To commemorate the dead and to celebrate the Liberation: the Netherlands has set aside May 4 and 5 for that purpose. The commemoration is centred on Dam square in Amsterdam, across from the Royal Palace, where Queen Beatrix and Prince Willem-Alexander on Friday evening placed the first wreath of many at the base of the National Monument.
Simultaneously all across the country similar ceremonies were held. Canada born Princess Margriet, her husband Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven and son Prince Pieter-Christiaan went to Rhenen, site of fierce fighting during the first stages of the Second World War.
On Saturday the Dutch mark 'Liberation Day' - on May 5th 1945 the German and Austrian occupation forces capitulated in a hotel in Wageningen, in the presence of the late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
All across the country so-called Liberation Festivals are held and in the evening Queen Beatrix attends the Liberation Concert on the Amstel River in Amsterdam.
Special guest this year was German Federal President Joachim Gauck, who delivered the Liberation Day speech in Breda, in the presence of Prince Willem-Alexander and Dutch acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte. President Gauck and his partner also were guests at the Liberation Concert in Amsterdam, which traditionally closes with Dame Vera Lynn's classic 'We'll meet again'. © GPD; Photos by © Royal Press Europe, Albert Nieboer