The Netherlands is Liberated
From the private collection of Prince Bernhard, in trust to the Dutch Institute for Sound and Image, Hilversum
In September 1944 Prince Bernhard visited Maastricht, the first Dutch city liberated by the Allies. As commander-in-chief of the BS: Nederlandse Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (Dutch Interior Forces), he then went to see other areas where the war had taken its toll.
After the long winter of 1944, once the north of the Netherlands was also liberated, Bernhard was present at the negotiations about the capitulation of Germany. These took place on 5 May 1945 in the Dutch city of Wageningen. The Prince recorded part of his trip in this silent colour footage. When Princess Juliana and their three daughters returned from Canada on 2 August 1945, he also filmed this historic event. Two airplanes landed at Teuge Airport: one with Princess Juliana and Princess Margriet on board and the other with Princesses Beatrix and Irene. It was too risky to let four members of the Royal family fly in one plane. Frits Thors reported on their arrival for Radio Herrijzend Nederland (Lit. Radio Rising Netherlands) and Prince Bernhard filmed Thors interviewing his daughters. These recordings were preserved and for the first time the image and sound can be seen together in this short film.