1.2 million NL residents alive today lived through the WWII liberation
An estimated 1.2 million Netherlands residents who are alive today lived through the liberation in 1945. The vast majority of them were children then. About 27,000 Netherlands residents who are still alive were 18 years old or older when the Netherlands was liberated from World War II, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported based on the number of residents aged 77 and older.
The number of people who experienced the liberation logically decreases every year. Especially the group that was already an adult at the time of the liberation is shrinking quickly. About three-quarters of that group consists of women.
In municipalities with a relatively large number of elderly residents, you also find a relatively large number of people with memories of the Second World War. The Noord-Holland municipalities of Laren and Bergen (both about 14 percent) and the Wadden Island of Schiermonnikoog (12 percent) have the largest proportion of residents who remember the war. Of the twenty largest municipalities, Apeldoorn and Breda have relatively the most inhabitants who were alive during the liberation. This group is relatively smallest in the municipalities of Urk, Utrecht, and Amsterdam.
Thursday is exactly 77 years after the Netherlands was liberated from the German occupiers and the Second World War ended. The liberation did not happen at the same time for everyone. The Allied troops first entered Limburg in September 1944. Six months later, in early May, the German forces officially surrendered, liberating most of the Netherlands.
Reporting by ANP