- Point of Interest
- Noorddijkerplein 1, 9734 AV Groningen, Netherlands
The Liberation Forest in Groningen was opened in 1995 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. Approximately 30,000 maple trees were planted to pay tribute to the Canadian troops who liberated Groningen in April 1945.
The Canadian troops started with the liberation of Groningen on 13 April 1945. The days after heavy fights between the German and the Canadian Army took place. A huge part of the city, including the Grote Markt, was destroyed. However, Groningen was liberated on 16 April which meant that the Dutch flag could hang out from the Martini Tower. The Liberation Forest in Groningen was planted to honour these Canadian troops.
The Bevrijdingsbos Groningen liberation was founded in 1992. In three years they designed the Liberation Forest and planted 30,000 trees which led to the opening of the forest in presence of Canadian liberators and resistance fighters on 5 May 1995. Besides the trees multiple elements were placed in the forest to remember the Second World War. One of them is the Regiment plateau. On this remembrance stone the names of the 23 army units of the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division are engraved. In the pond of the Liberation Forest a large freedom symbol designed by Robin de Krijger was placed in May 2005. The shape of the symbol is a maple leaf, the symbol of Canada. In the leaf 43 holes can be found. They stand for the 43 Canadian soldiers who died during the liberation of Groningen.