An exhibition will open next week marking the 75th Liberation Day of the Netherlands becoming a free country following five years of German occupation and oppression.
Last year marked the milestone, however, the Netherlands Society Waikato could not go ahead with its exhibition due to Covid-19 and instead is now proceeding with the event.
The exhibition will give an idea of what life was like during the occupation. It will run from April 27 to May 2 at the Netherville Retirement Village in Hamilton between 10am and 4pm.
Scrapbooks with news article clippings, kept by a person who lived through the years of occupation and oppression, will be on display, as well as documents about a New Zealand soldier who lost his life as the plane he was a navigator on got shot down over the Netherlands.
There are 226 New Zealand soldiers laid to rest at a Dutch cemetery after their fight for the country.
Six of these soldiers were Waikato men, all from the Air Force and all shot down.
"These men lost their lives so we could again live in a free country. We will never forget and be forever grateful to them," says a spokesperson from the Netherlands Society Waikato.
On display will also be military equipment and weaponry that was used at the time; these have been generously loaned from the Tauwhare Military Museum.
There will be a parade staged by the Hamilton Military Vehicle Club on Saturday, May 1 at 11am.
On May 4, 1945, at 7.30am at the headquarters of Field Marshal Montgomery in the Lüneburger Heide, a document was signed that contained the absolute capitulation of the German armies in the Netherlands, North-West Germany, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark.
The agreement was that all weapons would be silenced from 8am on the next day.
This day, May 5, was and remains for the Netherlands the end of five years of occupation by Germany, the end of World War II.
In Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen, Canadian General Foulkes delivered the capitulation document to German General Blaskowitz and both signed this document, the Instrument of Surrender.
In 1945, the liberation of the Netherlands was celebrated on August 31, the birthday of the then-Queen Wilhelmina.
Every year after 1945 the commemoration of the dead has been on the evening of May 4 and the liberation celebrations have been on May 5.
Admission to the exhibition is by gold coin donation. Refreshments will be available.