Liberation Museum Zeeland
The Zeeland Liberation Museum explores the eventful history of Zeeland during the Second World War. The museum also devotes attention to volunteers from Zeeland who served in the Dutch East Indies immediately after liberation.
The Battle for the Scheldt occupies a prominent place within the museum. This battle took place between 18 September and 8 November 1944, after the defeat at the battle of Arnhem (Operation Market Garden). The Battle for the Scheldt is largely forgotten within the annals of Dutch history. However, this large-scale operation not only liberated the majority of Zeeland, it also gave the Allied forces access to the long desired port of Antwerp in Belgium that was of vital importance for the conveyance of troops and supplies. This gave the stalled Allied offensive much needed momentum, bringing the end of the war into view. The many casualties, both military and civilian, as well as the enormous material damage that resulted from this battle must not be forgotten. Though Zeeland was the hardest-hit Dutch province, the effects of the Battle for the Scheldt were felt far beyond as well. This single operation cost the Canadians more casualties than any other operation during the whole of WWII.
Currently, the museum is being extensively enlarged to include a Zeeland Liberation Park. The concept behind the Liberation Park is unique: against the backdrop of Zeeland’s water, sand dunes, and dikes, the Park recreates the war period between 1939-1945, in particular the Battle for the Scheldt. Nothing like it can be found anywhere else in Western Europe.
The goal of the Zeeland Liberation Museum & Liberation Park is to tell this province’s story during WWII through the use of authentic artefacts and stories, which are all carefully collected, preserved, conserved, and exhibited. The emphasis focuses on the almost-forgotten Battle for the Scheldt, with the aim of promoting, in a historically accurate way, its strategic importance for the end of WWII in Western Europe and the period after. Today, the key role the Battle for the Scheldt played in bringing WWII to a close is yet to receive the recognition it deserves, both on a national and international level.
Unique Selling Points
• The characteristics of our beautiful province include: peace and quiet, plenty of space, open landscape, and a natural coastline!
• Geographically, Nieuwdorp lies practically in the centre of the Province of Zeeland. The Sloedam can be found approximately 3 km from the museum. This is a narrow dam connecting the island of Walcheren with Zuid-Beveland, where heavy fighting took place in 1940 and 1944.
• The museum has over ten thousand artefacts in its collection; a major part of Zeeland’s history is contained within these objects.
“By joining forces with Liberation Route Europe, we hope to ensure that the role of the Battle for the Scheldt in ending the Second World War will not be forgotten in the Netherlands and beyond.“