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Artists’ resistance

Collection former Stichting Film en Wetenschap
Time period: 1930-1945
Number of interviews: 16
Accessibility: For research purposes
Transcripts: Partly
Period of interviews: 1973-74, 1976-85

This collection has not yet been digitalized. Digitalization may be requested through Sound & Vision:

Medium: 14 sound tapes and 1 cassette tape


Kunst in crisis en bezetting. Een onderzoek naar de houding van Nederlandse kunstenaars in de periode 1930-1945 (with a foreword from prof.dr. H.L.C. Jaffé), Utrecht/Antwerpen: Het Spectrum, 1978.

Most of the interviews were conducted by Hans Mulder (Theaterwetenschappen, Utrecht) for his dissertation on artists’ resistance during the Second World War: Kunst in crisis en bezetting. Een onderzoek naar de houding van Nederlandse kunstenaars in de periode 1930-1945 (Art in crisis and occupation. An investigation into the attitude of Dutch artists in the period 1930-1945 (with a preface by prof.dr. H.L.C. Jaffé), Utrecht/Antwerp: Het Spectrum, 1978.


The author used the interview with Marten Toonder in his publication Een groote boot een plompe voet. The Netherlands and the Nazis in cartoon and caricature 1933-1945 (with a foreword by Marten Toonder), Amsterdam/Brussels: Thomas Rap, 1985.
The interviews discuss the social and political position of artists before the war, especially since 1933; the situation during the war, with an emphasis on the way the interviewees dealt with the resistance; the influence of the war and resistance experiences on their own thinking and professional practice and on art in general after 1945.


Several interviewees were involved in the preparations, which started during the war, for a new constellation in which the arts would have to function after the war, which resulted in the establishment of the Federation of Artists’ Associations and the Arts Council. Many were involved before the war in anti-fascist groups such as the Comité van Waakzaamheid and the Bond van Kunstenaars ter Defensie van de Kultuur (BKVK), which in 1936 organised the exhibition De Olympiade Onder Dictatuur (D.O.O.D.), among others.


In the interview with Bijmoer, the emphasis is less on the war period. Before the war, Bijmoer did guided tours in the Stedelijk Museum, and during the war he was a draughtsman and designer. Immediately after the war, he drew for the newspaper Het Parool and was a set and costume designer for many plays, revues and television series. The last ten years before his retirement, he did that exclusively for television (NOS).


Transcripts are present only of conversations that were held in 1973-74, namely those with Boers (1905-1978), painter; Braat (1908-1982), sculptor, poet and writer; Defresne-Ruys, wife of the actor Defresne (1893-1961), herself a bacteriologist; Groenier (1905-1977), actor and former director of the Arnhem School of Drama; De Leeuwe (1898-1982), actress; Romein-Verschoor (1895-1978), historian and writer; Poons (1896-1985), actor; Sandberg (1897-1984), former director of the Stedelijk Museum; 1st interview Sterneberg (1901-1987), actor; Tiemeijer (b. 1908), actor.