The Liberation of Netherlands

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When World War Two erupted, the Netherlands declared itself as a neutral state and intended to avoid any conflict. However, on May 10, 1940, Germany struck an unanticipated attack on the Netherlands. After several days of resistance, the Netherlands were officially occupied a week later by German troops (Belgium). It would be another 5 years until the Canadians, under the leadership of General H.D.G. Crerar, liberated the Dutch (Liberation of Holland). Until then, over 200,000 Dutchmen and women will perish during the occupation in which over half of them are Jewish (Goddard 140-145). The Liberation of Netherlands was a defining moment in Canadas efforts in World War II because the operation built a strong relationship between the Netherlands and Canada, freed the Dutch under the ruthless German rule, and demonstrated Canadas persistent commitment to liberty even when faced with difficult opposition.

Since the liberation, the ties between Canada and the Netherlands have never been stronger. Canadas sacrifice will never be forgotten by the Dutch because their liberty was fought for at the expense of the lives of Canadian soldiers. In fact, the people of Netherlands created many cemeteries to thank the heroes that came to liberate them. For instance, the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is a famous cemetery in Groesbeek, Netherlands, where over 2300 Canadians were buried (Goddard 235-236). Furthermore, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the safety of the Dutch royal family was no longer guaranteed. In their greatest time of need, Canada opened her doors and gave refuge to the royal family in Canadas capital, Ottawa (Goddard 226). The heir to the throne, Princess Juliana, also gave birth to Princess Margriet during her stay at Canada (Netherlands ' Princess Margriet born in Ottawa). Following the occupation, Princess Juliana showed her appreciation for Canadas hostility and their efforts for liberating the Netherlands by sending 100,000 tulip bulbs to



Cited: April 30: Conference brings hope to starving Dutch". The CBC Digital Archives Website. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Last updated: 30 April 2005. . [Accessed 7 Nov. 2007.]"Belgium." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 18 Nov. 2007 . Canada. Veterans Affairs Canada.Canada-Netherlands/ Pays-Bas/ Nederland. CAN: Minister Veterans Affairs, 2005. Greenhous, "Liberation of Holland." The Canadian Encyclopedia . 2007. Historica Foundation of Canada. 18 Nov 2007 . Hillmer, Norman, and Owen Cooke, "Democracy at War - The Liberation of Netherlands, 1944-1945." War Museum. 20 Aug 2004. Canadian War Museum. 19 Nov 2007 . "Netherlands ' Princess Margriet born in Ottawa". The CBC Digital Archives Website. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Last updated: 2 April 2007. . [Accessed 8 Nov. 2007.]

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