Recreating the past: Liberation of Netherlands, 1945

Seventy years after the event, the Dutch are commemorating the liberation from Nazi occupation of 5 May 1945. To mark the occasion, Radio Netherlands’ Dutch service in 2005 restored a radio broadcast originally aired from London by Holland’s extraterritorial station Radio Oranje on that date in 1945.
Ten minutes of the original half-hour programme had to be reconstructed, carefully degrading the sound quality, mixing in some interference, and revoicing part of the original scripts, which were discovered in the Radio Netherlands archives.
Listening to mid-20th century Dutch AM radio is not always easy on 21-st century ears used to crystal clear reception. But you might want to give it a try if you missed the show 70 years ago.

Listen to Radio Oranje’s Liberation Broadcast on Soundcloud.

The first reconstructed fragment is a news broadcast, 8 minutes into the programme. Recreated in 2005 by voice artist Cees Wijburg. He briefly returns on the 14th minute. The poem read by A. den Doolaard at 15’20, The Eighteen Dead by Jan Campert, was taken from a film newsreel soundtrack to replace the original reading which had gone missing.

Similar, but…
In 2015, Dutch domestic radio produced a number of period newscasts, voiced in classical style by stalwart reader Donald de Marcas. The events of May 1945 unroll before your very ears. The sound quality, however, is well and truly 2015. As is the modern slightly sloppy Dutch accent of the nameless reporter briefly appearing in the middle of the newscast…

Listen to NPO Radio bulletin with news of 5 May 1945.


About robkievit

Served the world through Radio Netherlands Worldwide from 1996 to 2012
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