Liberation Day (The Netherlands)

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In the Netherlands, Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May 5th, to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.

The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops, with the assistance of the British and American Armies (see Operation Market Garden) and French airborne (see Operation Amherst). On the 5th of 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 to the hotel.

After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every 5 years. Finally, in 1990, the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year.

On May 4th, the Dutch hold the Remembrance of the Dead for the people who fought and died during World War II, and in wars in general. There is a remembrance gathering in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam and at the National Monument on the Dam Square in Amsterdam. Throughout the country, two minutes of silence are observed at 8:00 p.m. On May 5th, the liberation is celebrated and festivals are held at most places in the Netherlands.

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