Period: May 5-8, 1945
Unknown: Well boys, it’s all over. The war’s over.
The Netherlands were officially liberated on May 5, 1945
Queen Wilhelmina's liberation speech:
Finally we are masters of our land and back in our own homes.
The complete speech (in Dutch): Listen
On 25 April soldiers of the Allied and Soviet armies first shook hands in the town of Torgau along the Elbe. On April 30 Hitler committed suicide. Berlin surrendered on May 2.
The war ended with the Germans defeated. The last Nazi leaders realised this too. On May 7 the German High Command surrendered. At Rheims, General Alfred Jodl, on behalf of Germany, signed the surrender in the presence of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.
The formal surrender would take place on 8 May. That day is also celebrated by many countries as Liberation Day, or Victory in Europe Day. In the Netherlands liberation is celebrated on May 5 as this is the date German forces in the Netherlands surrendered.
The war had lasted more than five years, left Europe in ruins and claimed tens of millions of casualties, both military and civilian.
US (L) and Russian (R) troops meet at the Elbe
Generaal Alfred Jodl signs the surrender