The water and memories

The memories of the flood of February 1953 have been absorbed, as it were, into slipping images of people fleeing, food drops and water.

Memories

The memories of the flood of February 1953 have been absorbed, as it were, into slipping images of people fleeing, food drops and water. In Het water en de herinnering an attempt is made, based on the memories and subjective experiences, to give the disaster, which has great significance for the formation of the Dutch identity in recent decades, a place in the national historiography.

 

Oral history research

Because of the oral history method used, this book is at the same time a reflection on the significance of memories for dealing with the past. For once it is not the heroes and the saviors who are speaking, but the testimony of those affected themselves who are central. In her approach, the historian Selma Leydesdorff aims to make remembering in itself the goal of historical research, and in this sense she is in line with the renewal of modern historical science..

 

Authenticity

Yet Water and Memory has not become a mere academic book. The stories of the victims are above all characterized by poignant authenticity. Despite all the distortions caused by the passage of time, one once again gets an impressive picture of what happened then, and it becomes clear why, despite the protection provided by the Delta Works, people still think and talk about water: it has become part of the culture of the islands affected.