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War on the Veluwe

The podcast series War on the Veluwe covers war events from five Veluwe municipalities. The episodes consist of a combination of oral history, interviews with experts and results of literature research and new archive research. The first episode deals with consequences of the Putten raid, which will be commemorated next week. Special features of this episode include an interview that the last deceased returned Putter, Jannes Priem, gave at Putten railway station in 2012 about his experiences.


Roel Zuidhof, director of the Nijkerk Library: ‘The podcast series Oorlog op de Veluwe introduces people to the history of the Second World War in an innovative way. The use of background sounds evokes a penetrating atmosphere. Publishing podcasts is a new service ideally suited to libraries. It fits perfectly with several of our statutory tasks, such as making knowledge and information available, providing opportunities for development and education, and introducing people to art and culture.’

In several episodes, people read from original documents. In De gijzeling in het stadhuis, 15-year-old Loïs Bredemeijer reads from the diary of Cootje Callenbach. She was 15 in 1944 when she wrote her story about the taking of over 40 Nijkerkers hostage in the Nijkerk town hall. In the episode Farm De Harscamp, a voice actor reads from a brother’s diary. In addition, the brother’s son is interviewed.


The podcast series focuses on war stories from the Veluwe municipalities of Barneveld, Ede, Ermelo, Nijkerk and Putten. The five participating municipalities are funding part of the production. In addition, as part of 75 years of freedom, a contribution has been granted by the Mondriaan Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. In awarding the grant, the Mondriaan Fund spoke of the project demonstrating “good cultural entrepreneurship”. The podcast series was created by Nijkerk historian Anton van Renssen in collaboration with sound engineer Piet Nelemans from Veenendaal


For the podcast on Oorlog op de Veluwe, Anton van Renssen used interviews from previous projects in addition to interviews with experts and relatives of those involved. For instance, he was able to draw on the interviews he made for the Witnesses’ Stories project. This gave these stories a new target audience.

Renssen officially made the series for the Biblitheek Nijkerk, but also for five Veluwe municipalities: Ermelo, Putten, Nijkerk, Barneveld and Ede. The podcast series has nine episodes. This project brings together his love of history and radio. In this project, he works together with sound engineer and musician Piet Nelemans and more than 50 volunteers. Renssen signed up for the research, script writing, editing and final editing. In short: actually for almost everything.

For these podcasts, Renssen uses new and existing interviews. The music is by Dutch Jewish musicians who were victims of the Holocaust. He may use these with the permission of the Leo Smit Foundation.