The Northern part of the Netherlands was finally freed! The 5th of May 1945 was their Bevrijdingsdag, “Liberation Day,” as Queen Wilhelmina announced victory and peace for the Dutch people; their Victory Day had arrived! Treaty papers were signed in Wageningen the following day, with Germany’s admitted defeat.

Hundreds of American B-17 bombers roared overhead during those weeks of change, no longer dropping loads of bombs, but food and supplies, much to the relief of Dutch citizens.

The city of Hilversum felt rumblings of change in the wet springtime… rumors had surfaced in September 1944, but they still endured air raids, bombardments, and wintertime famine, the Hunger Winter. Citizens recalled how Dutch they were: they remained strong and determined, with courage through adversity.

Their salvation finally arrived in the form of 5th Canadian Armored Division troops, freeing the Netherlands.

On Liberation Day, activities in each place came to a silent halt, and bells across the northern part of the country chimed once again, a both moving and powerful end to the war.


In Those Other Lands