Edit Harlem! This is what it looked like.

On May 5, 1945, the streets of Harlem were filled with parties. The flag can come out because Holland is free! Look back with photos from that time.

Canadians arrive at the Grote Markt on May 8, 1945. Photo: Noor Hollands Archive
On May 4, he heard on the radio that the Germans would surrender. That evening, the first Harlemers took to the streets to celebrate the news. Still a little wary, because the Germans have not yet left the city.

There will be no stopping on May 5th. Everywhere in the city the Dutch flags are flying again. People are dancing and rushing in the streets. After five years of war and a long winter of hunger, the joy of liberation is unimaginable.

People celebrate in Zijlweg after liberation. Photo: North Holland Archive

Bullet hole in V&D

Although the war ended, in the first days after the liberation there were also casualties in Harlem. At the Grote Houtstraat, German soldiers opened fire between parties, killing two people. A 14-year-old woman who lived in Tahrir wrote that soldiers feel threatened in the crowd and start shooting at random:We dive into the balconies. The bullet hole upstairs from Vroom and Dreesman remained a “monument” to the panic for many years to come.

Entry of Canadians

Many Harlem residents are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Canadian Liberation Forces and the departure of the Germans. On May 8th, it’s time. Canadians drive to Haarlem from Amsterdam. Rows and rows of enthusiasts line the streets to welcome them. The editors get the flowers. In turn, they distribute chocolates and cigarettes. Boys and girls are allowed to ride in cars.

Canadians entering bent on a stupor. Photo: North Holland Archive

People who sided with the Germans are being arrested en masse. Often with great interest from the residents of Harlem, who exclaim: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, all members of the NSB of Bakenessergracht!” ‘Moffenmeiden’ (Girls and women who had an affair with a German soldier, or were suspected of doing so) are also publicly booed in Harlem.

The tombstone of notorious NSB member and police officer Fake Krist is also being processed. He was shot dead by the resistance in Westergracht on October 25, 1944. (Opening photo) In response, ten Dutchmen were shot and four houses in Westergracht were set on fire. The text in which he is described as “our dear friend and comrade” who fell at the hands of the “cowardly killer” is carved from his tombstone.

The text on Fake Krist’s tomb removed after the war. Photo: North Holland Archive

Emotional reunion

During the war, many of Harlem’s men were assigned to work in Germany. For example, nearly two thousand men were arrested during the “Sinterclass Raid” on December 6, 1944. The return of a group of men who had survived this incident caused emotional moments in Harlem in July 1945. The men were greeted with cheers at the station.

Workers return from Germany in July 1945. Photo: Nor Hollands Archive

Jewish townspeople

For our fellow Jews, there is often no warm welcome. Many of them never return. In total, as far as we know now, 733 Jewish citizens were killed or killed in the war violence of World War II.
Harlem Jews who survived the occupation do not always feel at home in our city. Their community was torn apart. Their homes were taken by others. And people who betrayed them or their families sometimes still roamed with impunity. Many leave abroad or to other places in the Netherlands. ght: inherit “> The Jewish Monument to Philip Franklin. A synagogue was located in this square. It was named after Rabbi Philip Frank, who was executed by the Germans in 1943. Photo: Haarlem Municipality

Frederica Silversmit and David Judd are two Jewish residents of Harlem who were deported to a concentration camp during World War II and did not return. Photo: private collection.

A new era begins after liberation. The horrors of war and reconstruction were not only forgotten in its infancy. But the hunger is over and the Netherlands is free.
Soon after the war, the first memorial rallies were held. For example in Dreef and in Westergracht. For this purpose, temporary resistance edifices are constructed. Later they were replaced by the antiquities that exist now.

A memorial meeting at the temporary Resistance Monument in Drive. Photo: North Holland Archive


Topic 75 years of freedom History Room 023
People celebrate the liberation of Haarlem, the endless North of Holland
Hiding in Haarlem, the endless North of Holland

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