his face. That image is seared into my consciousness. If this soldier walked through the door I will recognize him. Unless you have gone through the experience, you will not be able to know the incredible feeling of 'fryheid' (freedom) that came over me that day. Little things like being able to let the goats out into the field, instead of keeping them hidden in the shed. Or like not having to worry about not telling anyone about the whereabouts of my father. These Canadians came all the way across the ocean to fight another of our wars. They did not have to. I am grateful that they did. Because of them, I am a free man today (and also a Canadian). Thank you Canada!"
- squish_a_p (08/05/2015).- "@Phil Phyfer - Thank you for your story. My father was in the Canadian Military. We were stationed in Germany from 1965 to 69. When ever we went to Holland we were treated like Royalty. I will never forget the kindness of the Dutch people."
- AProudCanuck--Vet (08/05/2015).- "A number of years ago I was in Holland and stopped in a small off the beaten path local bar. First question asked of me was where in America I was from. When I replied I was Canadian the attitude changed and my mug of beer was on the house. When later while chatting with the bartender who turned out to be the owner, it came up that I was military, and when I mentioned the Black Watch, an older man in his 70's approached me and put his hands on my shoulders and kissed my cheek saying "Thank you Canada" As was explained to me by the owner, that old gent had been liberated from the Germans by a rifle section of the Black Watch. My heart was in my throat and I was probably never more proud to be Canadian than that day in Holland. Small world huh?"
- Tony Strong (08/05/2015).- "While stationed in Europe I visited Holland more than once and was astonished at how we were treated...In those days we had to wear out uniforms and of course there was a Cdn Flag attached to our shoulder patches...I felt as though I was back home in Newfoundland where everyone says hello and in some cases would have a full conversation kind of thing...a complementary beverage was often offered and offers to be our guide was done more than once...Lest We Forget..."
The liberation of the Netherlands, from September 1944 to April 1945, played a key role in the culmination of the Second World War, as the Allied forces closed in on Germany from all sides. The First Canadian Army played a major role in the liberation of the Dutch people who had suffered terrible hunger and hardship under the increasingly desperate German occupiers.
RAW: Drone footage of Holten War Cemetery
Visit to Kamp Westerbork / Flower-laying ceremony at National Westerbork Memorial
As part of the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, Canadian Veterans visit Kamp Westerbork for a private flower-laying ceremony at the National Westerbork Cemetery.
Kamp Westerbork, located approximately 15 kilometres outside of the village of Westerbork, Netherlands, was the site of a large transit and work camp where more than 100,000 Jews, gypsies and resistance members were taken during the Second World War. On April 12, 1945, Kamp Westerbork was liberated and 876 prisoners freed when the Canadian Army came upon the camp.
Remembrance Ceremony at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery
Canadian Veterans and students attend a commemorative ceremony at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, where some 1,350 Canadians are buried. The ceremony is an annual tradition organized by the Welcome Again Veterans Foundation.
Remembrance Ceremony at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
Canadians pay their respects during a remembrance ceremony held at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. A Canadian delegation of Veterans is participating in events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, from May 3 to 9, 2015.
Canadian Veterans of the Liberation of the Netherlands, participate in the Liberation March Past in Wageningen. Set in the Dutch town where the 25th German Army officially surrendered, the celebratory parade this year marks the 70th anniversary of that historic moment.