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A good start
-giving birth in the Netherlands

Number of interviews: 6
Accessibility: public (in the course of 2024)
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 2021
Medium: MP4




Creators: Jet Homoet en Ane C.Ose


The interviews are stored at Atria and DANS

This Oral History project (working title: The Home Birth Culture) consists of six filmed oral history interviews with birth care professionals, a documentary (70′) and a trailer. On Instagram are short street interviews with parents and healthcare professionals.


Oral History interviews with: midwives Franka Cadée, Erna Kerkhof and Djanifa de Conceicao, maternity nurses Thea Groeneveld and Pien Jasper and gynaecologist Martine Hollander.

The life stories of the six birth care professionals provide insight into who and what shaped them, how they came to choose their profession and what experiences they have had in practising it. They share their knowledge about the unique birth care of the Netherlands from their personal experience and perspectives. Together, they paint a powerful but also vulnerable picture of a birthing culture under great pressure from a zeitgeist of medicalisation, market forces and modern man’s drive for control. Pregnant women’s freedom of choice to give birth safely at home is at stake as a result.

How valuable and exceptional our birth care is, which most Dutch people take for granted, is shown by the penetrating stories of these professional women about the overwhelming and special nature of every birth, about the importance of a familiar face during parturition -at home and in the hospital, about the function of pain and the consequences of trauma, poverty and racism. As a result, the interviews and film are also a reflection on our society and core values such as trust in ourselves and our fellow man, autonomy and freedom of choice.


‘Home birth culture’ has had the status of Immaterial Heritage Netherlands since 2021.


The Oral History project Een goed begin – bevallen in Nederland was set up by Vertelburo. Filmmakers Ane C. Ose and Jet Homoet have many years of experience in recording life stories commissioned by individuals and organisations.

Memories of the Dutch Indies

Indisch Herinneringscentrum (IHC)
Time period: 1930-1990
Number of interviews: 88
Accessibility: public
Transcripts: partly
Period of interviews: 2012-2018

Part of the collection is housed at DANS


Het project Herinneringen aan Indië is gestart in 2012. Guido Abuys (conservator Westerbork, tevens zoon van één van de geïnterviewden) startte het project als een vrijwilligersproject. Aanleiding voor het project was het werk van Esmeralda Böhm en Guido Abuys in Duitsland in opdracht van de NOS/NTS, waar ze op zoek waren naar mensen die de ‘bersiap’ periode hebben meegemaakt. Er waren weinig verhalen beschikbaar. Dit motiveerde Guido Abuys het interviewproject Herinneringen aan Indië op te zetten. In dit project werden levensverhalen verzameld. Doelstelling was om zo veel mogelijk verhalen te verzamelen van de eerste generatie ‘Indische Nederlanders’ voor hun overlijden.
Hoofdvraag: Hoe heeft u de aanloop naar de Tweede wereldoorlog, de Indonesische onafhankelijkheidsoorlog, de periode daarna en de reis naar Nederland en aankomst in Nederland ervaren? Via de IHC-nieuwsbrief is toentertijd een oproep gedaan, mensen konden zich opgeven om geïnterviewd te worden. De meeste geïnterviewden zijn witte Nederlandse mannen. Er zijn ook enkele Indonesiërs geïnterviewd. In sommige gevallen zijn er objecten gefotografeerd van mensen die geïnterviewd zijn.
Deze zijn in de IHC beeldbank opgenomen en zullen nog herleid worden naar de interviews.


De interviews gaan in op gebeurtenissen en ervaringen in de jaren 1930 – 1990.
Er wordt voornamelijk over Indonesië en Nederland gesproken. Thema’s zijn o.a. het leven voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog, de koloniale samenleving, de Japanse inval, krijgsgevangenschap, de bevrijding, de Indonesische revolutie, repatriëring, aankomst en ontvangst in Nederland.


Beheer: De collectie wordt beheerd door het Indisch Herinneringscentrum (IHC) en is deels ondergebracht bij Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).
Toegang: De collectie is openbaar. Bij interesse kan materiaal opgevraagd en bekeken worden in het kenniscentrum van het IHC (CC 0.4).






Witnesses & Contemporaries

Getuigen & Tijdgenoten (NIOD, KITLV)
Time period: 1945-1949
Number of interviews: 76, of which 5 group interviews
Accessibility: The collection is not accessible (yet). The collection will be unlocked in 2023.
Transcripts: Abstracts are available. Transcripts of most interviews are available; a report is available of a small number.
Period of interviews: 2017-2022
Medium: Digital audio flies (WAV, MP3, M4A, OGG)

Interviews conducted in local Indonesian languages include a translation into Bahasa Indonesia.

The interviews conducted in Bahasa Indonesia by Fridus Steijlen have been translated into English.


The material is managed by the NIOD. In the near future, the collection will be included at Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).

Within the research program Independence, decolonization, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950, the Witnesses & Contemporaries project focuses on collecting the experiences of those involved in the Netherlands, Indonesia and other countries. The Witnesses & Contemporaries project aims to build a bridge between people who experienced the period between 1945 and 1950 in Indonesia and researchers.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1945 – 1949.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include Indonesian revolution, KNIL, Darul Islam, Tentara Pelajar, TNI, Royal Navy, veterans, conscription, refusal of command, war criminal, MARVA, VHK, Red Cross, daily life, violence, demarcation line, protection camps, republican camps, Bandung Lautan Api, language, loyalties, eyewitness accounts, positioning, remembering and forgetting.




getuigen en tijdgenoten

Camp of hope and despair

Time period: 1939-1941


Willy Lindwer, AVA Productions BV


Timeframe: 1939-1945

Location: Westerbork

Number interviews: 14




Is part of: Thematische collectie: Erfgoed van de Oorlog, Het Willy Lindwer Holocaust Video Archief

The material is not yet available through DANS. However, you can contact Willy Lindwer himself, contact details can be found on his website.

Camp Westerbork in the eastern part of the Netherlands was the last station for more than 100,000 Dutch Jews to be deported to the Nazi death camps. Over 80% of Dutch Jews were deported, the highest percentage in Western Europe. The emotion and tragedy of the story is enhanced by the remarkable photographs and films of Rudolf Breslauer, camp photographer and filmmaker. This is the first documentary film ever made about this Nazi transit camp in the Netherlands, with a large series of interviews with survivors who played an important and prominent role in the camp, such as youth leaders, about the hospital, religious life, entertainment and other elements of life in the camp. Among the interviewees is the non-Jewish Dutchman Adrianus van As, head of the distribution office in Camp Westerbork.


Chanoekaviering in een barak in Westerbork, december 1943

Groningen during wartime

Time period: 1940-1945

Timeframe: 1940-1945

Location: Groningen

Number of interviews: 14


All videos can be viewed via:



Some of the videos can be seen via:


Interviews with 14 witnesses who tell about their experiences during the occupation and liberation of Groningen and its surroundings.

In the light of liberation

Maker: Charles van den Berg
Time period: 1940-1945
Number of interviews: 8
Accessibility: Unknown
Transcripts: Unknown

In the light of liberation’ is an eight-part series by Charles van den Berg in which he talks to 8 people who personally experienced the Second World War.

In 2005, as part of the 60th commemoration of the liberation of Venlo, the series was broadcast by Omroep Venlo in the radio programme Venlo Plus.


Bridge in Venlo, Collectie NIOD, nr.74673

The Willy Lindwer Holocaust Video Archive

Time period: 1940-1945


Willy Lindwer, AVA Productions BV


Timeframe: 1940-1945

Location: Netherlands

Number of interviews: 83



The material is not yet available through DANS. However, you can contact Willy Lindwer himself, contact details can be found on his website.

Since 1970, filmmaker Willy Lindwer has built up a film and video collection that focuses on the Holocaust. This material includes unique oral history material about the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands. In this project, 83 interviews from this collection, recorded in the period 1986-2004, are described and digitised. They form the raw source material that was used for seven documentaries.


Among the many interviewees are: Janny Brandes-Brilleslijper, who witnessed Anne Frank’s death in Bergen-Belsen, Jehshua and Hennie Birnbaum-Szaja, who ran the orphanage in Westerbork, and Mirjam Bolle- Levie, secretary to David Cohen, chairman of the Jewish Council.

Long shadow of Sobibor

Time period: 1930-2009


Realisation project:

Selma Leydesdorff (interviews), University of Amsterdam

Mirjam Huffener (project manager), Stichting Sobibor


Timeframe: 1930-2009
Location: Netherlands, Poland, Sobibor





The Long Shadow of Sobibor collection contains 31 interviews with both relatives of people murdered in Sobibor and with Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian survivors of the Sobibor uprising (October 14, 1943).


The interviews are life histories in which the interviewees tell about the world they left behind with the death of relatives in Sobibor, and how they lived their lives afterwards without their loved ones. Next of kin tell what the murder of their loved one has meant. Often one or both parents are involved. The survivors, of the revolt that took place in Sobibor on October 14, 1943, also go into their lives before and after the extermination camp in their stories.

Javanese in diaspora

Arrival of Javanese in Paramaribo, 1923





Timeframe: from 1890

Number of interviews: 57


Website: javanen-in-diaspora



Until 1939, approximately 33,000 Javanese in Suriname transferred. After their contract period, the majority settled in Suriname. Only a minority returned to Indonesia. The most described return is the organized repatriation in 1954 of about 1000 people to Indonesia. This consisted of Javanese ex-contract workers and their (grand) children born in Suriname. Against better judgment, they did not end up in Java, but in Tongar, a town in West Sumatra. Most of them did not stay long. Their search for a better life brought them to other places in Indonesia: Pekanbaru, Padang, Medan, Jambi, Jakarta, but also back to Suriname.


Much less known is the group migration in 1953 of several dozen Javanese to neighboring French Guiana. Presumably even more individuals left for French Guiana in groups until the late 1960s. During Suriname’s internal war, Javanese, especially from Moengo and Albina, also fled to French Guiana. According to 2005 French population data, some 1,900 Javanese currently live in French Guiana.


The most recent extensive land relocation of Javanese Surinamese took place before the independence of Suriname in 1975, this time from Suriname to the Netherlands. Under the spell of political leaders who believed that independence would not benefit the position of the Javanese, some 22,000 Javanese left for the Netherlands. Among them were also those who had previously tried in Indonesia and in French Guiana.


This multiple migration of the Surinamese Javanese, is the subject of the life story project Javanese Migration and Heritage in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands. In order to get a clear picture of the multiple migrations and the personal experiences of the Javanese migrants, an oral history project was set up around migration and heritage formation among the Javanese in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands.


The Royal Institute for Language, Agriculture and Ethnology (KITLV) and the Foundation for the Commemoration of Javanese Immigration (STICHJI) collaborated on this project.

The interviews can be listened to on the website of Javanese in Diaspora, the metadata and summaries of the interviews are stored in EASY.

Nijkerk as a refuge during WWII

Looking for food in Nijkerk during the hunger winter of 1944

Time period: 1944-1945



Realisation project:

Stichting Oud Nijkerk


Timeframe: September 1944 – April 1945
Locatie: Nijkerk, Gelderland
Number of interviews: 10


Thematic collection: Erfgoed van de Oorlog



A single interview can be seen via:


During the Second World War, the town of Nijkerk in Gelderland was a small, predominantly Christian community of about eleven thousand inhabitants. The residents outside the fortress lived mainly from agriculture. In September 1944, Nijkerk was confronted with a large stream of refugees from the Arnhem area, which had become virtually uninhabitable as a result of the Allied airborne operation Market Garden. Many civilians fled, whether forced by the Germans or not, to safer places. In the winter of 1944-1945 Nijkerk was also visited by thousands of people from the big cities who were on a hunger march. On the busiest days, sometimes around 20,000 people passed through Nijkerk.


As part of the oral history project, interviews were held with residents of Nijkerk who witnessed the large flow of refugees and people looking for food. On the basis of the interviews, it is investigated how the population of the small, close-knit community reacted to the arrival of large groups of people in need. Because the Christian churches played a major role in the social life of Nijkerk, their role is given special attention in the interviews. In addition, the interviewees discuss the events that took place on 1 October 1944 in nearby Putten. That day 
As retaliation for an attack by the resistance, a razzia took place there by order of the German occupying forces, during which almost the entire male labour force was transported to German concentration camps.