Highlighted research

Although prisons play a minor part in many of the histories about the German occupation of the Netherlands, there has been virtually no systematic investigation into what happened in Dutch jails and prisons during the Second World War.

Prison cell in Oranjehotel in Scheveningen (Beeldbank WO2)

Researcher: dr. Ralf Futselaar
Duration: 2012-2013 (expected 2015)
Publication: Gevangenissen in oorlogstijd. 1940-1945 (Uitgeverij BOOM, 2015) 
Cooperation: NWO, Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie, Gevangenismuseum Veenhuizen

More information:

Nevertheless, the war years were an important period in the history of Dutch prisons, because of:

  • the arrival of victims of political persecution
  • the surge of regular criminals

The occupation years, moreover, were a period of modernisation and change, during which the organisation of the prison system was streamlined and many of the gruesome practices related to the Dutch system of solitary confinement were reduced or terminated.