Flood disaster 1953

Collection former Stichting Film en Wetenschap


Interviewers: student groups
Number of interviews: 180

Sound carrier: 297 cassette tapes
Type of interview(s): scientific
Production date: 1990-92

Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcription: A brief summary is available of 100 interviews

The interviews relating to the 1953 flood were conducted as part of an oral history project by several groups of students from the Documentation Centre for Contemporary History (DNG) of the University of Amsterdam in 1990-92. Many of the interviewees were direct victims of the disaster, others were related to it as relief workers, administrators etcetera. 
The entire project was led by Dr Selma Leydesdorff. She used the interviews in her book Het water en de herinnering. De Zeeuwse watersnoodramp 1953-1993 (met een fotoreportage van Ed van Wijk), Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1993.


1953, the story


After the 50th anniversary of the flood disaster, which left so many scars on Texel, in Zeeland, North Brabant and South Holland, renewed attention is being paid to the stories of the eyewitnesses.


Former director of the Watersnoodmuseum, Jaap Schoof – himself an eyewitness – has set up the project ‘Oral History, 1953 the story’. Schoof speaks with victims, rescuers and relief workers. Although the project officially ended in November 2013, stories are still coming in. The archive now contains more than 300 interviews and 500 written memories.


The aim of the project: to unlock, collect and permanently preserve the written, audio and/or video recordings of (un)known stories from or about the flood disaster.



See in particular the oral history project in the 1990s by Selma Leydesdorff


oral histories films

Number of interviews: >300

The stories of and after February 1, 1953, by victims, relief workers and others directly involved in the flood disaster that left so many scars on Texel, in Zeeland, North Brabant and South Holland.