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Bombs and habits

Time period: 1940-1945



Realisation project:

Stichting Verhalis


Time frame: 1940-1945
Locatie: Aarle-Rixtel, Noord-Brabant, Amsterdam, Dussen, Noord-Brabant, Groningen, Made, Noord-Brabant, Roermond, Limburg, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, Venlo, Limburg
Number of interviews: 8 (in 25 parts)


Thematic collection: Erfgoed van de Oorlog



Some interviews can be seen via:





As part of this oral history project, nuns were interviewed about their experiences during the years of German occupation. The sisters were especially asked about the consequences of such phenomena as quartering, refugees, people in hiding and evacuation for their relatively closed life, organised according to a strict daily order.


The interviewees are members of the Catholic congregation Sisters of Charity in Tilburg and they all experienced the war in a different way. Some of them worked in the mother house of the Congregation, others worked outside, for example in a hospital. After the Second World War, the Sisters spoke little about their war experiences and all attention was focused on restoring the pre-war order and regularity.


It was not until much later that open discussions and writings about monastery life during the years of occupation began. The one-sided image of the ideal self-sacrificing warrior nun prevailed. The testimonies of the nuns show that the reality was richer. Some sisters played a supporting role in the institutions where they worked and opened their doors to people in need (Jewish people in hiding, refugees), but also to the occupying forces.