dr. Erik Somers
Erik Somers (1958) is a historian and received his PhD from the UvA in 2014 with the thesis 'De oorlog in het museum. Herinnering en verbeelding' ('The War in the Museum. Memory and Imagination'). His research interests include memorial culture, the persecution of Jews, photo-historical research. In recent years, he has produced a large number of book publications and is involved in exhibition projects. As an external, he has worked on various projects, such as the recent wide-ranging national project 'De Tweede Wereldoorlog in honderd foto's' ('The Second World War in One Hundred Photographs').
He has been employed by RIOD/NIOD since 1977, where he currently works as a senior researcher. Over the years, he has built up a broad field of expertise, such as remembrance culture, the persecution of the Jews, and photo-historical research. As project leader, he has been involved in various internal and external projects, most recently 'De Koloniale oorlog 1945-1949 Gewenst en ongewenst beeld' ('The Colonial War 1945-1949 Desired and Undesired Image'), 'Stad in Oorlog. Amsterdam 1940-1945' ('City at War. Amsterdam 1940-1945′), 'De Jodenvervolging in foto's Nederland 1940-1945' ('The Persecution of the Jews in Photos, the Netherlands 1940-1945') and 'De Tweede Wereldoorlog in honderd foto's' ('The Second World War in One Hundred Photos'). On behalf of NIOD, he has worked together with several war museums and remembrance centres, and he contributed as advisor and/or curator to exhibitions on war, crises, and violence.
The central question in his thesis 'De oorlog in het museum. Herinnering en verbeelding' is how have the Dutch WWII museums shaped the memory of the Second World War, what is the current situation in the museum field, and what are the future perspectives?