Thursday, January 20, 2022


The end of the war in Europe saw many Canadians taking part in liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. It resulted in a lasting and deep friendship between the two countries.

The Dutch had suffered under Nazi occupation, particularly in the last year.

The Dutch greeted their liberators with jubilation.

This is a fountain pen used by Canadian General Charles Foulkes, who oversaw the surrender of all German forces in the Netherlands on May 5th, 1945.

Even before the Liberation there were connections: Dutch crown princess Juliana found shelter during the war with her daughters in Ottawa, and gave birth to her daughter Margriet here. Dutch war brides would be part of the immigration to Canada.

Our Tulip Festival is a legacy of the war, a symbol of thanks from the Dutch people.

A large photograph overhead features Canadian veterans meeting Dutch crowds fifty years later.

A captured Nazi flag contrasts sharply with the headlines announcing Victory In Europe.

The faces of these Canadian soldiers say so much.

Victory Parade, Rotterdam, Holland by Orville Fisher is reproduced here.

Victory in the Pacific would require a very different measure. Atomic bombs dropped by the Americans over Hiroshima and Nagasaki would end the Japanese will to continue fighting. A tile from a rooftop in Hiroshima is displayed here- a sobering artifact bearing scars of the explosion.


  1. So nice to read about the friendship forged between 2 countries.

  2. In my part of Germany we had American and British occupation. These is all long forgotten and history my DIL is Dutch and my grandson is German Dutch. In her family her father speaks better German then English ! My son hates everything related to war and would never go into a museum, he never asks me anything either !

  3. Peace and friendship is much better than war.

    Take care, enjoy your day!

  4. ...Dropping atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the Japanese fighting has always haunted me. My father was in the Pacific, did these acts save his life?

  5. @Magiceye: a very good legacy of war.

    @Iris: very much so.

    @Gattina: I think it is important to go into such museums to understand.

    @Eileen: I agree.

    @Tom: likely. The Japanese would have kept fighting on for years.

  6. The end of war is always something to look forward to. Wars have taken so many lives.

  7. Our friend’s grandfather was one of those Canadians who liberated the Netherlands. He always spoke fondly of the people there.

  8. When I lived in The Netherlands, a friend there was from Canada. She always wore her coat with a large maple leaf on the back. You can not believe how many people stopped her to say thank you!

  9. I can't imagine the relief the Dutch felt when they were liberated.

  10. Flowers as a sign of friendship - priceless.

  11. @Nancy: they have.

    @Marie: I can imagine.

    @Janey: quite understandable.

    @Sharon: years of hell under occupation, lifted.

    @RedPat: very much so.

  12. Even though I was five years old I remember the end of the war. There was much radio reporting.

  13. I don't think I knew anything about the Canadian relationship to the Dutch during the war. That's very interesting.

  14. The Dutch and Canadians forged a great friendship that still lasts.

  15. Bravo to all ~ great photos ~

    Wishing you lots of loving moments,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  16. Great photos and very interesting.

  17. @Red: it would leave a big impression.

    @Jeanie: it's a great story for the war.

    @Bill: very much so.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Denise: thanks.

  18. Un gran día de júbilo que a lo largo de la historia nunca se olvidará-

  19. The Dutch and the Canadians friendship still lasts.

    All the best Jan

  20. Long live the friendship and what a wonderful celebration with your Tulip Festival! So nice to learn about the positive side and outcome. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Until Covid erupted in 2020, we were used to receiving and celebrating a number of Canadian liberators in Friesland every year. It would be a shame if the last liberators can no longer be there at the next liberation celebration.

  22. Your tulip festival will take on a different energy for me now.