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November 11th donation from Canada to the Netherlands

Liberation wooden shoes from Canada return to the Netherlands.

Burlington, Ontario resident, Dutch-Canadian Theo Luykenaar, for 25 years associated with ‘De Nederlandse COURANT’ the Dutch-Canadian newspaper, will travel to The Netherlands this November to present unique artifacts from his extensive WWII Memorabilia collection to three museums and the Liberation Route Europe Foundation. Over the years Luykenaar collected a large number of WWII items with the assistance of the readership of ‘De Nederlandse COURANT’ and these will now find a good home in Canadian and Dutch museums. The presentation will take place on ‘Remembrance Day’, November 11th at the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 in Groesbeek, close to the Canadian War Cemetery where 2619 Canadian and other Allied soldiers are laid to rest.

Unique in his collection are a number of colorful Dutch liberation wooden shoes. In 1944 and 1945 the thankful Dutch gave these as a remembrance to their Canadian Liberators. Luykenaar earlier donated three liberation wooden shoes, an original 1945 ‘Operation Manna’ print and two historical allied propaganda pamphlets in the German language, in which Canada is mentioned, to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

In Groesbeek he will now present one liberation wooden shoe to the Wooden Shoe Museum and the remaining liberation wooden shoes to the Liberation Museum. To break up this unique collection is not irresponsible emphasizes Luykenaar: the three liberation wooden shoes that remain in Canada were doubles and the one large wooden shoe for the Wooden Shoe Museum is different from the set of smaller liberation wooden shoes. The most complete collection can soon be seen in the Liberation Museum 1944-1945.

Also the Regional Museum of Vlaardingen can look forward to a unique historical item from WWII. It will receive an antique French print Theo’s parents found in September of 1945 in the ransacked residence of Anton Mussert, the Quisling of Holland. The Liberation Route Europe Foundation will receive a number of historical Philadelphia newspapers, commencing with the evening edition of June 6, 1944, in which, thus on the same day, one can read amazing detailed coverage of the D-Day invasion in Normandy by the allied forces.

On ‘Remembrance Day’, Wednesday, November 11, the curators of these three museums and a representative of the Liberation Route Europe Foundation will be presented with these unique WWII artifacts. Theo Luykenaar emphasizes that he presents these historical artifacts to museums in Canada and Holland on behalf of the readership of De Nederlandse COURANT in Canada.

For more information please contact:

Rense Havinga, Curator
National Liberation Museum 1944-1945

Theo Luykenaar




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Please support us in keeping the liberation message alive.

The Liberation Museum receives almost no grants and is kept operational by a few paid staff members and more than 100 volunteers. All financial support is very welcome!

Please send your donations to:
IBAN: NL14RABO0117428876
Made payable to: The Liberation Museum, Groesbeek, The Netherlands

Thank you for your donation!