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Marcus van Blankenstein and geopolitics

Historisch Geluidsarchief RUU
Time period: 1918-1963
Number of interviews: 2 (1 person)
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: complete
Period of interviews: 15 November en 20 December 1963

Type interview: scientific

These two interviews can be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Beeld & Geluid with the terms “Van Blankenstein” under the series “Stichting Film en Wetenschap”

Interview 1 concerning Dutch-Russian relations

Interview 2 concerning the Belgian-Dutch treaty of 1925

Medium: 2 audio tapes

R.L. Schuursma and Th.H.J. Stoelinga in 1963 interviewed Marcus van Blankenstein (1880-1964) about Dutch-Russian relations (1918-1963) and the Belgian-Dutch treaty of 1925. He was personally politically involved in the crisis surrounding this treaty. Van Blankenstein passed away in the following year.


During the First World War, Van Blankenstein developed a network of contacts at the highest diplomatic level from his base in Berlin. That network, his origins from a neutral country and his work for one of the best informed newspapers at the time made him suitable to occasionally play a role as a diplomatic messenger. For example, in 1917 he conveyed official messages from revolutionary Russia to Germany. When dealing with the controversial treaty with Belgium, which held the Netherlands in its grip between 1925 and 1927, he strongly opposed this treaty. There was even talk of a ‘lobby’ by Van Blankenstein against the treaty. Van Blankenstein had very close ties with the intelligence services of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. This gave him a lot of knowledge of international relations.


For more information on the interviews and the interviewed, see: SFW-werkuitgave no. 8 (1995), p.6.