Yes, there had been many overwhelming surprises and opportunities along the way on our Liberation tour, and today would be no different. While I had been with our boys at the Peace Palace, Glenn and our new driver, Cees (pronounced 'Case') had been organizing a day that would take the strain off of what was to be a long drive to Groningen & Leeuwarden.
Instead of attempting the long drive, we would do something that no other tour operator could have been able to organize in the short time it had been open - today, we would visit the brand new National Military Museum of the Netherlands.
But first - a stop in Wageningen for some good cheese, some light shopping, and a stop at the Hotel de Wereld. It was on May 6 1945, 70 years ago, that the German general Blaskowitz finally surrendered to the Canadian general Charles Foulkes, which ended the Second World War in the Netherlands. The Generals negotiated the terms of surrender in the Hotel de Wereld.
^ The group outside of the Hotel de Wereld, complete with our 70th Liberation flag.
^ A pretty good visual of just HOW many cameras took that image - Somebody should be paying me commission here - I've got a pretty good photography hustle!
^ Ted Duncan, who plays a big part in our Battlefield community - poses with Ray Lewis with his 70th Liberation flag in front of the Hotel de Wereld.
To the Left: Hotel de Wereld 70 years ago - damaged by the effects of German occupation and the Allied efforts to liberate them. Seeing the town of Wageningen in all of its beauty today - it is hard to look back at this picture and see how it was a mere 70 years ago. So much has changed. So much history had been made.
Fun Fact: There is of course a famous photograph taken of The Canadian General Foulkes with the German commander General Blaskowitz in the Wageningen Hotel de Werled. In our collective memory a photographer snaps a photo where the signing took place to determine the "unconditional surrender of all German forces in the Netherlands." At the same time he immortalized the status of the present commander of the Interior Forces, Prince Bernard, as co liberator of our country.
This event marked the "liberation of the Netherlands" and contributed to a considerable extent at which we still May 5 to celebrate our freedom.
But the document had not been signed at this time. It was in fact 24 hours later that Blaskowitz finally signed it, in silence and in the absence of Prince Bernhard and a photographer, in the auditorium of the Agricultural finally the surrender of all German forces in the occupied Netherlands. >>>