ROTTERDAM - After days of waiting, the Allied troops finally arrived in the western part of Holland. Some of them drove this afternoon on the Coolsingel. In addition, they were cheered by the massively popular Rotterdam audience.

“After days of great joy, which, however, was still tempered by tension and uncertainty, joy has finally risen to the top, we were able to cheer and jump and dance. The Canadians made their happy entry. Liberators and liberators face to face ”

(Het Vrije Volk, 09-05-1945)

During the afternoon, the first trucks departed from the Red Cross into the city. Then the first troops followed.

“The cheers spanned the columns, flowers and serpentines flew through the air, people waved handkerchiefs and flags, they ran with the wagons and climbed up against them. More Dutch people than Canadians were seen on the cars, some drivers were hiding among the children, the girls, the boy scouts bulging out the booths. ”

(Het Vrije Volk, 09-05-1945)

The popularity of the liberators, how far it already had reached a peak height, was further enhanced by candy and chocolate was distributed to the public.


Part of the festivities focused on the Coolsingel in the center of the city. Yesterday, former mayor Oud was picked up in Kralingen to restore him to his office. Today he received the Canadian commander, Colonel Thomas Lane:

“I am very glad to be here and to have helped in the liberation of your city. I have not seen any people welcome the allied troops as you have and we all thank you very much”

(password, 09-05-1945)

The Reporting Service of the Domestic Forces also made a report on the Coolsingel.

All day long there was an extensive party all over the city. Bonfires arose and there was singing, danced and cheered. And wherever the English or Canadians arrived, they were received with love.

Rotterdam South and Dordrecht

People in Rotterdam South had to be even more patient. Not round 19:00 hours in the evening the first army vehicles crossed the bridges towards the South.

There too the soldiers were received with open arms.

However, the soldiers were not to be in South Rotterdam, but in Dordrecht, that can only be reached from the north, now the Moerdijk Bridge has been blown up. As far as is known, the troops came around 20:00 hours in Dordrecht.

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A little too enthusiastic

The authorities have said that, despite the big buzz, the troops have arrived here to complete a task feed. Some Dutch people clearly go a little too far in expressing themselves gratitude.

“The Canadians are very grateful for the enthusiastic reception. However, the kindness sometimes goes a bit too far. There are other things to do besides giving away cigarettes, take pleasure trips, sign autographs and kiss girls. Therefore, the public is requested not to be pushy. ”

(password, 09-05-1945)

That hard work includes setting up multiple camps in the city. The Canadians have a duty to disarm the Germans and ensure the transfer of power to it (temporary) authority.

Hoe ging het verder?

Of course there was every reason to party, but there was still whole a lot to do. But they did not sit still. A few days before the arrival of the first Canadian troops also arrived the first ships with food in Rotterdam. So arrived on 5 May the ships Lesto and Empire Scout include 750 tons soup, 878 your cookies in 750 tons of canned meat. And in the following weeks there were five more ships expected.

That food was badly needed.

“The need is urgent. Rotterdam is free again, but people still die every day as a result of hardship. Tragically it is hard to imagine. ”

(password, 09-05-1945)

Rotterdam also called for no "Nazi-like practices" to show, in short: not to take revenge on Germans and especially on people who used to sympathize with the Germans in the past.

The latter was an appeal that did not arrive everywhere. On numerous of places, also in our region, "muff whores" were shaved.

In Rotterdam, NSB members and other possible people became for days on end arrested and taken away by collaborators. Among them was the NSB mayor Frederik Ernst Müller and the rest of the city council.


password – 09-05-1945 – The Liberation

Het Vrije Volk – 09-05-1945 – They are finally there

Thanks to Bas Romeijn for selecting the material from the Reporting Service of the Interior Forces. On his website even more of these reports can be heard

Author: Dave Datema

published: 07-05-2020

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