The following activities are organized by our partner Committee 4th and May 5th Wageningen (C45W)
- Remembrance Day on May 4th
- Liberation fire relay
- Program De Dreijen
- Liberation festival
Click on the logo of the C45W for more information.
Here is a brief summary of the history and the NCHC.
On May 5th, 1945 in the Hotel "De Wereld" in Wageningen the surrender terms of the German forces in the Netherlands were negotiated. On the German side there were among others General Blazkowitz and on the Allied side there was Lieutenant-General C. Foulkes of the 1st Canadian Army, all in the presence of his royal highness Prince Bernhard.
On May 6th, 1945 in the auditorium of the Agricultural College (next to Hotel "De Wereld") the capitulation was signed.
On July 9th, 1945 Foulkes presented, in the presence of HRH Prince Bernhard, a commemorative plaque and it was unveiled on the facade of The World Hotel.
The first commemoration of the capitulation was on August 31st, 1945 in Wageningen. The first commemoration and celebration on May 4th and 5th was in 1946, one years after the actual capitulation.
In 1947 the plaque was unveiled at Hotel "De Wereld". A year later (in 1948) General Foulkes was appointed honorary citizen of the town Wageningen. He gave the town the pen that was used to sign the capitulation.
General Foulkes unveiled plaque at Hotel de Wereld
1951, the Liberation monument was unveiled in Wageningen. General Foulkes visited Wageningen in 1953 and donated his copy of the surrender documents to the town.
Ten years after the capitulation - in 1955 - the liberation was celebrated in Wageningen with a parade of many domestic and foreign-WW II veterans. The parade was conducted by HM Queen Juliana and HRH Prince Bernhard. Since then, the commemoration of the German capitulation has been celebrated every five years.
HRH Prince Bernhard was appointed honorary citizen of Wageningen in 1975 and from that moment on, he was in Wageningen every year on May 5th. Even then, the commemorations were still focused solely on the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands.
In 1980, the "National Remembrance Committee 1945 Wageningen Capitulation" was established. Since 1982 the capitulation of Japan has been commemorated on May 5th in Wageningen, which is why the name of the organizing committee was changed to "National Remembrance Committee Capitulations Wageningen 1945”.
In 1987 the memorial was attended by HM Queen Beatrix, HRH Prince Claus and HRH Prince Bernhard. On that occasion, the queen was apart of the military parade in which a limited number WWII veterans also participated.
In 1988 was the first time a parade was held in which HRH Prince Bernhard served as parade inspector.
In 1990, alongside the Dutch World War II veterans, Canadian veterans and also units of the Canadian and Dutch troops participated.
Until 1996 the memorial in Wageningen was only for the veterans of World War II, but in that year it was decided to open the memorial to veterans of other wars and missions. It was also decided that the memorial on May 5th in Wageningen will also include a symposium, which addresses issues of peace, security and human rights. From that moment on in Wageningen the memorial would consists of the following elements: a symposium, a memorial meeting in the church "Johannes de Doper", a wreath laying by HRH Prince Bernhard and a parade of veterans, former resistance fighters and units with actively serving soldiers and with HRH Prince Bernhard as acting parade inspector. There would also be several receptions.
The focus remained on the capitulations and the parade consisted mainly of veterans from World War II and former Dutch East Indies.
In 1997 the National Committee Foundation Remembrance Capitulations Wageningen 1945 was founded, under simultaneous removal of the old committee.
3. Period from 2006
In 2003, at the request of the Lower Chamber, a committee was formed that would investigate how more could be organized in recognition and appreciation of Dutch veterans.
In 2005, as per the advice of this committee, the Dutch government decided to set Veteran’s Day. This day is a form of social recognition for all veterans. Honouring veterans takes place on a Dutch Veteran’s Day on or around June 29, HRH Prince Bernhard’s birthday, which is not an objective of the NCHC in Wageningen.
Since 2006, a parade has become a part of the Dutch Veteran’s Day. It was therefore no longer necessary for a veteran’s parade to take place in Wageningen.
Based on this government decision, the National Committee Commemoration Capitulations 1945 Wageningen (NCHC) decided to limit it’s activities to the symposium, the memorial meeting, the ceremony at the monument on May 5th Liberation Square and the closing reception.
The town Wageningen decided to organise and finance the parade it’s self, resulting in the Freedom Parade. The Committee 4th and May 5th Wageningen was give responsibility of the organisation of the Liberation Parade.
After working on this organization for three years, it proved not to lead to the desired future stability of the NCHC. That is why NCHC’s mission and goals have been rethought since 2007.
Recently, (in autumn 2007) it was decided by Defense that the financial and material support of the memorial in Wageningen will continue from 2008 to 2012. Apart of this decision, the Queen’s Commissioner in the province of Gelderland was asked by the then Secretary of Defense to assume the chair of the NCHC and to "renew" the NCHC.
This resulted in the assignment for a workgroup, which came with a report in the first half of this year. The report was a starting point for starting a so-called transition group, who in recent months, has worked to develop all the proposals from that report.
On October 1st 2008 the four parties - the Ministry of Defense, the town of Wageningen, the Wageningen Committee 4th and May 5th and the NCHC - published the new course and direction of the National Remembrance Capitulations in Wageningen.