Updated: Jul 9, 2019
In the Netherlands, Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May the 5th to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The nation was liberated by Canadian forces, British infantry divisions, the British I Corps, the 1st Polish Armoured Division, American, Belgian, Dutch and Czechoslovak troops. 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). 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 liberation in 1945 Liberation Day was celebrated every five years. In 1990 the day was declared a national holiday when liberation would be remembered and celebrated every year.
On May 4 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 is observed at 8 pm.
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.