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Germans gradually turned screws on occupied country (1945-1949)

Chronology of Dutch war-time history

Tags: World War II

Go to Part One.

1945 | May 1945 | 1946-1949


Joy at the end of darkest years in history
Liberation a slow, tedious series of often costly events

The first months of 1945 were extremely costly to the Dutch. Thousands of people died of hunger in the cities where the effects of shrinking food supplies were the most severe. Hundreds of resistance workers were hunted down and executed without due process. Tens of thousands of men were picked up for slave labour, such as digging trenches for the enemy and the local economy was at a virtual standstill. Many felt that the Allies were doing nothing to help. When would it all end? That frustration was amply illustrated by the loaded question, put to Canadians in a northern Dutch city: 'What took you so long?' With the arrival of freedom, the Dutch went from the depth of despair to soaring heights of joy. As was evident recently, these experiences are engraved in the collective Dutch conscious.

Jan 02, 1945 In a broadcast by Radio Oranje, the Dutch government-in-exile orders civil servants not to cooperate with the conscription of men (ages 16-40) to work for the Germans (Liese Aktion).

Jan 05 Armed resistance in Amsterdam shoots ten civil servants who defy the government's order; the Liese Aktion-office (at the Spieghelschool) put to the torch. Elsewhere, such offices are attacked as well. The Germans take revenge by killing dozens of hostages.

Jan 06 Dutch prime minister Gerbrandy and merchant marine minister J.M. De Booy urge Eisenhower to seriously prepare for aid to the starved regions of Western Netherlands.

Jan 12 The Soviets advance towards the river Oder. Germans surrender in the Ardennes. The Gestapo raids board meeting Foundation 1940-1945, the organization which aids survivors of fallen resistance men.

Jan 14 Germans start massive evacuation of Roermond, Venlo and Tiel and surroundings. Queen Wilhelmina appeals to President Roosevelt and King George VI to offer occupied Holland more (food) assistance. Minister J.A.W. Burger criticizes military rule and denazification process in liberated Brabant.

Jan 16 Resistance sinks s.s. Westerdam and dry dock Titan in Rotterdam harbour. Sabotage prevents Germans from deliberately sinking ship in traffic lane. Prince Bernhard sends Rotterdam-group his congratulations.

Jan 18 With Allies approaching, Germans start 'evacuation' of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Jan 24 Gerbrandy fires Burger; socialist colleagues Albarda and Van den Tempel resign their posts.

Jan 25 A group of prisoners released from death camp Bergen-Belsen arrives in neutral Switzerland, alarm over their physical condition. Authorities forced to reduce food rationing at central soup kitchens in Holland.

Jan 26 Germans arrest resistance leader Hugo

Jan 27 Germans stop food transport to western Netherlands, arrest almost entire Landelijk Werk Comite.

Jan 28 Two Swedish ships, the first transport with food and medical supplies, arrive at Delfzijl. Germans prevent distribution.

Jan 31 Month-long Battle of Kapelse Veer, a German bridgehead south of the Meuse, ends with costly Allied victory. Jan Bag of potatoes fetches 560 war-time guilders.

Feb 04 Allied leaders Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin confer at Yalta about occupation of Germany.

Feb 08 Allies start offensive to occupy German territory west of Rhine.

Feb 12 Germans kill hostage Walraven van Hall.

Feb 21 Allied planes bomb parts of Hengelo (the third time since October 6), 24 killed.

Feb 22 Bombing raid on Deventer's IJssel bridge misses target, 61 killed, including 22 seniors in a rest home.

Feb 23 Gerbrandy forms second cabinet in exile. Turkey declares war on Germany and Japan. Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and several South American countries follow this largely symbolic step.

Feb 24 Dutch government urges Eisenhower's chief of staff Bedell Smith to start offensive to liberate the Netherlands.

Feb 27 Germans finally allow distribution of Swedish food and medical supplies to deprived areas.

Feb Black market price of wheat reaches f52 per kilogram.

Mar 01 Allied troops cross the Meuse and take the evacuated Limburg towns of Venlo and Roermond.

Mar 03 The Hague's districts of Bezuidenhout and Korte Voorhout in error bombed by British planes. Casualties run into the hundreds.

Mar 07 SS-commander Rauter wounded at Woeste Hoeve (Veluwe) in shoot-out with a resistance group. Germans strike back by killing 263 hostages throughout the country, including 117 at Woeste Hoeve. Another Allied agent dropped at Benthuizen. Americans take the Rhine at Remagen, Germany.

Mar 12 Execution of 36 men picked at random at Amsterdam's Weteringplantsoen.

Mar 13 Queen Wilhelmina returns to Dutch soil at Eede, Zeeuws Vlaanderen.

Mar 14 Allied top command order Eisenhower to liberate the western region of the Netherlands.

Mar 22 Air raids on Nijverdal take life of 72.

Mar 23 The British Second Army crosses the Rhine at Rees and Wesel. Allied planes attack targets in Enschede (65 people killed); Doetichem (110 killed).

Mar 24 American planes (among them 152 Flying Fortresses) strafe and bomb Luftwaffe airfield at Twenthe, raids take 75 lives in Haaksbergen, 83 in Goor.

Mar 26 The American Seventh Army crosses the Rhine at Worms.

Mar 28 After bridging the Rhine, Canadian units begin battle, lasting three days, for the German town of Emmerich, to the east of Nijmegen.

Mar 30 At the (82m-high) Elterberg, 4 million grenades land among the trees before the area is cleared of Germans, Allied units cross the Dutch border in the Achterhoek region between Elten and Milligen, south east of Arnhem. Enschede suffers another Allied air attack.

Mar 31 After a battle, British units liberate Winterswijk. Mar Black marketeers trade cheese for f26.00 per 100 grams.

April 02 Seyss-Inquart talks with Dutch top civil servant Hirschfeld (Secretary-General, Trade and Commerce), proposing a truce to facilitate large-scale food transports into hunger-stricken, densely-populated Western Netherlands. The British take Ruurlo; Oldenzaal freed.

Apr 03 Canadians take Didam, Lochem, Zevenaar, Borne and Holten.

Apr 04 Mussert returns to residence at The Hague. The British liberate Denekamp, and Canadians free Delden after heavy fighting the. Almelo welcomes Canadians.

Apr 05 Canadians clear Warnsveld, Albergen and Tubbergen of German troops. Fierce battle for Wierden begins. In a solo-action, resistance man H. Michel takes forty Germans prisoner in Aadorp. In a clash in Beerzerveld, Germans kill three resistance men, wound two others. Vriezenveen and Vroomshoop free. Canadians reach Coevorden from Germany.

Apr 06 The Soviets cancel their non-aggression pact with Japan. 800 Georgian Wehrmacht conscripts start uprising on Texel. Canadians take Daarle, arrive in Hellendoorn. French airborne troops land in Drenthe, Germans kill over seventy civilians, resistance men during the following days.

Apr 07 Tragic accident at the Molenberg (Doetichem): three children and four teenagers killed while playing with landmines.

Apr 08 At the Twentol factory in Deventer, Germans kill five members of the resistance who tried to thwart destruction of nearby bridge, and shoot a soldier who refuses to take part in the execution. In Oxe, Germans execute ten resistance men at the estate Oxerhof but let go 30 others. Canadians reach Dedemsvaart. RAF strafes and bombs Meppel's railway station. Canadian units scout eastern outskirts of fortified Meppel. Resistance in Friesland mobilizes, begin frustrating German attempts to destroy bridges, thus keeping small enemy units occupied.

Apr 09 Top Dutch officials discuss German truce offer with resistance commander Koot.

Apr 10 Canadians liberate Deventer, Germans destroy IJssel bridge. Wesepe free. General Blaskowitz takes command of Wehrmacht in Western Netherlands.

Apr 11 Allies liberate concentration camp Buchenwald, Canadians cross IJssel near Gorssel and push toward Wilp, east of Apeldoorn. Resistance liberates Raalte. Ommen, Ruinen, Smilde, Dwingeloo and Ter Apel free. Allies reach Hoogeveen.

Apr 12 President Roosevelt dies, Truman successor. Battle for Zutphen ends when Canadians cross IJssel to silence enemy fire. With the exception of Doesburg, Achterhoek free. Negotiations for truce between top Dutch officials and Seyss-Inquart. Canadians launch second Battle of Arnhem, cross IJssel at Westervoort. Heavy artillery shelling destroys much of Arnhem. Canadians take Heino. Beilen, Diever, Steenwijk and Westerbork free. Canadians liberate heavily-damaged Hooghalen. Belgians free Veele in Groningen. Local Gestapo thwarts plans of Dutch Nazis to kill imprisoned resistance men in Meppel, freeing them instead. Germans destroy Meppel's telephone exchange. Resistance clashes with Gestapo in Staphorst and forces surrender. Taking revenge, Germans first shoot up and then set fire to eighteen farms.

Apr 13 Vienna taken by Soviets. Twello, Olst, Wijhe, Dalfsen, Eelde, Zuidlaren, Veenhuizen, Roden and Havelte free. Polish units take both Nieuwe and Oude Pekela. Germans depart from Veendam. Canadians enter Assen and Sneek. Frisian resistance occupies strategic locations near Wolvega and Oudeschoot.

Apr 14 Himmler orders that no prisoners may be found alive by enemy. Top Dutch negotiators arrive in liberated Southern Netherlands. Staphorst free. Germans evacuate Zwolle, Canadians move in. Germans at Paterswolde surrender. Canadians reach Groningen, a four-day, costly battle follows. Canadians liberate Heerenveen and Dokkum, resistance clears Leeuwarden of Germans. Germans attempt landing in harbour of Anjum but get repelled by Canadians and resistance. Poles liberate Bourtange.

Apr 15 Gerbrandy discusses German truce offer with Churchill. Friesland free, Germans kill resistance workers on eve of liberation. Canadians reach Waddenzee at Zoutkamp. Allies clear Arnhem of enemy. Velp, Dieren free. Canadians start campaign to clear southwest Friesland of enemy, day-long battle at Woudsend. Some German units flee to Frisian Islands. Poles and Belgians free Winschoten.

Apr 16 Red Army starts drive for Berlin. Doesburg, Groningen city, Barneveld free. Battle of Otterlo. Lemmer under Canadian shelling. Canadians reach Hattem, the Afsluitdijk, Harlingen and Franeker. Resistance frees Bolsward. Polish deserters thwart German plans to inundate the Noordoostpolder.

Apr 17 Germans inundate Wieringermeerpolder, catch fleeing resistance workers. Resistance fighter Hannie Schaft killed by Germans. Last German units in Achterhoek surrender. Canadians enter Apeldoorn, Lunteren and Wageningen. Germans evacuate Kampen. Harlingen free. Canadians silence enemy fire at Afsluitdijk.

Apr 18 With the exception of Delfzijl and Frisian Islands, Eastern and Northern regions of the Netherlands cleared of German troops. To the east of the IJssel river, Canadians reach Ermelo, Putten, the IJsselmeer and the German defence line Grebbe. Vaassen, Epe, Heerde, Hattem, Lemmer and Stavoren free. Makkum taken after Canadian attack. Germans at Harderwijk (150) and Wezep taken prisoner by resistance.

Apr 19 Oldebroek, Elburg and Doornspijk free. A British unit reaches Kampen. Canadians liberate Loppersum.

Apr 20 Germans inundate the polders Beemster and Schermer, north of Amsterdam. Ten Post free.

Apr 21 Germans destroy waterlocks at IJmuiden. Canadians attack Appingedam. Germans subdue Georgian rebellion on Texel.

Apr 22 Montgomery halts military advance at Grebbe line; fear of wide-spread inundation.

Apr 23 Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff appoint Eisenhower to sign truce with Seyss-Inquart. Ten-day Battle of Delfzijl pocket starts. Appingedam free. Soviets reach outskirts of Berlin. Prinses Irene Brigade crosses Meuse north of Den Bosch, take Hedel, fight off an overwhelming superior force and pull back three days later.

Apr 24 Radio broadcast from London announce food droppings. Germans ridicule plan by radio, in print the following day.

Apr 25 Eisenhower sends message to Seyss-Inquart via commander of Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (BS), the merged armed resistance groups. Americans and Soviets meet at the river Elbe.

Apr 26 Seyss-Inquart and Blaskowitz agree to four dropping sites for emergency food aid, share information with contact of Vertrouwensmannen, a committee of non-political Dutch leaders. Under constant German shelling, Allies evacuate 7,000 civilians from Appingedam. In a final air attack over Dutch soil, Allied planes attack German positions in Delfzijl.

Apr 28 Former Italian dictator Mussolini taken and killed by resistance fighters. Allied and German envoys discuss food aid in Achterveld, east of Amersfoort.

Apr 29 Envoys discuss details for operation Manna, agree to four drop sites. Trial droppings a success.

Apr 30 Envoys strike accord for massive food aid to Western Netherlands, operation Manna gets underway. Hitler and Goebbels commit suicide. Admiral Donitz assumes chancellor's post, appoints Seyss-Inquart his staff.

Apr Black market price 'Consi' cigarettes f80.00 per package.

May 1 Allies and German envoys meet in hamlet De Nude to discuss Operation Faust, food aid via road transport. Number of Manna drop sites increased to eleven. Telephone link connects Allies with German headquarters at Hilversum. Seyss-Inquart leaves The Hague to join Donitz.

May 02 First food convoy reaches Rhenen and crosses German lines. Germans in Italy surrender. British units reach Baltic Sea. Germans at Delfzijl surrender to the Irish Regiment of Canada. Donitz sends delegation to Lunebergerheide to explore surrender talks with Eisenhower. Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana arrive by air in Gilze-Reijen, travel onto Breda.

May 03 Resistance top explores surrender with Germans.

May 04 Germany agrees to surrender the following day. Blaskowitz stubbornly excludes Western Netherlands from surrender. Montgomory orders Dutch resistance (BS) to abstain from military activities. Seyss-Inquart taken prisoner.

May 05 After receiving order from Germany, Blaskowitz agrees to separate negotiations, meets with Allied negotiators, Prince Bernhard in Hotel De Wereld at Wageningen.

May 06 Blaskowitz signs surrender documents - dated May 5, 1945 - at Agricultural College in Wageningen.

May 07 B-17 bomber crashes in North Sea after food dropping, only casualty of 5,356 mercy flights in ten days (10,913 ton food dropped). Eleven crew members perish, two survive. British units passing through Grebbe line, receive emotional welcome in one long 'victory parade.' Germans shoot into festive crowd at Amsterdam's Dam Square, 19 killed, 117 injured. Gestapo and resistance exchange gunfire at Central Station.

May 08 Canadian units enter Rotterdam.

May 09 Princess Irene Brigade arrives at The Hague.

May 10 Amsterdam gives Canadians an emotional welcome.

1945 | May 1945 | 1946-1949

May 1945

Evacuation of German troops expedited faster than return of camp survivors, over 200,000 dead
Ravaged country faced daunting task of rebuilding economy

With large parts of the Netherlands liberated, the most populous western part remained under a heavy German boot. Even when Germany surrendered to the Allies, Wehrmacht commander Blaskowitz argued that his troops were not covered by it, insisting on separate negotiations. The foot-dragging extended the misery for the oppressed and deprived populace even more but when liberty finally had arrived, the extent of deprivation, destruction and plunder far surpassed estimates. Shortages of every kind, from shoe soles to transportation, from soap bars to housing and from fuel to horses plagued Dutch society for years to come. Slowly, rationing measures were phased out. While the economy was rebuilt, the empty places of over 200,000 Dutchmen remained; of these some are still listed as missing.

May 1 Allies and Germans meet in hamlet De Nude, near Wageningen, to discuss Operation Faust, food aid by road. Number of dropping sites increased to eleven. Dutch telephone technicians connect Allies with German headquarters at Hilversum.

May 02 First aid convoy reaches Rhenen to cross German lines. Germans in Italy surrender. British units at Baltic Sea. Germans at Delfzijl surrender to Irish Regiment of Canada. Donitz sends delegation to Lunebergerheide to explore surrender talks with Eisenhower. Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana arrive by air at Gilze-Reijen, travel by car to Breda.

May 03 Resistance top explores surrender with Germans.

May 04 Germany agrees to surrender the following day. Blaskowitz stubbornly excludes Western Netherlands from surrender. Montgomery orders Dutch resistance units (BS) to abstain from military activity. German garrison of 500 at Berkel en Rodenrijs battles resistance group of 90 and agrees to stop hostilities after hours of shooting. Losses: Germans 24, resistance 3.

May 05 Allied reconnaissance units reach Kopenhagen. After order from Germany, Blaskowitz agrees to separate negotiations, meets Allies in Wageningen. Queen Wilhelmina speaks to the population via Holland-based radio. Delayed by concerns over safety in canals, the first ship with food and supplies arrives in Rotterdam. Resistance and SS battle in Leerdam.

May 06 Blaskowitz signs surrender documents - dated May 5, 1945 - at Agricultural College in Wageningen.

May 07 German capitulation at Reims. B-17 bomber crashes in North Sea after food dropping, only casualty of 5,356 mercy flights in ten days (10,913 ton food dropped). Eleven crew members perish, two survive. British units passing through Grebbe line, receive emotional welcome in one long 'victory parade.' Germans shoot into festive crowd at Amsterdam's Dam Square, 19 killed, 117 injured. Gestapo and resistance exchange gunfire at Central Station. Resistance arrests Mussert. While being disarmed, Germans wipe out arresting Utrecht resistance unit. British troops order German-led Dutch volunteer (34th) SS division to disarm. Canadians arrive at IJmuiden.

May 08 German capitulation at Berlin. First Allied troops arrive in Oslo. Units of 1st Canadian Army receive tumultuous welcome in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Prinses Irene Brigade holds parade in The Hague. After a clash with resistance, Germans execute eleven Dutchmen in Ridderkerk. Resistance at IJmuiden assists Canadians with disarming 18,000 German coastline defenders.

May 09 General Kruls, chief-of-staff Military command, arrives in The Hague. Prime minister Gerbrandy arrives in Amsterdam, to participate in liberation ceremony with Canadian colonels Short and H.P. Bell Irving (later lt. governor of British Columbia). Celebrations throughout city. Allies take control of Veenendaal after clashes between Germans and the resistance. Former resistance paper Trouw urges restraint when arresting women who fraternized with Germans, 'keep denazification pure... do not employ German methods.'

May 10 34th SS division lays down weapons, enters prisoner camp at Elst (Utrecht) before transferring to 'De Harskamp.' Allies order 3,000 German sappers to remove landmines, roadblocks. German troops in 'Fortress Holland' (120,000 men) begin repatriation via Operation Eclipse, majority walks via Afsluitdijk to Germany. Allies screen out 1,700 infiltrators, among them many war criminals on the run. General Winkelman, who signed Dutch surrender in 1940, returns from POW camp in Germany. Netherlands Peoples Movement (NVB) with spokesman De Quay - with Queen Wilhelmina's support - launches debate over societal renewal, advocating change from traditional divisions along confessional lines to one of left and right.

May 11 Germans in Ridderkerk surrender. Rockanje free.

May 13 Allies permit Germans to execute six of their own for defying orders under terms of surrender. First liberated prisoner from Dachau arrives at Dutch border. In most cases concentration camp victims waited months before Dutch help arrived. Prince Bernhard arranges with Canadian General Foulkes better recognition for former resistance men.

May 16 Dutch Council of Trusted Advisors disbanded. These 'Vertrouwensmannen' also served as a listening post and mediators between the resistance, Germans and London.

May 20 Canadians end the fighting between Germans and rebelling Georgian SS-troops, supported by local Dutchmen, on the island of Texel. Of the 800 Georgians only 250 survive the rebellion. Death toll among the Germans 600, Dutchmen 117.

May 21 Canadians hold Victory parade at The Hague.

May 23 SS-boss Himmler commits suicide upon arrest. Allies depose Donitz government, arrest Donitz, Jodl, Streicher and Speer.

May 24 Allies complete Bailey-bridge across the IJssel at Zutphen.

May 29 Queen Wilhelmina calls on Drees and Schermerhorn to form new cabinet. Allies take action to liberate Frisian island. Germans on Schiermonnikoog surrender.

May 31 British officer lands on Vlieland, to arrange the surrender of 2,000 Germans.

Jun 01 At Batavia, Sukarno announces four principles - based on mutual aid - for an independent Indonesia. In the Netherlands, authorities cancel travel restrictions beyond Grebbe line as food supplies in Fortress Holland get replenished.

Jun 02 Germans on Ameland surrender.

Jun 03 Canadians open Bailey-bridge at Arnhem.

Jun 04 Dutch authorities assume responsibility for Dutch nazi Rost van Tonningen, jailed in 'Oranje Hotel.'

Jun 05 Allies divide Germany, Berlin in four, American, British, French and Soviet each take control over a section. Churchill unhappy with size of Soviet section. Canadians complete evacuation of German army from the Netherlands, only mine clearing units remain (while removing 1,5 million mines, 102 Germans get killed along with 52 Dutchmen) and some units on the Frisian islands.

Jun 06 Canadians hold Victory parade in Utrecht. Dutch civilians discover bags of valuables buried in site near Norg, Drenthe, where evacuating Germans had spent the night.

Jun 10 Daily paper 'Het Parool' protests that overflowing trucks, rolling through Delfzijl are taking stolen Dutch property to Germany.

Jun 11 Allies complete evacuation of German army from Frisian islands.

Jun 12 Liberal leader Mackenzie King wins elections in Canada.

Jun 17 Belgian cabinet Van Acker resigns over the royal question, with regards to the wartime role of King Leopold.

Jun 18 Georgians leave Texel.

Jun 23 Dutch guards assume control of Camp Elst, prison camp for the soldiers of the Dutch SS Legion.

Jun 24 Socialist-led coalition cabinet, a first in Dutch history, formed with Schermerhorn premier, Drees vice-premier.

Jun 26 International gathering forms United Nations.

Jun 27 With Queen Wilhelmina's introduction, premier Schermerhorn announces program of Rebuilding and Renewal (Herstel en vernieuwing).

Jun 28 Strikes in Rotterdam harbour; led by the fast-growing Unity Union. National Victory parade by Canadians in Amsterdam.

Jul 02 Results announced of investigation in the collaboration with Germans by well-known musicians. Conductor Mengelberg sanctioned for life, Badings and Koetsier for ten years.

Jul 09 Dutch Finance minister Lieftinck announces unpopular currency renewal, f100 bills removed from circulation.

Jul 15 Tension rises over border conflict between Greece and northern neighbours. Dutch authorities remove bread from rationing list. By now 400,000 Dutch prisoners, hostages, slave labourers and camp survivors out of Germany.

Jul 16 Americans test atom bomb in New Mexico.

Jul 17 Allied Conference at Potsdam.

Jul 20 Belgium debates future of King Leopold, who refused to evacuate to London in 1940, was taken prisoner-of-war, and remained in exile in Germany, where he visited Hitler.

Jul 25 France evacuates its troops from Syria. First Dutch War Tribunal meets at Den Bosch to try its share of 120,000 Dutch Nazi collaborators.

Jul 26 Churchill looses election in Britain. Allies at Potsdam issue ultimatum to Japan.

Jul 30 General Simonds succeeds Canadian commander Crerar.

July Canadians complete Bailey-bridge across IJssel near Zwolle.

Aug 02 Belgian cabinet resigns. Van Acker forms another cabinet.

Aug 06 Americans drop atom bomb on Hiroshima.

Aug 08 Soviet Union declares war on Japan. Task of resistance ends, many enlist in new Dutch army.

Aug 09 Nagasaki hit by atom bomb. Dutch survivors from concentration camp Sachsenhausen reach border at Nieuweschans.

Aug 13 Jewish World Congress release British plan on emigration to Palestine.

Aug 15 Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender.

Aug 17 Sukarno and Hatta declare Indonesia's independence, Bersiap period starts: open season on Caucasians and their supporters.

Aug 24 The Dutch and British governments sign a 'civil affairs agreement' for the Dutch East Indies, British troops to evacuate prisoners from Japanese-run concentration camps.

Aug 25 Hay days for black marketeers, but 25 arrested in Zwolle.

August Canadian Embassy opens Bureau Dutch Spouses.

Aug 31 Dutch populace celebrates Queen's Day with massive display of patriotism.

Sep 01 Canadians celebrate Labour Day, welcome 60,000 visitors at Soesterberg air base.

Sep 02 Second World War ends with signing of unconditional surrender on US ship in Bay of Tokyo.

Sep 13 Prince Bernhard promoted to Inspector General of Dutch army.

Sep 26 As the country continues to struggle through great shortages of every kind, Lieftinck withdraws all paper money, and issues f10 pocket money to everyone. Move aims to curtail black market circuit and attack economic clout of war-time profiteers. Finance minister lifts confidentiality of bank accounts and transactions, announces personal assets registry. Pressure mounts to hold early elections.

Oct 10 General Simonds holds blunt press conference, to answer criticism in newspaper editorials regarding moral issues involving Canadian soldiers.

Oct 15 Government introduces new economic policies, increases wages and salaries and establishes minimum wage of f33,25 per week for family of four. Mediators set wage levels on national scale.

October With availability of troop transport ships growing, Canadian army sends 110,000 out of 282,000 men home.

Nov 14 International war crimes tribunal against eighteen Nazi leaders starts at Neuremberg, several other top Nazis have committed suicide.

Nov 20 Queen Wilhelmina opens parliamentary session with emergency representation, announces program to deal with serious housing shortage.

Nov 27 Thousands gather in Haarlem to remember fallen resistance people, 422 were killed in dunes at Overveen alone, and rebury remains of Hannie Schaft, the only woman among them, at field of honour at Bloemendaal.

Nov 28 Dutch tribunal pronounces death sentence on Nazi-leader Mussert.

Dec 15 In camps for Nazi collaborators 92,485 (among them 21,923 women) await trial, down from about 150,000 originally. Rumours of mistreatment abound.

Dec 18 Emotional scenes and sharp protest against Amsterdam Opera for producing 'Tosca.' Same production was played by same people for Germans during occupation years.

1945 | May 1945 | 1946-1949


Jan 03, 1946 General Simonds goes home to Canada.

Feb 09 A broad coalition of people forms a new party, Dutch Labour, the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) in answer to a desire for a society without confessional divisions.

Mar 04 State of emergency ends. On advice of Canadians, Dutch cabinet agrees to release majority of Dutch Nazi sympathizers - the so-called light cases - from camps without a trial. Dutch government formulates territorial demands as part of peace settlement with Germany.

May 26 Election results disappoint PvdA (28.2%) when the Catholic Peoples Party (KVP) surfaces as the largest (30.8%); the protestant Christian parties ARP (12.9%), CHU (7.8%), SGP (2.1%), the liberals (6.4%), and communist CPN (10.6%).

May 31 Canadian army closes its headquarters in the Netherlands.

September Lieftinck budget has shortfall of f2 billion, announces heavy taxation.

Jun 05, 1947 American foreign affairs secretary Marshall announces outline of aid to Europe in Harvard speech.

Mar 1948 Western European countries form Union against Soviet threat.

Jun 24 Many Dutch liberals withdraw from Labour, merge with liberal party and form VVD.

Sep 04 Queen Wilhelmina abdicates in favour of her daughter, Princess Juliana.

Sep 06 Princess Juliana takes oath of office.

Apr 14, 1949 Countries form North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1945 | May 1945 | 1946-1949

Go to Part One.