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Postwar Moluccan period Schattenberg 1951 – 1971

Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork
Time period: 1930-present
Number of interviews: 50
Accessibility: Limited public - on-site listening
Transcripts: Partly
Period of interviews: 2000-present

The use of the interviews for research and educational purposes requires prior permission from the Camp Westerbork Memorial Center. Transcripts can be sent to you. The interviews can only be listened to on location.

The main questions for the interviews with former Moluccan residents are: What was daily life like before World War II? How did you experience the migration? How did you experience your time in residential Schattenberg. What was daily life like? How did you experience moving to the neighborhoods? Some of the interviews include ego documents and photographs.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the 1930s – present.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include World War II, Indonesian revolution, migration, reception in the Netherlands, daily life in Schattenberg residential area, upbringing, Moluccan neighborhoods, education, food, religion, Dutch culture.

Abuys, G., Martín, J., & Mulder, D. (2011). Molukkers in kamp Westerbork:
het verhaal van woonoord Schattenberg 1951 – 1971. Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork

Moluccans in Camp Westerbork is a beautiful reading and viewing book with over 300 photographs, documents and drawings. It provides a fascinating picture of a Moluccan world on the Drenthe heath. Numerous former residents, both Moluccans and resident staff, speak out and recount daily life in the camp. Bystanders also talk about their contacts with another culture. For most of those involved, Schattenberg residential camp was an unforgettable experience, which they remember with warmth and often nostalgia. On March 22, 1951, the first Moluccan families arrived at the former Westerbork transit camp. These former KNIL soldiers and their families had come to the Netherlands from the former Dutch East Indies by order of the Dutch government. The name camp Westerbork was changed to Schattenberg residential facility. Over the years, more than 3,000 Moluccans would come to live there. There was a school, a hospital, a theater, a cinema and a bathhouse. Gradually, many contacts with the Dutch population developed. For example, traders offered their merchandise or opened a store in Schattenberg after the introduction of self-care. The stay in the residential resort was to be temporary. But the promised return to their homeland turned out to be an illusion, and so the Moluccan history of habitation became the longest in the camp. The last Moluccan families did not leave until 1971.