May 4th, Remembrance Day (Remembrance of the Dead)

May 4th

Directly after the end of WW2, Dutch citizens held commemorations on lots of different places in the country. These commemorations took place on May 4, the day before the Germans capitulated. Dam

The south of the Netherlands were liberated in the fall of 1944. The east had to wait until April 1945 and the west was liberated on the Germans capitulated on May 5th, 1945. Our country was liberated by soldiers of lots of different countries like England, Canada, USA and Poland. Although the Germans surrendered and The Netherlands were a free country again, the Island of Texel had to wait for their liberation until the Canadians liberated it on May 20, 1945.

In Hotel De Wereld (Hotel The World when translated) in the town of Wageningen, German General J. Blaskowitz accepted the terms of surrender to the Canadian General Ch. Foulkes. On May 6th the capitulation was signed in de great hall of the Agricultural College. Groesbeek

On 30 August, 1945, local commemorations were held by the former resistance on places where people were shot by the Naziís on spots like the Waalsdorpervlakte near The Hague and the Kennemerduinen near Haarlem and Camp Vught.

On the May 4th, the Dutch Remembrance Day, we remember those civilians and soldiers who died in war or piece operations since WW2 started (for The Netherlands May 10th, 1945). From 18.00 hours we hang the flag half-mast. On 20.00 hours there are 2 minutes of silence followed by the Dutch National Anthem. The Queen than lays a wreath at the National Monument on the Dam square in Amsterdam. In the entire country wreaths are laid on local monuments also. The flag is lowered at sunset.

The Netherlands is kind of unique in the world because we have two days of remembrance. On May 4th we remember those who died, on May 5th we celebrate our freedom. May 5th is known as Liberation Day. Both days are close connected to each other, but they both have their own specific character, meaning and place in the Dutch society.

The Capitulation in Europa

On 02.41, on the morning of May 7th, 1945, General Alfred Jodl signed the documents of unconditional surrender of all German Forces to the Allies in Reims, France. It contained the phrase: It included the phrase "All forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European Time on May 8, 1945."



Queen Beatrix, Prins Willem-Alexander and Prinses Maxima at the Dam Square


Local commemoration for Allied soldiers


Flags half-mast at a cemetery in Amersfoort


Left Gen. Foulkes, Right Gen. Blaskowitz signing the surrender in Wageningen NL.


Alfred Jodl signing the capitulation in Reims

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