Time Travel: Utrecht’s Liberation

It was on this date — 7 May 1945 — that Canadian and British forces arrived to officially liberate Utrecht from Nazi control. Although the main liberation of the country was 5 May, it took time for all cities to be fully liberated. Some transitioned relatively smoothly, while other cities, such as Arnhem, suffered under last-ditch efforts from German forces.

(photo courtesy Het Utrechtse Archief)

When the Allied forces arrived in Utrecht, they came into the city center from Biltstraat, moving along Wittevrouwenstraat and Voorstraat, as seen in the photo above. The street is instantly recognizable, even today.

You can also see some silent footage of the residents celebrating the arrival of the liberating troops throughout the city in this short video:

Intocht van de bevrijders in Utrecht, 1945 from De Utrechter on Vimeo.