Explore the Liberation Route, the international commemorative route, through Holland and follow in the liberators' footsteps. Along the way, you will see special war museums, commemorative sites, monuments, and military cemeteries. Discover the stories of the people who lived through it, commemorate the horrible events, and celebrate freedom.
The road to liberation
The occupation of Holland in WWIIMay 1940 until May 1945
Learn more about the German occupation of Holland and persecution of its people during WWII.Read more
Operation Market Garden: a bridge too farSeptember 17, 1944 - September 26, 1944
Discover the dramatic story of Operation Market Garden.Read more
American liberators in HollandSeptember 1944 - March 1945
Find out how US troops played a key role in helping liberate Holland from German control in WWII.Read more
Follow in the footsteps of the Polish liberating forceSeptember 1944 - April 1945
Did you know Polish soldiers played a huge part in liberating Holland? Discover the whole story.Read more
Canada and liberating HollandSeptember 1944 - May 1945
When Holland was finally freed from Nazi occupation, it was in no small part thanks to Canadian troops.Read more
How Britain helped liberate HollandSeptember 1944 - May 1945
Discover how Britain played a key role in liberating Holland from German control in WWII.Read more
The liberation of HollandSeptember 1944 to May 1945
Explore the key events of how Holland was liberated by Allied forces towards the end of WWII.Read more
The Battle of the ScheldtOctober 2, 1944 - November 28, 1944
Learn how the Battle of the Scheldt turned the tide of the war in the Allies favour during WWII.Read more
The impact of Operation VeritableFebruari 8, 1945 - Februari 21, 1945
Learn why Operation Veritable was a true turning point of WWII, aiding the liberation of Holland.Read more
The Liberation Route through Europe
Follow the Liberation Route and uncover personal stories, key moments and important locations from the liberation of Europe at the end of World War II. This international project pays tribute to a pivotal moment in recent European history: the military actions and efforts that brought about the end of World War II. It’s a story of liberation that began with the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944, and continued onwards across the continent, as Allied troops eventually broke away from the French beaches, pushing back Axis forces to liberate France, Belgium and Holland. As well as sites in Holland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and England, the Liberation Route continues into Germany, Poland, and south to Italy.
The Liberation Route in Holland
Learn how the liberation of Holland began in Limburg, the first Dutch province to be reached by the Allied forces. Moving north, heavy fighting carried into North Brabant and Gelderland, the sites of Operation Market Garden, one of the largest air-landing operations of the war, and the Rhineland Offensive. The Dutch cities of Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem played major roles in these activities, with the aim to open a major route into Germany. Crucially, the Battle of Arnhem was the biggest failure of these assaults, resulting in significant loss of life. Further west, in the province of Zeeland, Allied forces fought to free the harbors of Antwerp in the Battle of the Scheldt. Download the Liberation Route app or visit the project’s website to listen to audio clips and discover personal stories about Arnhem’s ‘A Bridge too Far’, paratroopers in Eindhoven, the Sinti and Roma peoples in Beek, and the landings in Zeeland.
Remembrance and commemoration
Remembrance and commemoration of wartime activities still plays a major part in Dutch culture. Official Remembrance Day events take place in Holland on 4 May every year, while 5 May is known as Liberation Day, when the nation celebrates freedom in all its forms. Additional events also commemorate Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Scheldt every September and October. Delve deeper into the activities that brought about Holland’s liberation by visiting some of the major war museums in Gelderland and Limburg or Zeeland and Brabant. From the military crafts of the vast Overloon War Museum, to the tranquil, commemorative spaces of the Camp Vught National Memorial, there are many ways to experience the impact of World War II. Likewise, Holland’s war cemeteries and monuments are poignant spots to pay tribute to those who lost their life during the conflict, no matter their nationality.