Liberation of Holland
We Dutch will never forget-the deception and bombing of our cities, Arbeitseinsatz, forced labour, work camps, the awful hunger and starvation of our children.
We will also never forget the Jewish friends who had cleaved to our once peaceful, neutral country. We thought ourselves lost with the tragedy of Arnhem, and the Hongerwinter, but the British dropped food, and then the Canadians came-Canadians, British, Polish, and Americans-but mostly our brave Canadians.
They fought in vital roles, liberating our cities and small towns, until in May 1945 we raised our glorious flag after five full years of fear and war. There never has been such a love between two countries. When they ask who freed us, we will never forget.
In late 1944, the Canadian Army began the Liberation of Holland by clearing the approaches to the Belgian port of Antwerp along both sides of the Scheldt estuary and opening up the supply route to the north through Arnhem. The 1st Canadian Corp arrived from Italy in March 1945 to join the Canadian Army in Holland and continue the push to drive out and isolate German forces.
The Dutch had suffered badly during the winter, and so the Canadians made a tremendous effort to provide relief supplies to the Dutch people. When hostilities finally ceased, the Canadians were welcomed as Liberators and the joyous "Canadian Summer" began, forging long-lasting bonds of friendship between the Dutch and Canadian peoples.