War posters 1940-1945 > Liberation proclamations
Most of the South of the Netherlands was liberated in the fall of 1944. The first posters to appear in the liberated villages expressed the sense of joy about the freedom that had been regained. One of the things to appear on them was an official proclamation from Queen Wilhelmina in London. She had developed into the ultimate symbol of indomitability and confidence in victory during the years of occupation and oppression.
"Free Holland welcomes the soldiers of the allies. Welcome to the liberated Netherlands". This poster was commissioned by the Government Information Service for the liberation of the rest of Holland, and had already been designed and printed in London in 1944. Nobody had foreseen that the North, East and West of the country would be tested for a long period yet. These were to be difficult months, during which the population would face the Winter of Starvation.
The last German poster in occupied Holland appeared on 4 May 1945. Phrased in German and Dutch, as usual, the Beauftrage des Kommissars informed the province of North-Holland and Amsterdam in this Announcement that any reports of the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands were based on rumours. The population was therefore gravely warned to refrain from celebrating. Red lettering at the bottom of the poster stated: "Ripping down or damaging this placard is punishable."