Can NIOD help me find out the identity of my German, Canadian, British, or American father?
In her book Wie geschoren wordt, moet stil zitten (2006), researcher Monika Diederichs estimates the total number of Dutch children fathered by German men during the occupation period at approximately 13,000 to 15,000 (p. 124). The search for a child's biological father is usually a long process involving many authorities in the Netherlands and Germany.
NIOD has a limited number of documents regarding children born in the Netherlands to German fathers. It is quite likely that the information you are looking for is not (or no longer) available at NIOD.
The following NIOD collections contain information about children born in the Netherlands to German fathers:
This collection contains archival documents from various departments and associations belonging to the Dutch branch of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), the German Nazi party. Only fragments of these archives have been preserved. Most of these records were presumably lost (destroyed) in September 1944, when Allied troops were on the way.
The ‘Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt’ (NSV) was one of the divisions of the NSDAP. The NSV was concerned with public health and welfare and took on more and more government tasks during the war, such as child and youth welfare. Initially, the NSV was only open to so-called Volksduitsers (German women married to Dutchmen or Germans naturalised to Dutch); membership was later open to all Dutch citizens. Many Dutch women became members of the NSV, since this offered many advantages, such as the allocation of extra food and coal. It also gave them access to NSV institutions such as the ‘Mütter-, Entbindungs- und Säuglingsheime’ (maternity clinics). Unfortunately, little is known about these clinics. In any case, no archives have been preserved of the one that was best known in the Netherlands, the Boerhaave Clinic in Amsterdam.
Numbers 252, 253, 254 and 257 from collection 088 contain correspondence and files of the NSV ‘Wohlfahrtspflege’ department about individual support cases with regard to family support, youth welfare, guardianship, and adoption cases.
This collection, too, has only been preserved fragmentarily. The VuJ had many departments, most of which dealt with legal matters. For questions concerning births, two departments qualify:
1. The ‘Abteilung Angelegenheiten Deutscher Staatsangehöriger’, which included ‘Deutsche Standesbeamten’ (civil servants of the German civil registry) and the ‘Amtliche Deutsche Beratungsstellen’ (these Beratungsstellen were active in the field of family support, custody cases, and paternity cases involving German men). These documents are part of collection 020, numbers 1956 to 2023.
2. The 'Vormundschaftsgericht', a department of the 'Deutsches Landesgericht in den Niederlanden'. This court was in charge of ruling on guardianship issues. The files of the 'Vormundschaftsgericht' are part of collection 020, numbers 6404 to 6981.
The National Archives in The Hague houses the Central Archives for Special Criminal Jurisdiction (Centraal Archief Bijzondere Rechtspleging CABR). After the war, an investigation file may have been created in the name of the mother, in which the German father is mentioned.
German soldiers who fathered children in occupied territory had to inform the Wehrmacht. A large part of this register is currently held by:
Tel: +49 304 190 444 0
In the Netherlands, there is a special working group that can be contacted with questions, the Contact Group of Children of German Military Personnel (CKDM).
Canadian, British, or American father
NIOD does not have archives that can be searched for information about the Canadian, British, or American fathers of so-called ‘liberation children’.
Information about ‘liberation children’ born in Amsterdam and their natural fathers may be found in the Amsterdam City Archives. These archives house the Archief van de Gemeentelijke Geneeskundige en Gezondheidsdienst; Bureau Alleenstaande Ouders: dossier ‘bevrijdingskinderen’ (‘Archive of the Municipal Health Service; Bureau for Single Parents: file 'liberation children’’), archive number 30496. Please contact the City Archives for the conditions for accessing this archive:
Amsterdam City Archives
1017 HL Amsterdam
Postal address: Postbus 51140, 1007 EC Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 (0)20 2511511