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.

Diplomatic Witnesses

Huygens instituut
Number of interviews: 42
Period of interviews: 2021-2023

Diplomatic Witnesses is an oral history project, which aims to assemble a collection of interviews with retired Dutch diplomats. These oral histories will be made available in a purpose-built online environment in both text-based an audiovisual format. We aim to create a new primary source collection that will provide researchers with unique insights into the formation and execution of Dutch foreign policy, as told by eye-witnesses and participants.


Our primary focus will be on collecting oral histories connected to key historical events in the last thirty years, a period that saw the Netherlands engage in repeated moments of soul-searching

The sharp ideological contrasts that defined the international landscape of the Cold War, and anchored Dutch foreign policy within it, faded after the fall of the Berlin Wall. European integration accelerated with the conclusion of the Maastricht Treaty (1992) and the formation of the Euro, but did not always evolve in a direction the Netherlands might have wished – as evinced by the referendum that rejected the European constitution in 2005. Atlantic cooperation remained the pivot of Dutch security policy, but the nature of the Dutch-American came under close political scrutiny in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq. New international issues, from terrorism and ‘failed states’ to climate change and migration, came to define the political agenda.


These developments also profoundly affected the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The internationalisation of an ever-greater range of policy questions broadened and complicated its remit of responsibilities. At the same time, the ministry’s position within the Dutch government was called into question, leading to consistent calls the Dutch diplomatic service to be ‘modernised’ and brought into line with contemporary ideas on public governance.


By collecting the oral histories of those directly involved in these events, this project will generate new openings for the study of Dutch foreign policy, and of the Dutch diplomatic service as an institution. To enhance the accessibility of these interviews, the department for Digital Data Management and Digital Infrastructure (DI) will support the project by developing automatic processes for the recognition of named entities, such as people and places. DI will also develop the online environment in which users will be able to study and listen to the oral histories.


The end result will be a website where you can watch the video recordings of the interviews together with automatically generated (but manually controlled) transcripts and subtitles. Moreover, it will be possible, via search functions, to search through the total corpus of interviews for interview fragments dealing with a single topic or country. In short, an innovative oral history project that uses the latest digital techniques and will thus be very useful for future researchers and for educational and training purposes.


Historisch Geluidsarchief RUU / R.L. Schuursma. P. Verhoeven
Time period: 1940-1945
Number of interviews: 3
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: summary
Period of interviews: 1967

Medium: 8 sound tapes


  • J.M. van Ameijde
  • H.A. Das
  • S.S.P. de Man


Interviewer: R.L. Schuursma, P. Verhoeven


For more information on the interviews and interviewees, see: Film and Science Foundation (SFW) working edition no. 8 (1995), pp. 1, 10, 32.

Roman Catholicism

Verkiezingsbord voor KVP in 1963
Historisch Geluidsarchief RUU / Albert Brouwers
Time period: 1948-1972
Number of interviews: 2
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: nee
Period of interviews: 1985


The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization, can be requested through Sound & Vision.


However, the following item cán be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Beeld & Geluid:

  • Marga Klompé, Portrait of Marga Klompé, ex-Minister of CRM. Interviews with her and various archive images related to her political career. Broadcasted 06-05-1984 at the KRO
Medium: 1 sound tape

The interviews with Marga Klompé (1912-1986) and Joseph Luns (born 1911) were conducted for a doctoral thesis on Roman Catholicism and KVP politics in the Netherlands. Klompé became a member of parliament for the KVP in the late 1940s and also held several international positions. In the 1950s and 1960s, she was minister – the first woman in the Netherlands – of Social Work and CRM respectively in several cabinets. Later, she developed many activities the church peace movements. The KVP-er Luns held the foreign ministry continuously from 1956 to 1971. In 1972, he became secretary-general of NATO. Shortly afterwards, he resigned from the KVP.


VPRO / H.J.A. Hofland, Hans Verhagen, Sytze van der Zee
Time period: 1938-1948
Number of interviews: 24
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 1974

Medium: 28 sound tapes

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4


Vastberaden maar soepel en met mate, 1938-1948. Herinneringen aan Nederland

Auteurs : H.J.A, Hofland, Hans Keller / Hans Verhagen

Uitgever : Atlas Contact B.V., 1976
ISBN : 9789025420376

A historiography of the Netherlands from 1938 to 1948 based on interviews with mostly ordinary people about the crisis years, the brief revival from 1938, WWII and the decolonisation of Indonesia interspersed with archive material including feature film and sound clips.

From the 1970s, there had been a shift in perspective on WWII. It was no longer good to beat oneself up and only point the accusing finger at the collaborator, the Nazi or the criminal.

This change was reflected in the 1974 VPRO documentary. It focused on the failure of the authorities and the mental kinship of collaborators and ‘ordinary’ citizens. The story is an ‘anti-epic’ of confusion, self-interest, doubt, helplessness and absurdity.


The interviews were made for the VPRO production Vastberaden, maar soepel en met mate. Memories of the Netherlands 1938-1948, by H.J.A. Hofland, Hans Keller and Hans Verhagen. Television broadcast took place on 15 October 1974 (2 hours 55 mins). An edited version was broadcast on 29 June 1977 and repeated on 27 August 1989.
The interviewees recount their memories of the last pre-war years, the Second World War and the first post-war period from the different positions they held at the time. Sometimes they are authorities such as the politicians Burger and Schermerhorn, the historian Bouman, the communist resistance fighter Gortzak and also the press chief of Reichskommissar Seyss-Inquart, Willi Janke. In addition, however, several ‘ordinary people’ are featured, on whose history in and around the war the producers were particularly keen to emphasise. Examples include the Amsterdam-based Ms de Bruin and her friend, the resistance fighter De Graaf, the NSB member J.B. and the German soldiers stationed in the Netherlands during the occupation. Rasterhof, Van der Schaaf, Scheps and Slui give their views on the so-called Schokking affair. Mr F.M.A. Schokking was mayor of Hazerswoude during wartime and played a role in the arrest of the Jewish family Pino. After the war, he became mayor of The Hague until the affair was raised and forced him to resign. At Slui’s house, the Pino’s had spent some time in hiding during the war.
Most of the interviews were conducted by Hans Verhagen. Sytze van der Zee also participated in the interview with Willi Janke. The interview with Van Walsum – ultimately not included in the documentary – was conducted by Henk Hofland.

The makers of the documentary published a book containing (some of) the texts from the television film: Determined but Supple and Moderate. Herinneringen aan Nederland 1938-1948, Amsterdam: Contact, 1976. Keller and Hofland provided the book with introductory articles, chronicling the general principles of and practical preparations for production. The book is available at SFW.
Chris Vos analysed the documentary in his article ‘An indifferent history? The significance of the VPRO documentary Vastberaden, maar soepel en met mate for Dutch audiovisual historiography’, in: Jaarboek Mediageschiedenis 5, Amsterdam: Stichting Mediageschiedenis/Stichting beheer IISG, 1993, pp. 227-260. He did the same in his dissertation Television and Occupation. Een onderzoek naar de documentaire verbeelding van de tweede Wereldoorlog in Nederland, Hilversum: Verloren, 1995, pp. 128-153.
In 1989, the documentary was repeated as part of the VPRO series TVTOEN. or: How Dutch television writes history. There, the makers talked about the making of the film, their underlying ideas, the Schokking affair and (former prime minister) de Quay refusing an interview.


Interviewee(s): Henriette de Beaufort, H. Blok, Ms de Bruin and Ms Anchelon, Prof P.J. Bouman, Mr J.A.W. Burger, Henk Gortzak, Willi Janke, J.B. (initials only), Cas de Graaf, Mr P.J. and Ms Kruger[s], B.J.
Kouw, Gerrit Kouwenaar, J. Osten, L. Rasterhof, S.J. van der Schaaf, prof. W. Schermerhorn, Daan Slui, G.E. van Walsum, Lex van Weren, mr. J.C. de Wit, J.H. Scheps, mr. Kwiet, 2 (anonymous) German soldiers, 5 ‘border residents’

Dutch East Indies

Aankomst Johan van Oldenbarneveldt met repatrianten in Amsterdam, Bestanddeelnr 909-4259
Dick Verkijk
Number of interviews: 24
Accessibility: restricted
Transcripts: summary
Period of interviews: 1971

Medium: 5 geluidsbanden

The interview series involves mostly short conversations (ranging from four to 40 minutes) with Dutch East Indies people. They discuss their arrival in the Netherlands and their assimilation into Dutch
society. The material was used for an NOS radio programme, broadcast in March 1971.


Interviewer(s): Dick Verkijk


Number of interviewees: 27

Oort, K. Pavilcek, father and son Pietersz, Mr Pratacik, Coen Pronk, Mr de Riemer, Mr Robinson, Dr H. Ruiter, J. Sluyters, Prof J.D. Spekman, Mr and Mrs Tielman, de Vries

Anton Mussert

Paul Verhoeven
Time period: 1910-1946
Number of interviews: 16
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: summary
Period of interviews: 1967


The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization, however, can be requested through Sound & Vision.


The following items cán be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Sound & Vision:

  • Two of the 16 interviews, the interview with F. Rost van Tonningen and with E.J. Roskam;
  • Portrait of Anton Adriaan Mussert, a film by Paul Verhoeven;
  • Anton Mussert, a 1966 university film, a compilation of excerpts from propaganda films.


Medium: 6 geluidsbanden

The interviews were made on behalf of Verhoeven’s film Portret van Anton Adriaan Mussert (1968, 16mm, 55′), in the composition of which Hans Keller and Leo Kool also collaborated.
It was broadcast by VPRO television on 16 April 1970 and repeated on 20 August 1989 as part of the series TVTOEN. or: How Dutch television writes history, which also covered the problems surrounding the first broadcast. These are also described when discussing the film in Chris Vos, Television and Occupation. A study of the documentary portrayal of World War II in the Netherlands, Hilversum: Verloren, 1995, pp.126-127.
Film and the interviews outline the life course of Mussert (1894-1946): his HBS days; studying civil engineering at the Technical High School in Delft; his work at the Provincial Water Authority in Utrecht, since 1921 as engineer and later as chief engineer director until his resignation in 1934; the importance of his activities as secretary of the committee against the 1925 Belgo-Dutch Treaty for his further political ambitions; the establishment of the NSB in 1931; his role within the NSB and that during the German occupation; his arrest in May 1945; his internment in the penal prison at Scheveningen; the trial in November 1945; his execution on 7 May 1946.


Dibbits was a colleague of Mussert’s at Rijkswaterstaat.
As chief inspector after the war, Van Dien was in charge of supervising Mussert during his internment.
Hartman was an admirer of Mussert and fought on the Eastern Front during World War II.
Kleijn was a classmate of Mussert’s.
Knigge, De Lange and Lemoin[e] had joined the Dutch SS, founded by Mussert, during the occupation. Knigge and Lemoin[e] also fought on the Eastern Front.
Koren was a colleague of Mussert’s at Rijkswaterstaat. Among other things, he talks about the relationship between Mussert and Van Geelkerken, with whom Mussert founded the NSB in 1931 and who also worked at
Krabbendam was the commander of the arrest teams of the Internal Armed Forces (BS), which arrested Mussert on 7 May 1945.
Van der Laan was a teacher of Mussert at the HBS in Gorkum.
Roskam was the peasant leader of the NSB.
F. Rost van Tonningen had been a member of the NSB since 1936 as youth leader and, since 1941, the wife of Mussert’s rival the NSB leader Meinoud Rost van Tonningen. She talks about Mussert’s motives and the relationship between him and her husband.
Schermerhorn studied at the TH in Delft at about the same time as Mussert; both graduated in 1918, albeit in different fields of study. In the interview, Schermerhorn talks about the student and engineer Mussert and about the letters the latter wrote him from captivity concerning their personal relationship. Schermerhorn was prime minister of the first post-war national cabinet at the time of Mussert’s execution.
Smit recounts Mussert’s execution.
Van der Vaart Smit was a leader of a Christian circle and secretly a member of the NSB. However, he opposed the German occupier’s equalisation of education and the persecution of Jews and eventually dropped out. Incidentally, he talks about the relationship between Mussert and Rauter.
Mr Zaayer had already met Mussert in the 1920s in connection with the organisation of the protests against the Belgium-Netherlands treaty of 1925 (cf. also the interview with Zaayer in: SFW work issue no. 8, p.53). After World War II, he was one of Mussert’s accusers as procurator fiscal of the Special Court in The Hague.


Interviewer: Paul Verhoeven

Spanish Civil War

Stichting Film en Wetenschap / Djoeke Veeninga
Time period: 1936-1939
Number of interviews: 3
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 1979

Medium: 2 sound tapes

These are three interviews relating to the Spanish Civil War conducted by Veeninga with the communist former Spanish fighter Van Poelgeest (born 1914), the Spanish man of letters Carrasquer (born 1915), who has lived in the Netherlands since 1953, and the anarchist Constandse (1899-1985).

Unskilled labour

Stichting Film en Wetenschap / Abram de Swaan
Number of interviews: 6
Accessibility: restricted
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 1971
Medium: 29 audiotapes

The interviews were made for the VARA television production Een boterham met tevredenheid (55′) by Abram de Swaan and Paul van den Bos, broadcast on 1 May 1971.

The context of the film and the making of the interviews was covered in Vrije Geluiden, among other publications. VPRO programme magazine for TV and radio, no 18, 1-8 May 1971.
The interviewees talk about their work (skilled or unskilled) and any previous occupations or work circles.

Boon is a metal worker (plate presser) at DAF; Ten Dolle is a textile worker (stretcher) at the Enka in Emmen; Hilkhuyzen is a punch typist at the computer centre of an insurance company; Mathijsen – not included in the documentary – is a metal worker at Tomado; Oussoren is a cable braider at Draka; Spoelstra is a biscuit packer at Albert Heijn. The interview with Hilkhuyzen was conducted by Langebach.



  • M.H. Boon
  • G.J. ten Dolle
  • Mrs W. Hilkhuyzen
  • Mr Mathijsen
  • A.R. Oussoren
  • Mrs Spoelstra-Leendert


Interviewer(s): Bram de Swaan, Laurie Langebach

De Swaan published the interviews in abridged form in his book Een boterham
met tevredenheid. Gesprekken met arbeiders, Amsterdam:
Van Gennep, 1972.




Drug use

Stichting Film en Wetenschap / René Swetter
Number of interviews: 6
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 1971

Medium: 7 audio tapes

The interviews were conducted for the purpose of and incorporated into the film Drugs, stuff for thought (René Swetter, SFW 1972).

Five interviews concern users of soft drugs and (former) addicts of hard drugs. The individuals’ experiences range from twice
ever smoked a stickie to twelve years of opium addiction. One interview concerns the wife of a (former) opium addict.


Drugs, stuff for thought made on the initiative of Amsterdam psychiatrist Peter Geerlings.
Faced with a great demand for information on drugs, Geerlings thought it necessary to add a film to the drug information package in circulation in the Netherlands (such as a programme by the Kritische Filmers from Breda, broadcasts by various broadcasters and school television and a series of publications).
Geerlings particularly encountered a lack of information among people who deal with young people on a daily basis at schools, social academies, and training and youth centres. The film: Drugs, stuff for thought, is mainly intended for them. However, the makers of the film will also explore whether the viewing audience can be extended to young people themselves- “The problem with this, however,” says director René Swetter, “is that there are quite a few people who fear that young people interpret this information about drugs as advertising.” A fear that seems unfounded. When you watch and listen to the seven young people who talk about their experience with drugs in the film, you don’t undergo a reaction of: hey, I need to so as well. There is only one boy in the entire film (Jaap, 32, publisher and unmarried says the commentary) who is able to integrate smoking hashish well into his role in social life. The other interviewees smoke. as a reaction to their environment and none of them seem really happy about it. As a result, the film creates a somewhat distorted picture of drug use in the Netherlands. After all, Leuw reaffirmed this with his research among schoolchildren: most users stick to some Incidental experimentation with cannabis.





DRUGS, STUFF TOT NADENKEN (korte versie), René Swetter, 1975

link to archive

Discussion film (short version) that focuses on breaking taboos around drug use.
After images of stimulants whose use is integrated into social life, such as alcohol, tobacco, sedatives and stimulants, fragments of street interviews on drug use follow. This is followed by interviews with users of soft and hard drugs.