During the Second World War approximately 25.000 Dutchmen volunteered to join the ranks of the German Waffen-SS. This number was not only relatively but also absolutely, the largest contingent of non-German volunteers from all of the Nazi occupied territories. After the war they were considered to be the ultimate traitors. Their position still remains a difficult element in Dutch history.
Researcher: Evertjan van Roekel LLM MA
Intended publication: Dissertation
The research aims to outline a nuanced picture of the backgrounds, position and perception of the very different men who have served as Hitler's political soldiers. The historical context is illustrated by diaries that depict what actually moved these volunteers and what their personal experiences were. Topics such as motivation to join, ideology, battle experience and involvement in genocide are being discussed. Also, the social backgrounds of this group will be approached statistically. Finally, trial and internment camps after the war are also central themes. This study provides a personal face to the Dutch who fought on the German side.