The liberation of the Netherlands during WWII played a key part in the Allies’ victory over the Axis forces. The Dutch people were eventually emancipated after some of the most intense fighting and ambitious operations experienced during the war. Today, you can visit almost 200 audio spots throughout the Netherlands to hear threatrical stories and first-hand accounts of the people that lived through this period. Alternatively, explore the Liberation Route on a personalised tour with an expert guide.
- Visit audio spots to bring to life the stories of how the Allies liberated the Netherlands during WWII.
- Book an expert guide to visit significant historical sites or even learn about your family members’ experiences.
- Follow the Liberation Route and hear the first-hand stories of the civilians and soldiers who lived through this remarkable period in time.
How the Dutch liberation paved the way for Allied victory during WWII
Some of the most important operations and battles which led to the Allied victory in Europe took place in the Netherlands: the ultimately unsuccessful Operation Market Garden, which aimed to capture a number of bridges across the major Dutch rivers and breach the heart of the German war machine; the Battle of the Scheldt in the Dutch province of Zeeland; and Operation Veritable, a decisive turning point in the war which helped inspire the Allied victory. If you want to step back in time and relive these momentous historical moments, and learn more about the role the Allied liberation played in the Netherlands, you can visit the many museums and historic sites spread throughout the country.
Hear the stories behind the Dutch liberation at special audio spots
Another way to experience the victories, horrors and memorable moments of this tumultuous time in human history is to take a trip to some of the more than 200 audio spots spread across the Dutch Liberation Route. At these unique markers you will hear the stories of the people who lived through the war: first-hand accounts and theatrical recreations of what unfolded at these notable places during the fighting and occupation. The listening posts are housed in clearly marked boulders, poles and columns.
This network of living memories helps tell the tale of how the Dutch were liberated by the Allied forces. Each audio spot can be found at places of historical significance. These include the site of the Battle of Overloon, one of the fiercest battles that took place in the Netherlands, the Westerbork transit camp in the Dutch province of Drenthe, and Het Apeldoornse Bosch, a psychiatric institution from where hundreds of disabled and mentally ill Jews were transported to be killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The stories can be heard in different languages and are located all across the Netherlands. You can also download the stories from www.liberationroute.com, or listen to them through a free app, which is available for iPhone and Android.
Take a personalised tour with an expert guides
There’s no better way to explore the Dutch Liberation Route than retracing the steps of the brave civilians and soldiers that risked everything to help free the country and defeat the German forces. One of the best ways to do so is with an expert from the Liberation Route’s European Guides Network. You can do so as part of a group or individually. These qualified history experts can teach you all about the destinations you’d like to visit – such as the John Frost Bridge in Arnhem or the Netherlands’ numerous war cemeteries. Or, if you’d like to know more about the part your family members might have played in the war, then the guides can help you plan your personalized tour in advance. These private tours can be booked all year round.