15 November 2012

As closing event for the research of the NWO/NIOD programme Legacies of collaboration on the integration and exclusion of national socialist milieus in the Netherlands, a two-day discussion seminar took place on November 8/9 focusing on the theme Citizenship after periods of occupation and collaboration.


In the build-up to the seminar a very diverse group of researchers predominantly from abroad had written papers that were shared with the other participants. During the seminar each of the NIOD researchers acted as panel leader and involved the papers from his panel into his own research and the provisional conclusions.

The kick-off of the seminar was a keynote lecture from Prof. dr. Svenja Goltermann (University of Zurich) on the early post-war period in Germany and the reasons why the cooperation between Germans and the Allied Forces was soon no longer identified as collaboration. She emphasized that de-militarisation and de-nazification of the society was no longer a question of a top-down implementation of different policies. There was a need for a mentality change and this first was evoked by the collective shock of the defeat and the collapse of the Nazi-regime. Also Prof. Goltermann elaborated on the interaction between the occupier and the occupied population and how in the west of Germany the "new rules of the game" were designed and propagated by the Allied Forces and how the Germans adapted - to a certain extent - to these rules.

The issue of the new rules belonging to a new polical order was also highlighted in the other sessions. Especially in case of the re-integration of Nazi-collaborators in the Second World War this theme was explored, but also in relation to employees of a former colonial regime or even victims of a dictorial state. Striking were the strategies chosen or enforced and how they were excercised in different periods and countries. It was evident that former collaborators also possess "agency" and should not be considered as passive objects of seclusion or re-integration. The interaction and dynamics in particular were focal points in the different papers and were explored further in the discussion.

Following this interaction between former collaborators and the state and society, the themes victimhood, violence and access to formal citizenship rights were discussed.

The closing statement was made by Prof. dr. Ido de Haan (University of Utrecht), who - under the expression the new Regime - expanded time and space by contextualizing the transition period after the Second World War in the view of a far longer development of disputing state power and political order, the search for "the new Man" and continuously argumented conditions for persons to be included as a full citizen in a society.

The research programme Legacies of Collaboration will result in the publication of three monographs at the end of 2013, on the internment of collaborators in the Netherlands and Belgium (Helen Grevers), the re-integration in society of former political delinquents in the 1950s and 1960s (Ismee Tames) and the development into a victim group of children of former collaborators in 1980s and 1990s (Bram Enning). Also several articles and a closing summary of the programme will be published. The thesis of Josje Damsma (University of Amsterdam and member of the Legacies-programme) on members of the NSB during the occupation will also be published in 2013.

See for more information: www.erfenissenvancollaboratie.nl