Defence Line stories


Dutch military history is an important part of our past and has influenced our landscape. If centuries ago many battles were fought at sea, water was also an important element in the defence of the government, king and capital. Inundation of a circle of low-lying areas around Amsterdam formed the basis of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996. 42 forts and batteries had to defend that Defence Line, but there was never any fighting. In four projects, I let the people involved in the forts tell their stories about past and present.
The projects are commissioned by Stichting Verhalen Verbinden. The books are published by the North Holland Publishing Foundation. Already carried out and published in book form are the following projects:


  • Living along the Line Dike on the north-western front of the Defence Line
  • Living on the Stelling over the south-west front from IJmuiden to Kudelstaart
  • Kraijenhoff returns over the Zuiderzee and North Front
  • Heroes on the Defence Line

Millers in North Holland


In 2017, the Dutch Milling profession was declared an Intangible World Heritage Site by Unesco. In addition to traditions, rituals, and customs, the list of Intangible Heritage includes crafts and professions that people do not want to be lost and want to pass on to future generations. Protecting intangible heritage can be done by keeping it alive (using it), passing on knowledge and skills, and by recording the stories of the practitioners of the craft and passing them on to the public.


With the new Molenaars in Noord-Holland storytelling project, Stichting Verhalen Verbinden wants to record and pass on the story of the miller and other crafts that contribute to maintaining the mill. They will do this through storytelling meetings with millers, public meetings and especially by recording all the stories of millers, other mill professions and the volunteers and professionals involved in the mills in a book. Characteristic of their books is that they are low-threshold and accessible to a wide audience.


Uitgeverij Noord-Holland, publisher of the books Leven van de Wind (2007) and Molens in Noord-Holland (1981), would like to publish the book. The book with personal stories nicely complements these ‘standard works’ on mills in North Holland.

The book will be published in the 2nd half of 2023.

Experience Old IJmuiden

BeLeef Oud-IJmuiden, a project of the Verhalen Verbinden Foundation and was carried out by Marlenne Schrijver and Agnes de Boer in cooperation with the Welzijn Velsen Foundation.


In 2014 and 2015, Agnes de Boer and Marlenne Schrijver interviewed some 40 Old IJmuiden residents. These stories appeared in the IJmuider Courant and were collected in the book Beleef Oud-IJmuiden. Richly supplemented with anecdotes from the history of Oud-IJmuiden, the book is about canal diggers, quay knights, fishermen, steelworkers, shopkeepers, maternity wives, neighbourhood workers and, in any case, pioneers and hard workers. Agnes and Marlenne have supplemented the book with photos from official and personal archives.