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The tragedy of Oxerhof

Title: Spionage, arrestaties en moord aan de IJssel. Een speurtocht naar het duistere oorlogsverleden van Oxerhof en de activiteiten van het SD-Kommando Deventer 1943-1945

Author: Huub van Sabben

Publisher: Flying Pencil NL, Utrecht, 2020

ISBN: 9789081870269

The beautifully situated Oxerhof estate, under the smoke of Deventer, harbors a dark and well-hidden wartime past, only fragments of which have become common knowledge over time. The estate was requisitioned by the occupying forces in 1943, officially it was a hospital for SS soldiers, but in reality it was school for secret agents who had to gather information in Allied territory. A spy school. From November 1944, the Oxerhof became an SD prison where resistance fighters and deserters were incarcerated. In total, there were around two hundred prisoners and more than a hundred did not survive the war. The last 10 prisoners in the Oxerhof, a few hours before liberation by Canadians, were gruesomely murdered.

 

Around 2009, Huub van Sabben conducted fourteen interviews on this topic with different people on this topic. These interviews concern the period 1943-1945. For forty years Van Sabben worked on his magnus opus about the Oxerhof, a book called Spionage, arrestaties en moord aan de IJssel. Van Sabben dug through mountains of primary sources to create this book.

In this video Van Sabben speaks about his book and the Oxerhof.

 

The interviews can be found on in the archives of Collectie Overijssel

OUR COUNTRY – Decolonisation, generations, stories

Currently, about two million people live in the Netherlands with special ties to the former Dutch East Indies. They or their ancestors came to the Netherlands after the proclamation of the Republic Indonesia. It was the largest wave of migration ever. Some of them thought their stay here would be temporary.

 

The voices of eight families form the core of the  semi-permanent show Our Country. The interviews are incorporated into the exhibition. These personal and diverse but for many recognizable stories give a picture of the complex postcolonial history, and how differently it was and is experienced. The family stories in Ons Land start in the present. From there they lead us back into the colonial past. The exhibition ends again in the now.

 

Ons Land was created by the Moluccan Historical Museum and the Indisch Remembrance Center in collaboration with Kossmanndejong and TiMe Amsterdam.

 

Also see the upcoming expert meeting at the Sophiahof in The Hague

The other side of the Bersiap

Title: De andere kant van de bersiap: Een reconstructie van de interneringen in en de evacuaties uit de republikeinse kampen op Java, oktober 1945-mei 1947

Author: Mary van Delden

Publisher: Walburgpers, Zutphen, 2024

ISBN: 9789464561760

 

Title: De republikeinse kampen in Nederlands-Indië oktober 1945 – mei 1947: orde in de chaos?

Author: Mary van Delden

Publisher: Mary van Delden, Kockengen, 2007

ISBN: 9789081184519

For decades, the media, publications and websites have talked – without any nuance – about violent, undisciplined, brainwashed and disorganized Indonesian youth who, after the Japanese capitulation – under the name of pemoeda – roamed through Java killing and looting. In the process, tens of thousands were reportedly killed. The reconstruction of the internments in and evacuations from the so-called republican camps shows that by no means all pemoeda were violent. “The other side of the bersiap” is that pemoeda in the majority responded to Sukarno’s call for all threatened Dutch (and Ambonese and Menadonese) men and older boys to be interned in republican camps between Oct. 11 and 19, 1945, to prevent bloodshed. Women and children followed from late October to mid-December.

 

To produce this study, Mary van Delden interviewed more than one hundred eyewitnesses and Indonesian veterans. In 2007, Van Delden already acquired her PhD on this same subject. Her dissertation can be found online.

 

Also see this conversation between interviewer Michal Citroen and Van Delden about her thesis from OVT (VPRO).

Put to work by the Arbeitseinsatz

Title: Tewerkgesteld: Getuigenissen van de Arbeitseinsatz

Author: Renske Krimp-Schraven

Publisher: Boom, Amsterdam, 2024

ISBN: 9789024464913

Very little is known about the fate of the Arbeitseinsatz. They were put to work in Germany. They returned from “the enemy’s country” with the most varied experiences. One had been undernourished doing heavy digging work in the freezing cold and spoke of “working like a slave. Another recalled that he ‘wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for anything’. Many men experienced heavy bombing and were terrified in the shelters.

 

What memories did the men pass on and what did they prefer to keep quiet about? Renske Krimp-Schraven spoke to dozens of workers and read hundreds of diaries and memoirs. In the end, she conducted a total of 51 interviews. In her book Tewerkgesteld she brings the experiences of the Arbeitseinsatz to life and makes clear how Dutch society and the men themselves dealt with this painful history.

 

Renske Krimp-Schraven is a historian and is working as a researcher on a joint research project of the National Committee for May 4 and 5 and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies on the memory of Dutchmen who were put to work as part of the Arbeitseinsatz.

 

See the presentation of her book

And an interview from the NPO with the author

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.

Brabantia Nostra

Title: Brabantia Nostra: een gewestelijke beweging voor fierheid en ‘schoner’ leven 1935-1951

Author: Jan van Ousheusden

Publisher: Stichting Zuidelijk Historisch Contact, Tilburg, 1990

ISBN: 9070641348

Also available online

For his dissertation, Jan van Oudheusden interviewed ten founders and members of Brabantia Nostra between 1987-1989. Brabantia Nostra (=our Brabant) was a Dutch socio-cultural magazine that existed from 1935 to 1951. The magazine devoted itself to the development of  the culture of (North) Brabant, which was onspired by, among other things, the Roman Catholic Church and the ‘Burgondian Lifestyle’.

 

The following individuals were interviewed:

  • P. Dorenbosch
  • J. Heerkens
  • L. van Hoek
  • P. Mutsaers
  • J. Naaijkens
  • C. Ruygers-Smulders
  • C. Slootmans
  • F. van der ven
  • A. Willemse
  • B. Wijffels-Smulders

 

You may find the transcriptions here 

Textile workers in Enschede

 

In the late 1970s, a textile museum was opened in the former Jannink textile factory on Haaksbergerstraat in Enschede. To gain insight into how people lived and (co)-resided in the working-class houses of Textielstad Enschede in the period from around 1900/1920 to the 1960s, a number of interviews with elderly textile workers were held in 1982 and 1983. The main theme was the three Ws: Living, Working and Welfare. Based on the descriptions, themed rooms were set up in the museum . The interviews were conducted by Carla Bruynel, museum educator at the time, and by Mieke Grobbink, who was an intern at the new museum. The interviews can be found on the Erfgoed Enschede website.

 

The interviews focus on the home and home furnishings, facilities such as water and light and cover issues like the large families, having fun together, poverty, alcohol consumption and violence.

 

 

Lessons for the future

Bommel, M.A.J. van, fotograaf - Afbeelding van Willem Bley achter zijn fruitkar in de Koningstraat te Utrecht. - Utrechts Archief - 823256
 

The Volksbuurtmuseum feels it is important to record the stories of working-class Utrecht residents from the period after World War II to the 1970s as well. The interview project is broader than just Wijk C; residents of the ‘new’ neighbourhoods such as Kanaleneiland and Overvecht are also interviewed.
The original Utrechters, but certainly also the new Dutch will have their say, the guest workers, as they were called at the time.
What was it like to come here and how are they doing now? They tell about life in the working-class neighbourhood between 1945 and 1990. One hundred and one people were interviewed about their lives, their work and their neighbourhood. How do they look at it and what ideas do they want to pass on to (young) people for the future?

Het leven in de volksbuurt, 1945-1990

Adrianne Dercksen, Ingeborg Hornsveld

Nederlands Volksbuurtmuseum
Uitgeverij Betelgeuze
ISBN: 9789087081010

 

Het leven in een volksbuurt

podcast

 

 

The book and podcast series focus on the history of Utrecht’s working-class neighbourhoods and their residents. More than a hundred working-class neighbourhood residents were interviewed about their lives and how things used to be.

 

The book

The book tells the story of the lives of people from Utrecht’s working-class neighbourhoods from 1945 to around 1990. They tell about their childhood, their parents, school, dating, sexuality, work, the neighbourhood, the city, their own families. Stories about poverty and working hard to get ahead. About togetherness in family and neighbourhood, but also about drunkenness and domestic violence. How were migrants received and how did they find a place in society?
Each time, the question is how people look back on their lives. On the opportunities they got at school and at work. What obstacles did they encounter in life and how did they overcome them? How do they think about destiny and personal responsibility? What do they want to give young people of today based on their own life experiences?
The book ‘Life in the working-class neighbourhood’ was written by Adrianne Dercksen and Ingeborg Hornsveld and is on sale in the museum shop or through Betelgeuze publishers.

 

The podcast series

In this series, you will hear excerpts from the interviews. Popular neighbourhood residents share their memories, teach us lessons and tell stories about life in the popular neighbourhood. The podcast series was created by Jaap Hoeve and Bart Verbeek.

Ordinary then, extraordinary afterwards

Mevrouw Van der Hoop tachtig jaar, 3 november 1959. Zij zit in het midden, omringd door familie, pachters en personeel

Toen gewoon, achteraf bijzonder

Henny van Harten-Boers

Publisher: Stichting landgoed Fraeylemaborg, Slochteren

ISBN: 9789080484603

The oral history of the Fraeylemaborg estate in Slochteren. The Fraeylemaborg was privately occupied until
1972, after which it became a museum.
Therefore, for a long time there were still people who could tell from their own experience about life on this historic estate. Henny van Harten spoke with members of the family, chambermaids, tenants and local residents. The memories of these people are vivid and detailed and cover the period from 1920 to 1970.

 

The title of the book is taken from a quote by Louise Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop van Slochteren (1915-2008): “We always thought it was quite ordinary, but afterwards you realize: well, that was quite special after all!”

Interview collection ’45 – ’49

Soldaat in Indonesië 1945-1950

Gert Oostindie

Prometheus

In 2012, NIMH, NIOD and KITLV made an initial call for systematic research on the Indonesian War of Independence. Funding failed to materialise at the time. KITLV then paid attention to this period through the teaching responsibility of Gert Oostindie (Leiden University). Students were commissioned to study memoirs and diaries and interns conducted research in archives, including in the Oral History collection SMGI. This work eventually led to the book Soldier in Indonesia.

 

 

 

To complement this book, 19 interviews were then conducted with Moluccans because although Moluccans are mentioned in this publication, Moluccan ego documents are missing. These interviews were set up systematically.
In addition to the interviews with Moluccan veterans, 9 more interviews were conducted with Dutch veterans.

This project was part of a trajectory that led to the research programme Independence, decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945 – 1950. The interviews were done with the aim of collecting additional stories to the publication Soldier in Indonesia. The main question was: What were your experiences during the years 1945 – 1949 in Indonesia? The Moluccan interviews included the question of why the interviewee joined the KNIL. Interviews with Dutch veterans included questions about experiences of violence.

 

Indonesia and the Netherlands were mainly discussed. Themes include Indonesian revolution, KNIL, violence, veterans.

 

Access: The collection is not yet accessible. In 2023, the collection will be transferred to an archive institution, possibly UB Leiden.