1944 Verstoorde verwachtingen
6th June 1944 brought the tidings that the Netherlands had longed for: the Allies had landed on the Normandy beaches. The population assumed that the long-awaited liberation was at hand but was bitterly disappointed. 1944 was to be a year of disrupted expectations. When Antwerp was liberated on 4 September and the British radio broadcast the fake news that Breda had fallen into Allied hands, the joy knew no bounds. On Tuesday 5 September, Dolle Dinsdag (Mad Tuesday), the Dutch took to the streets in anticipation of the liberators. But they waited in vain: the Allies had not even reached the Dutch borders. Shortly afterwards, Operation Market Garden began, which had been intended as a rapid advance to Germany. However, the Allied advance came to a halt in drawn-out fighting that left a trail of destruction in the southern part of the Netherlands.
By the end of 1944, the South was liberated, but liberty turned out to be more chaotic and difficult than expected. In the northern part of the Netherlands, the Resistance initiated more attacks and strikes than ever before. While NSB members took flight, the occupying forces used any means to suppress the internal unrest. The winter of 1944 was harsh and it became clear that the Netherlands were in for a hard time.
Jan van Oudheusden, Erik Schumacher