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Jan Teunissen, the Dutch film industry and Nazism

Historisch Geluidsarchief RUU
Time period: 1939-1945
Number of interviews: 3 (1 person)
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: summary; complete of one interview
Period of interviews: 13 and 27 November 1964 and 8 January 1965

Type interview: scientific

These interviews can be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Beeld & Geluid: Drie interviews met G.J. Teunissen (Leider Filmgilde 1941-1945) 11-11-1964

Medium: 4 audio tapes

Historian R.L. Schuursma interviewed filmmaker Gerardus Johannes (Jan) Teunissen (1898-1975) in 1964 and 1965. Teunissen was a National Socialist filmmaker in the Netherlands. In 1933 he made his first feature film, Willem van Oranje. This was the Netherlands’ first sound film. The interviews therefore provide information about Dutch film history and the role of National Socialism and collaboration during World War II.


On August 27, 1940, Teunissen joined Anton Mussert’s National Socialist Movement (NSB). Soon he became head of the NSB’s Film Service. His star rose quickly and it was not long before he was the most powerful man in the Dutch film world during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945 he was leader of the Film Gilde, a part of the Nederlandsche Kultuurkamer. This was a German institution to which all artists, architects, writers, etc. had to be affiliated in order to work. As chairman of the Rijksfilmkeuring, Teunissen was the personification of collaboration within the Dutch film industry.


After the Allied victory, Teunissen was imprisoned from November 5, 1945 to May 10, 1948. He was subsequently banned from working in the Dutch film industry for ten years.


An article about Teunissen and the first Dutch sound film