The island was one of the last places in Europe to be liberated
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Ameland will hold a month-long party to celebrate its liberation from the Nazi regime, 75 years ago this year. It is somewhat difficult to pin down an actual liberation day for the island: it was certainly freed after May 5 (Liberation Day on the Dutch mainland), and perhaps even after June 3. As reported in the Omrop Fryslân.
The idea for the ‘Freedom Fest’ have come from the Amelander political party ‘Algemeen Belang Ameland’ (General Interest Ameland), and will have a special organisational committee.
The committee has already spoken to each of the four villages interest groups; and has found them to be very enthusiastic. “We have also spoken to museums, who would like to participate. We will also approach schools, to see if they would like to join in too”, said Jan Wijnberg, council member for Algemeen Belang Ameland; and the head of the ‘Freedom Fest’ organisational committee.
The activities will begin from 5 May and will finish up with an event on 6 June at the Bunker Museum. Those with suggestions are asked to get in touch with the committee, who are also looking for stories, object, and photos from the time.
Ameland was invaded in 1940, but because of its low strategic importance it was not liberated by force by Allied forces. Hence, and compounded by communications issues, German forces stationed on the island did not surrender until June 1945: a full month after the general Nazi surrender.