There is special love for Canadians among people in the Netherlands, especially the older generations.
During World War 2, when the Germans invaded the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch Royal Family sought refuge in Canada. In fact, Dutch princess Margriet was born in the Ottawa Hospital in January, 1943, in a ward that had been declared ‘Dutch soil’.
But, it wasn’t just that. After being under Nazi occupation for 5 years, the Canadians liberated the Netherlands.
The Canadian Encyclopedia describes is like this:
In the final months of the Second World War, Canadian forces were given the important and deadly task of liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. From September 1944 to April 1945, the First Canadian Army fought German forces on the Scheldt estuary — opening the port of Antwerp for Allied use — and then cleared northern and western Netherlands of Germans, allowing food and other relief to reach millions of desperate people. Today, Canada is fondly remembered by the Dutch for ending their oppression under the Nazis.
On May 5th, 1945, Canadian General Charles Foulkes met with German General Johannes Blaskowitz at the Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen, Holland, where he accepted the surrender of all German forces in the Netherlands.
After WW2, about half a million Dutch people left the Netherlands. About 185 000 or 37% of them came to Canada. Many came here as experienced farmers, most settling in Ontario.  So, many people in Simcoe County have Dutch heritage. I do, though my grandfather was not a farmer.
We named our son after my Dutch side of the family and my husband’s Canadian side, which collided in 1944/1945 during the liberation of Holland. If it weren’t for the Canadian troops being successful, I’m not sure my family would be here.
Here are some more photos of the liberation of the Netherlands.
Photos from Library and Archives Canada on Flickr. See the collection HERE.