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Drs. Niels Mathijssen


Niels Mathijssen is a PhD student researcher at the University of Groningen and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He is conducting biographical research on Poncke Princen, a Dutch soldier who deserted during the war in Indonesia (1945-1949) and defected to the Indonesian freedom fighters. In his research, Mathijssen explains these radical actions by reconstructing Princen's wartime life and looking at earlier experiences from his childhood and during World War II.

Niels studied history and media studies in Amsterdam and New York, and journalism in Rotterdam. He specialised in colonial history and historical imagery. For De Correspondent, he wrote on the latter subject. Later, he worked for daily newspaper Trouw. He is currently a contributor to De Groene Amsterdammer, where he writes about colonialism, the Dutch history of slavery, the Indonesian war of independence and colonial looting.

In 2023, Niels was a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. Previously, he was a guest curator at the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld & Geluid. Here, worked on making all television programmes on the Indonesian War of Independence more accessible for broadcast on Dutch national television. 

In 2023 was Niels als fellow werkzaam bij het Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. Eerder was hij onder andere gastcurator bij het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld & Geluid. Hier ontsloot hij alle televisieprogramma’s over de Indonesische onafhankelijkheidsoorlog die uitgezonden werden op de nationale televisie in Nederland.

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