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Stunning Historical Photos of the Netherlands in the 1940s

The Netherlands was neutral during WWII, but German forces invaded the country on 10 May 1940. Although the royal family and government fled, the army fought back, despite being ill-prepared and poorly equipped to defeat Germany’s well-trained forces. With the Germans carrying out a vicious assault on Rotterdam that resulted in bombing civilian targets, Holland was surrendered to them, placing the safety of innocent lives above the country’s freedom.

There were 205,901 Dutch men and women who died of war-related causes by the end of the war. Of all the German-occupied countries in Western Europe, the Netherlands had the highest death rate per capita. Some people accused of collaborating with the Germans were lynched or otherwise punished without trial after the war. The Dutch society was profoundly affected by World War II. Netherlands commemorates those who died in World War I on 4 May. The first and second generations of the living still bear the emotional scars of the war.

Below are some fascinating vintage photos of the Netherland in the 1940s.

#1 Canal Bridges in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Canal Bridges in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#2 Canal Excursion in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Canal Excursion in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#3 Amsterdam Canal, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Amsterdam Canal, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#4 Amsterdam Canal, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Amsterdam Canal, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#5 Canal Warehouses in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Canal Warehouses in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#6 Diamond Cutting Factory in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Diamond Cutting Factory in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#7 Diamond Dealers Club in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Diamond Dealers Club in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#8 Excursion Boats in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Excursion Boats in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#9 Flower Boat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Flower Boat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#10 Amsterdam Harbor, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Amsterdam Harbor, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#11 Amsterdam Harbor, 1940s.

Amsterdam Harbor, 1940s.

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#12 Hotel Doelen in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Hotel Doelen in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#13 Post Office Building, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Post Office Building, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#14 Rembrandt Park, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Rembrandt Park, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#15 Street Scene with Wooden Shoes in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Street Scene with Wooden Shoes in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#16 Amsterdam- Whaling Ship to South Pole in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Amsterdam- Whaling Ship to South Pole in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#17 Amsterdam-Church at Monnickendam.

Amsterdam-Church at Monnickendam.

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#18 Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#19 Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#20 Countryside near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Countryside near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#21 Countryside near Leidin, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Countryside near Leidin, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#22 Countryside near Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Countryside near Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#23 Windmill in Volendam

Windmill in Volendam

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#24 Steamer near Hook, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Steamer near Hook, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#25 Countryside from Train near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Countryside from Train near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#26 Milking Cows in Field, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Milking Cows in Field, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#27 Isle of Marken Children, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Isle of Marken Children, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#28 Isle of Marken Children, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Isle of Marken Children, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#29 Isle of Marken Houses, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Isle of Marken Houses, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#30 Volendam at Sundown, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Volendam at Sundown, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#31 Volendam Clouds, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Volendam Clouds, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#32 Fishing Boats in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Fishing Boats in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#33 Girls in Costume in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Girls in Costume in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#34 Volendam House, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Volendam House, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#35 Street Merchants in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Street Merchants in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#36 Wooden Shoes in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Wooden Shoes in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#37 Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#38 Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#39 Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#40 Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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#41 Man in Costume in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

Man in Costume in Volendam, the Netherlands, 1940s.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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