German maids in the Netherlands

Time period: 1920-1950 and 1986-1991

International Institute of Social History 

Audio collection of interviews with Dutch maids


Barbara Henkes




Number of interviews: 26

Thesis by historian/journalist Barbara Henkes of the University of Amsterdam, describing the history of German maids in the Netherlands. From the early 1920s, German girls were recruited to work in Dutch households. On the basis of interviews, the book examines what it was like for German women to work in the Netherlands in times of growing unemployment and rising National Socialism. Attention is also paid to the differences between the position of German and Dutch maids, the significance of German confessional girls’ associations and the position of those women who – often through marriage with a Dutchman – continued to live in the Netherlands.

Documenntary VPRO / NOVA: Duitse dienstmeisjes (NTR, 1995):