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The Pool Club


For the podcast The Pool Club, Annegriet Wietsma used oral history


Annegriet, with the memories of protagonist George in her pocket, will explore whether she can check his story (fact-check) with stories of other possible (eye) witnesses, in archives and at locations. In other words, a search for the truth of a hidden past.


George grows up in post-war Amsterdam, in a poor family. He roams the streets a lot. To earn some extra money, he scavenges with interested male passers-by. He is approached by a kind photographer who allows the lad to pose in exchange for money. Naked. The photographer also takes him to a public swimming pool where working-class kids are allowed to swim occasionally for an evening. And then the story takes a bizarre turn.


“Well… and then came the pool club. That you had to swim in the nude. And that there were grown-ups who appreciated that. And then there was always money in your jacket pocket. Five guilders or so.”


In this interview you can read more about Annegriet Wietsma’s motivation to start making this series and the role of oral history.


The Pool Club is a podcast by NTR, created with support from the NPO fund and the Fonds Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten and can be listened to via the website and app of NPO Radio 1, the free NPO Luister app and other podcast platforms.


The story is partly based on the book Verboden Photos; an Amsterdam Novel, Helmut van de Berg (pseudonym), Uitg Gigaboek, 2005-2019