Communities across the Netherlands will continue to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the liberation throughout the spring of 2020. Many cities and towns launched commemoration events last fall, as the country was actually liberated in stages between October 1944 and May 1945.
Canadians travelling to Holland for the festivities will have many options. Apeldoorn will host the Canadian Liberation Festival between May 9 and 10, which will include the Canadian Walk, retracing the steps of the Canadian liberators. The city is also offering two liberation tours, one by bicycle and another by coach (for more: Europeremembers.com/Experience/CanadianLiberation-Festival-Apeldoorn/).
In the province of Brabant, Canadians are invited to experience the Dilemma Maze and to visit the Canadian War Cemetery at Bergen op Zoom.
The Brabant Remembers organization has also created seventy-five QR-code-based sites where visitors can explore stories from the war (for more information, go to: BrabantRemembers.nl). Meanwhile, the group Europe Remembers has created Liberation Route Europe, a three-thousand-kilometre travel route that visitors can follow, retracing the steps of the Allies from the D-Day beaches all the way to Germany. Travellers will encounter about two hundred “vectors” — a series of markers that tell war stories relating to each location (for more, go to: LiberationRoute.com).
Other cemeteries include the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten and the Canadian Military War Cemetery and Memorial in Groesbeek. As well, visitors can explore museums such as the Vrijheidsmuseum in Groesbeek, the Memory Vrijheidsmuseum in Nijverdal, and the newly expanded Liberation Museum Zeeland in Nieuwdorp. The latter two museums were started by single individuals with a passion for preserving artifacts from the Second World War. For more information about travelling to the Netherlands, contact Holland.com.