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One-way trip Rotterdam


The video film was made by Olivier Cohen Stuart and Frank Jan Kat, who are graduating from Erasmus University’s social history sub-faculty with this production.


Frank Jan Kat and Olivier Cohen Stuart worked on the film for over a year. Kat: “We had to do a lot of ‘oral history’. It turned out to us that this period of Rotterdam’s development is a neglected child. Even though the roots of the city of Rotterdam emerged during this period. (…) For the interviews in our film, we had to make do with the second generation of migrants. During our research, we still came across a lot of interesting material, which we could not put in the context of this film, because we limited ourselves to thirty-five minutes. We collected a lot of material that can still be worked out.


The revolutionary development of the Maas city at the turn of the century is discussed, as well as the related influx of ‘migrants’ from all parts of the Netherlands, their problems and the construction of the Boerenzij, as Rotterdam-Zuid was soon called.


The historical footage is provided with newly recorded commentary by Philip Bloemendaal, known from Polygoonjournaal. The film alternately features elderly former migrants talking about their youth in their living rooms, striking fragments from the VARA series Merijntje Gijzens jeugd, cartoons by Albert Hahn and posters from socialist organisations. Offscreen, Jules Deelder recites texts appropriate to the time and Dieuwertje Blok reads the connecting texts.


The entire film can be watched on YouTube.

Oral history archive Jordaan

Riek Volkers-Van der Hoek na de voorstelling Verhalen van water, werk en leven, 18 december 1988 in het Open Haven Museum dat was gevestigd in Passagiersterminal van de Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomvaart Maatschappij (KNSM). Foto: Theo Veenboer


Around 1985, Mieke Krijger made audio and film recordings about people whose lives are not well known. These are recordings of elderly people from Amsterdam’s working-class neighbourhoods, particularly the Jordaan, who were born and grew up around 1900. They grew up with a generation born around 1875 and even before that.

Special in the stories recorded are the subjects from everyday life, about living conditions and living conditions.

The events during the potato riot , a riot in which women played an important role, are also discussed.


President of the Jordaan Museum, Mieke Krijger, made a montage of one of the interviewees: Tante Riek Volkers (1897-1993) tells.

Riek Volkers recounts the circumstances in which she grew up and events during the potato riot (1917) she witnessed. She narrates with topical urgency and wit, as if talking about yesterday’s day. Although this family did not appeal to the urban poor, they repeatedly lived over the edge of starvation.

For this film, additional archival research was done on the living conditions, disease histories, etc. of the family she grew up in. Contact was also made with people who played a role in her life, such as her family doctor and local residents.

Riek Volkers-Van der Hoek’s grandson was willing to talk about his memories of his grandmother using photos from the family archive.


The film was shown on 30 April 2023 in the Jordaan at a well-attended gathering with many concerned questions.


12-06-1984 VARA

Digital carriers: 1x WAV

Analogue carriers: 1x Magnetic tape

Programme, from an idea by Mieke Krijger, on the potato riot of 1917 and the women’s struggle during World War I in Amsterdam, this was the period of struggle of bourgeois women for suffrage and for right to work, and the struggle of working-class women for food and better working conditions. With newspaper reports read aloud and personal recollections by Brecht van den Muijzenberg-Willemse (communist) and the Amsterdam couples Gortzak and Huyben, who lived in the Jordaan and on the Eilanden at the time. Their parents were directly involved in actions.



The interviews were conducted as part of several film projects. Roy Villevoye is a visual artist and filmmaker and has been visiting West Papua since the 1990s. His focus is on the Asmat in southwest Papua. He is interested in personal stories of, and the (historical) relationships between, different groups: Dutch, Indonesians and Papuans. The interviews have been used in several films (partly together with Jan Dietvorst) including Give me soap. Give me a towel and The new dress in which missionaries speak, the film Evidence, And the Trumpet Shall Sound, Owner of the voyage and Propeller.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1945 – 2017.
They mainly discuss West Papua, Asmat, Merauke, the Netherlands and Indonesia. Themes include World War II, Indonesian occupation, colonial times, missionaries, plane crash.

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.

Oral history interviews with former BBs

Interviews with former BBers on Lunet 1
As concerns about war in Europe grow, calls for a contemporary version of the BB are heard. Four former BBers give their personal opinions and are happy to share their experiences in a conversation at the National Command BB bunker at Lunet 1 in Utrecht. And what they think of a BB 2.0


Thanks to the interviewees who share their personal stories:

  • Kees Walter, 84, with the BB Utrecht from the late 1950s
  • Dick van Schouwen, 71, BB Rotterdam, from late ’73 to mid ’75
  • Roger Unger, 91, BB Utrecht from ’62 to ’72
  • Cor Kaïm, 72, BB Rotterdam, from ’73 to dissolution in ’86


Interviews with former BBers:
Concept and interviews: Menno Heling (ifthenisnow, V6, Erfgoed Expert Team prov Utrecht)
Camera and editing: Willem Hoogenboom Contact:

With thanks to Gemeente Utrecht and Provincie Utrecht