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An oral history of the Groningen gas extraction

The Eyewitnesses of Gas Extraction project will record the stories of at least 100 people on video over the next two years (from April 2024). In this way, recent history will be told through personal stories in a unique way. Many stories have already been collected in recent years. But never before have the testimonies of residents and those involved in gas extraction been recorded in a systematic and scientific way. This initiative is being led by researcher Nienke Busscher and counselor Marjo van Bergen. The first interviews are expected to be recorded starting April 2024. So you can still participate in this project!


Here you may find more information concerning this project.

And here you may contact the project and participate in the interviews.

Here you may find an NPO interview with the leaders of this project.


Ooggetuigen van de Gaswinning is an initiative of nine organizations with roots in Groningen based on an idea by Diepduik Media. Each party contributes its own expertise, guaranteeing (scientific) quality. A foundation is being set up especially for this project. In this way, independence is guaranteed and the proceeds of the project can be properly and carefully managed.

Back on the scene

Oude vrouw en kinderen, concentratiekamp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bundesarchiv Bild 183-74237-004

Terug van weggeweest – Getuigenissen over en uit joods Groningen in de jaren dertig en veertig plus razzia-lijsten met 3064 namen

Johan van Gelder
Publisher: Van Gorcum, 1993
ISBN: 9789080146518

Publicist Johan van Gelder came into possession of the original German raid lists used to round up Groningen Jews. The municipality of Groningen had an important part in compiling the lists, as did the national government.
Groningen, like many municipalities, was purged of its Jewish inhabitants. Without a fight, most of its Jewish inhabitants were expelled for good during the Second World War.

In ‘Back from Away’, survivors in the Netherlands, Israel and the United States – who returned due to a curious coincidence – as well as non-Jews testify about Jewish Groningen with an emphasis on the 1930s and 1940s. Those years were so characteristic because, on the one hand, there was a thriving Jewish community, which also had its problems – which, on the other, was destroyed by a reign of terror in a relatively short time.


In this oral history Van Gelder hears the stories of the people themselves. Letting former Groningers who lived through it tell their stories. Van Gelder went to the people with his tape recorder and typed out and edited all their stories.

Red Aid

Rode Hulp, de opvang van Duitse vluchtelingen in Groningerland 1933-1940

Ruud Weijdeveld

Uitgeverij: Wolters-Noordhoff

EAN: 9789062430550


Het spoor terug – VPRO

The communist refugee organisation De Rode Hulp helped between three and five thousand German communists cross the border illegally in the 1930s. The communists here wanted to continue the struggle against Hitler. Especially in the Groningen-German border area, many crossed the border. The Colijn government was deeply troubled by the refugees. It therefore tightened the right of asylum and refused residence permits to active ‘revolutionaries’.


VPRO Radio 5 – Het spoor

‘De Rode Hulp, opvang van Duitse vluchtelingen in het Groningerland 1933-1940’.
With a tour of smuggling trails, and interviews with those involved, including:
-Klaas Telkamp, son of a smuggler from Bellingwolde,
-communist Willem Kuiper
-Hennie Stal from Groningen;
-Friedl Baruch of the ‘General Council’, which had to investigate the political reliability of the refugees;
-co-author and historian Ruud Weijdeveld


Huis van Derk Telkamp in Bellingwolde

Derk Ploeger and Cathrien Ploeger-Eimers

Derk Ploeger Cathrien Ploeger-Eimers, Dagelijks leven in de vrij-socialistische beweging in Groningen door hen zelf verteld

Written by Wilbert Dekker, Jack Hofman, Wantje Fritsehy and Pieternel Rol

With a foreword by Anton Constandse

Own publication

Groningen, 1979


GRONIEK Nr 65 (1979)





The view of 50 years of socialist history from “the bottom up” by two people who witnessed the developments very closely is a valuable addition to what has been published about this period in the official annals. It is also a story of two people who dared to live their lives differently than was usual and succeeded.



Drukkerij “De Volharding” in 1924 van links naar rechts: Derk Ploeger, J. Bijlstra, J. Lenstra, J.B. Ploeger. Links de snelpers, rechts de trap-degel

Prominent Gelderlanders


Prominent Gelderlanders

5 digitised interviews

Gelderland Heritage


Investigating whether and how the collection can be archived and made public

Interviews with striking Gelderlanders

Mien van der Meulen-Nulle
(The Hague, 17 March 1884 – Winterswijk, 8 January 1982)

Louisa Wilhelmina (Mien) van der Meulen-Nulle was a Dutch teacher of lace technology and director of the Royal Dutch Lace School in The Hague.

Nulle studied useful handicrafts at the Industrieschool voor Meisjes in The Hague. She came into contact with lace through books. She received additional lessons from Elisabeth Manhave, a former pupil of the lace school in Sluis. In 1903, she taught at the Lace School, then based in Apeldoorn. At the age of 22, she became headmistress of the lace school in 1906 when it moved to The Hague. She was given access to an attached studio. She designed the cradle cover for Princess Juliana in 1909. On the occasion of a parade in Leiden depicting the entry of Frederik Hendrik in 1629, she designed several 17th-century lace based on paintings in 1910. It earned several awards.


Louis Frequin
(Arnhem, 29 July 1914 – Berg en Dal, 13 October 1998)

Interview on 11 August 1976 (tape 1 missing – interview 28 April 1976)

Louis Hendrik Antonius (Louis) Frequin was a Dutch journalist, author and resistance fighter. Louis Frequin was married and had eight children, the oldest of whom, Willibrord Frequin, is the best known.

Louis Frequin was Roman Catholic and had worked in journalism since 1930. Former editor-in-chief of the Gelderlander and the Nieuwe Krant.


Herman Martinus Oldenhof
(Apeldoorn, 17 September 1899 – Ede, 11 April 1985)

Interviewer J.P. Gansenbrink, 21 July 1977

Oldenhof was a Dutch mayor. He was a member of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP). Oldenhof was mayor of the municipalities of Lopik, Jaarsveld and Willige Langerak from 1929 to 1936. He then served as mayor of Kampen from 1936 to 1942 and from 1945 to 1952.

Oldenhof left for the municipality of Ede, where he was mayor until 1962. Under his administration, the municipality grew from 47,656 to 60,162 inhabitants and much was invested in new education and infrastructure. In 1962, he became deputy of the province of Gelderland. He continued to live in Ede, though. Here he died in 1985 at the age of 85 in retirement home De Klinkenberg.



Jan Taminiau
(1 April 1903 – 17 July 1993)

Interviewer G. J. Mentink, 16 October 1975

Taminiau was director of the Gelderland fruit processing company Taminiau Elst Overbetuwe (TEO)


Jan Hendrik de Groot
(Alkmaar 13 March 1901 – Zeist 1 December 1990)

Jan H. de Groot was a poet, journalist in Arnhem.

In 1948, he became editor of Het Vrije Volk in Arnhem and from 1950 until his retirement in 1966, he was press chief of the AKU in Arnhem. From 1950 to 1962, he was secretary and treasurer of the Dutch branch of the international authors’ association PEN.

STUK, a history 1977-2015

Stuk, een gechiedenis

Marleen Brock

Publisher Hannibal, 2015


In spring 2015, STUK celebrated. For 37.5 years, the Leuven arts centre has been at the artistic forefront. A book (STUK, a history 1977-2015; Hannibal Publishing House) and an exhibition (Was it now ‘t Stuc, STUC or STUK?; STUK Expozaal) underlined this contrarian anniversary. At the same time, the historical retrospection served to pause for a moment and look back, only to choose a new future as the House for Dance, Sound and Vision. Yet such a radical change of direction is by no means unique in historical perspective. Reinventing itself is in the DNA of the organisation, as a logical consequence of the constant search for artistic renewal.


In this smoothly written book, cultural historian Marleen Brock (KU Leuven) tells the story of 37.5 years of STUK – not a nicely rounded anniversary, but as contrary as the arts centre itself. Amusing anecdotes and quotes from interviews with key figures, photos, posters and documents bring the rich history to life.

Dutch East Indies veterans

Doede Bruinsma (1926) grew up in Harpel, Groningen. He had volunteered for the army in 1946 because he saw conscription coming. Bruinsma left for the East Indies in November 1947 on the troopship the Groote Beer. He served as a sergeant major administrator in Sanga-Sanga, the oil rig in Borneo, and later in Wanaredja in Central Java. Bruinsma returned to the Netherlands in January 1950.
After the debate on the conflict between the Netherlands and Indonesia revived in 2012, OVCG created an Oral History project in cooperation with the Gronings AudioVisual Archive (GAVA). This project focuses on the experiences of three Groningen East Indies veterans. With this, OVCG tries to give people a better understanding of the conflict between the Netherlands and Indonesia from the point of view of East Indies veterans. The film below was the result, in which three veterans, including Doede Bruinsma, tell the story of their time in the East Indies.


The interviews were conducted by War and Resistance Centre Groningen. The interviews deal with the Indonesian War of Independence and the role of the interviewees in it. The three interviews have been made into a 30-minute montage.
The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1946 – 1949.
They mainly discuss the Netherlands, Groningen and Indonesia. Themes include Second World War, Indonesian revolution, expectations, conscription, war volunteers, adjustment problems.


Jan Hummel, Doede Bruinsma and Anton Schurer talk about their time in the Dutch East Indies between 1946 and 1949 in this montage. The montage is an excerpt from three Oral History interviews conducted by OVCG.


Oral History Ned. Indië veteranen OVCG from Groninger Archieven on Vimeo.

The Jewish community in the German-Groningen border region

An Oral History project looking for Jewish life in the Groningen-German border region. There have been many contacts, both familial and business. A well-known example of a German family in Groningen is that of the Polak family. In the Pudding Factory in Groningen, the famous Polak pudding was made until 50 years ago. Together, the organisations are looking for traces of migration movement across the border. New ideas and stories are being collected for short films to be made and a travelling exhibition from Leer to Groningen’s synagogue. Finally, Willy van der Schuit was introduced to the audience. Willy van der Schuit may provide new museum furnishings for the Synagogue of Groningen, and for this he is looking for objects with a story.

Living with water in Gelderland, past and present

Oral history stories about historical water management

Leven met water


Living with water and drought is not only an issue today but also in the past. What did you do as a farmer if the Slinge flooded? How did estates ensure sufficient water in canals and ponds? How did a copper mill work? What was water management like in the past and today?

Farmers, estate owners, (retired) employees, dike wardens, water board heirs, water millers and stream volunteers told their stories.

Map Tour oral history Living with water:

Since 2016, volunteers from the Oral History Working Group Gelderland have been recording life stories about historical water management in order to make the work of the water authorities (past and present) visible. All kinds of people have been interviewed: a laundry owner, volunteers who maintain streams and springs, estate owners, farmers, millers, people who experienced dike breaches up close. How did they live with water?

This is a special project because these stories have been recorded province-wide for the first time.
All the stories can be read via a map tour on the website of Landschapsbeheer Gelderland.

Notable Bommelaars

With fifty notable Bommelaars fifty years back in time

In the past fifty years Zaltbommel has grown from a sleepy little town on the river Waal into a modern city in the middle of the country. In this book well-known Bommelaars tell how life has changed in Zaltbommel. 

Former general practitioner and writer Paul van Dijk has chronicled the history of half a century of Zaltbommel on the basis of fifty interviews. Notable inhabitants of Zaltbommel tell about the recent history of the church, art, education, the police, the housing market, politics, the multicultural society and about their love for their city. 


On the basis of these stories, discover how a city changes and how we continue to write history together, even today. 


The notable Bommelaars have been portrayed by photographer André Dieterman. The book therefore not only gives you a special picture of the recent past of Zaltbommel, but because of the beautiful photographs it is also a unique reading and viewing book that should not be missing on any reading table.