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Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive: Netherlands

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The USC Shoah Foundation recorded 2,838 testimonies which refer to the Netherlands. They are in various languages (including 1,083 in Dutch) and were gathered in several different countries (1,062 in the Netherlands).

A large number of interviewees talk about the prewar Jewish communities in Holland: some 1,439 Jewish survivors interviewed by the Shoah Foundation were born in the Netherlands, growing up in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and other locations.

After Hitler came to power in 1933, refugees from Germany and Austria fled to Holland, some making their way further on Kindertransports to the United Kingdom or immigrating to the United States.

After the German invasion of May 1940, the situation gradually became ever more perilous for Jews. The Dutch testimonies describe the imposition of anti-Jewish laws, such as the wearing of the yellow star; the role of the Joodse Raad (Jewish Council or Judenrat) and its leaders Abraham Asscher and David Cohen, among others; the formation of the Amsterdam ghetto and the use of the Hollandsche Schouwburg as a collection center; the deportations to the Westerbork and Vught (Herzogenbusch) concentration camps and, from there, to Sobibor or to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Out of 30,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands to the Sobibor death camp in Poland, there are only 19 known to have survived; the USC Shoah Foundation archive has interviews with five. 

The archive contains many interviews of survivors who successfully hid or assumed false identities. Another major topic is involvement in the Dutch underground, with content about the Nederlandse Binnenlandse Strijdkrachte as well as specific groups like Landelijke Knokploegen.

The testimonies give information on Dutch aid givers such as Leendert Overduin, Corrie Ten Boom, and Joop Westerweel, and of rescue efforts such as the so-called Philips Group. There are discussions of those who attempted to help Jews avoid deportation, such as Walter Süskind and Piet Meerburg.

Additionally, the archive contains 113 interviews with Rescuers and Aid Providers born in the Netherlands, including 79 in Dutch; 77 of these interviews were conducted in Holland.


Selected Indexing Terms

Abraham Puls & Sons

Apeldoornsche Bos roundup (January 21, 1943)

Asscher, Abraham

attitudes toward the Netherlands and/or the Dutch

Barneveld List

Bastiaans, Jan

Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands

Bezige Bij

Calmeyer List

Cohen, David

Communistische Partij Nederland

Diamond Jews

Dutch armed forces

Dutch camp guards

Dutch camp personnel

Dutch civilian laborers

Dutch forced labor civilian supervisors

Dutch ghetto inhabitants

Dutch government officials

Dutch history

Dutch kapos

Dutch police and security forces

Dutch prison guards

Dutch prisoner functionaries

Dutch prisoners

Dutch prisoners of war

Dutch Red Cross

Dutch refugees

Dutch resistance fighters

Dutch resistance groups

Dutch Socialist Party

Dutch soldiers

Dutch units

Dutch Zionist Students' Organization

Ehrlich, Max

February Strike (1941)

Frederiks, K.J.

Herzogenbusch (Netherlands : Concentration Camp)

Hollandsche Schouwburg (Amsterdam, Netherlands : Deportation Center)

Japanese invasion of Netherlands East Indies (December 20, 1941)

Joodse Raad

Julianna, Queen of Holland

Landelijke Knokploegen

Landelijke Organisatie voor Hulp aan Onderduikers

Meerburg, Piet

Naamloze Vennootschap

Nationaal Socialistische Nederlandse Arbeidspartij

Nederlandse Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten

Nederlandse Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten

NSNAP members


Oranje Vrijbuiters

Orde Dienst Verzetsgroep

Overdiujn, Leendert


Philips Group

Sociaal-Democratische Arbeiders Partij

Süskind, Walter


Ten Boom, Corrie


Vrij Nederland

Vrije Groepen Amsterdam

Weinreb, Friedrich

Werkdorp Nieuwesluis

Westerbork (Netherlands : Concentration Camp)

Westerweel, Joop

Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands

Zündler, Alfons

Visual History Archive Curator

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Anne Grant
Cooper Library
Room 405