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Farmers’ wives and farmers’ daughters in the Second World War

Time period: 1940-1945



Realisation project:



Time frame: 1940-1945
Location: Grebbe Line, Groesbeek
Number interviews: 12 (33 interview parts)


Thematic collection: Erfgoed van de Oorlog



During the Second World War, more than eight thousand farms were destroyed in the Netherlands, often including their contents. Because the farmers’ wives and farmers’ daughters in particular performed many household tasks and were therefore especially connected to the farm, they form a special group of war victims. As part of this interview project, twelve conversations were held with witnesses in Groesbeek, Mill and the Grebbelinie. The interviewees tell about the devastation during the war, everyday life in makeshift houses and reconstruction.


In the project, stories have been collected with different perspectives: stories from the perspective of the teenage farmer’s daughter, the farmer’s maid, the farmer’s daughter who was sent to a foster home, the worker’s daughter and the farmer’s daughter who did not come from a destroyed farm but experienced the devastation and life in the makeshift houses in the hamlet. The focus is partly on the events of the war in 1940, partly on the events of 1944/45. Most of the women have not told their stories before.