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Does NIOD have information about the resistance in the Netherlands?

NIOD has many books and articles about the resistance in the Netherlands. The various archives contain a lot of information about the resistance as well. However, it is not easy to find information on individual members of the resistance (unless they were leaders), because the resistance obviously kept no member records, and after the war, people often no longer felt the need to put their personal experiences to paper.

Publications

NIOD’s library contains a great many books and articles about the resistance in the Netherlands. The library catalogue can be searched by keyword for relevant publications.

A good general introduction to the resistance can be found in the book En verpletterd wordt het juk: verzet in Nederland 1940-1945 (‘And the yoke is crushed: Resistance in the Netherlands 1940-1945’)  by C.M. Schulten (Amsterdam/ The Hague 1995).

Thorough studies have been published about most major resistance groups, which can all be consulted in the NIOD library. Some of the best known are:

  • De geschiedenis van de Ordedienst: mythe en werkelijkheid van een verzetsorganisatie (‘The history of the Ordedienst: myth and reality of a resistance organisation’) by J.W.M. Schulten (Den Haag 1998)
  • Het grote gebod: gedenkboek van het verzet in LO en LKP (‘The Greatest Commandment: The chronicles of the resistance in LO and LKP’ [two resistance groups]) (Kampen, first edition 1951, third unrevised edition 1979)
  • De Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (‘The Domestic Forces’) by G.J. van Ojen (The Hague 1972)

Information on liquidations carried out by the resistance can be found in Recht op wraak: liquidaties in Nederland 1940-1945 (‘A Right to Revenge: Liquidations in the Netherlands 1940-1945’) by Jack Kooistra and Albert Oosthoek (Leeuwarden 2009).

The book De Erebegraafplaats te Bloemendaal (‘The Honorary Cemetery of Bloemendaal’) by Peter H. Heere and Arnold Th. Vernooij (The Hague 2005) offers a wealth of information about the people who were buried at the Honorary Cemetery in Bloemendaal, almost all of whom died as a direct result of their resistance work.

The following bibliography on the underground press contains descriptions of the newspapers as well as a great number of names: Lydia E. Winkel, De ondergrondse pers, 1940-1945 (‘The Underground Press, 1940-1945)(3rd edition, completely revised by Hans de Vries, Utrecht 1989). The newspapers themselves can be consulted in NIOD’s reading room or in digital format through the newspaper website of the National Library of the Netherlands.

Archives

Books and cuttings sometimes contain information about individual members of the resistance, but they often do not. If you are looking for information about individuals, you are better off doing archival research. However, it is not easy to find information on individual members of the resistance (unless they were leaders), since the resistance obviously kept no member records, and after the war, people often no longer felt the need to put their personal experiences to paper. 

If the person concerned died in the context of their resistance work, the Honour Roll of the Fallen may be informative. The Honour Roll contains the names of some 18,000 Dutch people who died in the armed struggle against the German or Japanese occupiers, in the resistance, or as crew members of the merchant navy. The application forms for the Honour Roll that were completed by the next of kin of the fallen can be found in the NIOD archives, collection 245 ('Erelijst van Gevallenen - aanvraagformulieren’ (Honour Roll of the Fallen - application forms’)). We are not in possession of the forms of all of the people on the Honour Roll. 

In addition, NIOD has a wide range of other archives with information about many individuals. Although these archives usually have good finding aids, most of them do not have name indices. Our main collection of documents from a resistance organisation, the archive of the Landelijke Organisatie voor Hulp aan Onderduikers en Landelijke Knokploegen (LO/LKP, ‘National Organisation for the Assistance of People in Hiding and National Commando Groups’) (collection 251a), is organised geographically and cannot be searched by name (see the finding aids, in particular numbers 1 to 50 and 187 to 233).

The following thematic list contains links to the NIOD collections concerning the resistance. These collections can be consulted in NIOD’s reading room:

We also have many so-called Documentation II files (collection 249) related to the resistance, e.g. about the Ordedienst (OD) (files 249-0582 and 249-0583), the Persoonsbewijzen Centrale (file 249-0618), the Geuzen (file 249-0272), the Groep Fiat Libertas (file 249-0285A), the Groep Westerweel (file 249-0296A), the Groep 2000 (file 249-0295), the Artsenverzet (file 249-0064) and the Studentenverzet (files 249-0791, 249-0792 and 249-0792A).

Arrests/ trials

NIOD has information about resistance fighters who were arrested during the years of occupation. In some cases, it is only a brief registration with the German prosecutor's office; in other cases, court documents that provide more information about the nature of the resistance and the judgment of the German court in the Netherlands have been preserved. These documents can be accessed through a database. For further information, please reach out to the staff member in the reading room.

We have an archive of Personalakten (collection 214) about people who were sentenced to serve time in a house of correction. The names of these people can be retrieved with the finding aid.

Other archival institutions

The archives of the Ordedienst (a resistance group) and the Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (‘Dutch Domestic Forces’, BS) are kept at the National Archives (NA) in The Hague. The NA contains a large series of personal files of members of the BS and the Military Authority; see the finding aid of archive 2.13.137 via the NA website.

Gedenkboek Verzetsherdenkingskruis: waarin opgenomen: register dragers verzetsherdenkingskruis (‘The Chronicles of the Resistance Memorial Cross, which includes: the register of bearers of the Resistance Memorial Cross’, Alphen aan den Rijn, Samsom, 1985) lists the names of those who received the Resistance Memorial Cross in the 1980s. The application forms and other documents on which the award of these decorations for valour were based are kept in the National Archives (see inventory archive 2.13.227).

In 1946, the US government awarded honours to European citizens who had helped Allied pilots during the Second World War. The preliminary investigations had been carried out by the Escape and Evasion Section of the Military Intelligence Service. The archives of this branch of the US Army are kept at the National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland, USA (archive 498.3). These so-called Helpers' Files may contain information about individuals who received these awards. This institution charges a fee for making copies. See archive 498.3.

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