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Aftermath

NOS 75 years of liberation
In the 37th issue of our newsletter we see how the Netherlands is slowly trying to resume normal life, but also how the aftermath of the war affects everyone.
Festivities take place all week long throughout the Netherlands to celebrate the liberation. A memorable one is in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, where members of the resistance meet to celebrate and commemorate. It is a special mass meeting, where people finally no longer have to use their pseudonyms.
The partying still continues in Utrecht. So much so that the city council calls for the good order to be observed.
Partying in Utrecht
Partying in Utrecht
The search for (alleged) collaborators accompanies the festivities. Lynch mobs can be avoided, but everywhere Dutch people on the “wrong side of history” are humiliated and abused. No wonder German soldiers do not find the idea of being disarmed by the Dutch appealing, they rather wait for the calmer Allies. Many people die in several places where BS'ers try to disarm the soldiers anyway, about 200 in total. After less than a week, the order follows that regular civilians must hand in their weapons. After all, “the period of underground resistance against the occupier is over!”
In the meantime, the hunger in liberated areas is not over yet. The people who celebrate exuberantly on the streets mask the thousands who are so weakened that they cannot cheer. No wonder the soup kitchens, closed at the end of April due to shortages, are now opening again.
Administration of the captured men of Putten
Administration of the captured men of Putten
No party in Putten. The village receives the worst news possible this week on Ascension Day: many of the nearly 600 men carried away are no longer alive. From the pulpit, the minister reads a gruesome list of confirmed victims.
A thanksgiving service in the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam is also devoted to loss. It is the first time that Jews can publicly see who is still alive. Film footage of the meeting shows happy reunions, but also many people who are lost waiting for people who did not return. Ernst Verduin can relate how arbitrary that fate can sometimes have been determined: in Camp Vught he had learned how calm resistance can work, so in Auschwitz he resolutely changed rows at selection.
The service in the synagogue would have been reenacted this year, but that was canceled due to the corona crisis. The synagogue did, however, present part of the speeches of the time.
Rememberance 4 May  and 75 years liberation
Rememberance 4 May and 75 years liberation
Between all the party and the suffering, hardly anyone thinks about the 120,000 German soldiers who are still in our country. Some of them are deployed for mine clearance, but many are simply waiting for the moment to return home.
De-arming of Germans
De-arming of Germans
In order to maintain order, the command structures of the Wehrmacht have been kept intact, which also means that deserters are still being dealt with harshly: two men who went into hiding during the war still get shot.
War reports
Other news messages this week:
75 years later: WO II and liberation news from 2020
The definitive end of the war in Europe was commemorated throughout Europe last week, VE-day. In Russia, this had to happen because of the corona crisis without Putin’s dream mega-parade. In London, 95-year-old veteran Charles Medhurst single-handedly held a victory parade while being cheered at a safe distance.
The commemoration of the bombing of Rotterdam (May 14) was also mainly digital this year.
And there are significantly more explosives from World War II recovered during corona.
Preview
Next week, a substantial expansion of the Netherlands is envisaged: annexation as compensation. KNMI also resumes work and ex-prisoners from Dachau decide to return to the Netherlands themselves.
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See you next week, in the meantime please follow nos.nl/75jaarbevrijding. You can also follow our Instagram-account 75 years liberation for more photo’s and video’s.