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Anton Mussert

Paul Verhoeven
 
Time period: 1910-1946
Number of interviews: 16
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: summary
Period of interviews: 1967
Remarks:

The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization, however, can be requested through Sound & Vision.

 

The following items can be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Sound & Vision:

  • Two of the 16 interviews, the interview with F. Rost van Tonningen and with E.J. Roskam;
  • Portrait of Anton Adriaan Mussert, a film by Paul Verhoeven;
  • Anton Mussert, a 1966 university film, a compilation of excerpts from propaganda films.

 

Medium: 6 geluidsbanden
 

The interviews were made on behalf of Verhoeven’s film Portret van Anton Adriaan Mussert (1968, 16mm, 55′). Hans Keller and Leo Kool also worked on this film.

Verhoeven created this portrait of Anton Mussert on behalf of the VPRO. He broke with tradition and held interviews with former members of the NSB. The VPRO was aware of these interviews but changed their mind a year before the documentary aired. Verhoeven was forced to make some small changes to the documentary before it was aired.

 

It was broadcast by VPRO television on 16 April 1970 and repeated on 20 August 1989 as part of the series TVTOEN. or: How Dutch television writes history, which also covered the problems surrounding the first broadcast. These are also described when discussing the film in Chris Vos, Television and Occupation. A study of the documentary portrayal of World War II in the Netherlands, Hilversum: Verloren, 1995, pp.126-127.

Film and the interviews outline the life course of Mussert (1894-1946): his HBS days; studying civil engineering at the Technical High School in Delft; his work at the Provincial Water Authority in Utrecht, since 1921 as engineer and later as chief engineer director until his resignation in 1934; the importance of his activities as secretary of the committee against the 1925 Belgo-Dutch Treaty for his further political ambitions; the establishment of the NSB in 1931; his role within the NSB and that during the German occupation; his arrest in May 1945; his internment in the penal prison at Scheveningen; the trial in November 1945; his execution on 7 May 1946.

 

The following people were interviewed:

  • Dibbits was a colleague of Mussert’s at Rijkswaterstaat.
    As chief inspector after the war, Van Dien was in charge of supervising Mussert during his internment.
  • Hartman was an admirer of Mussert and fought on the Eastern Front during World War II.
  • Kleijn was a classmate of Mussert’s.
  • Knigge, De Lange and Lemoin[e] had joined the Dutch SS, founded by Mussert, during the occupation. Knigge and Lemoin[e] also fought on the Eastern Front.
  • Koren was a colleague of Mussert’s at Rijkswaterstaat. Among other things, he talks about the relationship between Mussert and Van Geelkerken, with whom Mussert founded the NSB in 1931 and who also worked at
    Rijkswaterstaat.
  • Krabbendam was the commander of the arrest teams of the Internal Armed Forces (BS), which arrested Mussert on 7 May 1945.
  • Van der Laan was a teacher of Mussert at the HBS in Gorkum.
  • Roskam was the peasant leader of the NSB.
  • F. Rost van Tonningen had been a member of the NSB since 1936 as youth leader and, since 1941, the wife of Mussert’s rival the NSB leader Meinoud Rost van Tonningen. She talks about Mussert’s motives and the relationship between him and her husband.
  • Schermerhorn studied at the TH in Delft at about the same time as Mussert; both graduated in 1918, albeit in different fields of study. In the interview, Schermerhorn talks about the student and engineer Mussert and about the letters the latter wrote him from captivity concerning their personal relationship. Schermerhorn was prime minister of the first post-war national cabinet at the time of Mussert’s execution.
  • Smit recounts Mussert’s execution.
  • Van der Vaart Smit was a leader of a Christian circle and secretly a member of the NSB. However, he opposed the German occupier’s equalisation of education and the persecution of Jews and eventually dropped out. Incidentally, he talks about the relationship between Mussert and Rauter.
  • Mr Zaayer had already met Mussert in the 1920s in connection with the organisation of the protests against the Belgium-Netherlands treaty of 1925 (cf. also the interview with Zaayer in: SFW work issue no. 8, p.53). After World War II, he was one of Mussert’s accusers as procurator fiscal of the Special Court in The Hague.

 

Interviewer: Paul Verhoeven