During this film symposium, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies cooperated with Kriterion and NAP 1325.


Kriterion’s long, turbulent history starts during World War 2 in nazi occupied Amsterdam. The resistance group based around students Wouter van Zeytveld and Piet Meerburg (1919-2010) helped approximately a thousand Jewish children into hiding. After the war Van Zeytveld and Meerburg, who had put their studies to a halt during the war, longed to maintain their independence by setting up a commercial movie theatre, where students could earn their own living. This way students could graduate without being financially dependent on their parents or the government.

The neglected former building of the Jewish Craft Guild, who were ejected from the building during the war, was bought with money from collections and turned into a movie theatre. On November 6th 1945 Kriterion was opened in gala with great success and tremendous positive media coverage. Two different Dutch queens even came to visit the theatre.

The further development of job offerings for students by the Kriterion foundation continued to spawn successful initiatives; a babysitters office in 1949 and a petrol station in 1960. Both still exist to this day.

This association still is a unique concept in the Netherlands (and maybe the world?) with its student-run non-hierarchic structure. The absence of managers and the direct democracy which is applied to the decision making, provides a pleasant atmosphere and space for creative output. In June 2011 the students of Kriterion helped Bosnian students to start their own Kriterion in Sarajevo (www.kriterion.ba).

NAP 1325

Nearly 40 Dutch organizations launched a National Action Plan 1325 (NAP 1325) for the period 2012 - 2015 showing their strong commitment to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325)

Built on a previous NAP 1325 (2008 - 2011), the New National Plan unites both government and civil society organizations’ effort in supporting and promoting women's empowerment and leadership in the political arena and the decision making process in (former) conflict areas, fragile states and countries in transition.

However, being one of the most vulnerable groups in (former) conflict and transition zones, a number of women at the grass-roots are motivated to restore peace and security at the small scale. With joint forces, they develop the initiatives to reestablish the commonwealth of their families and communities. These women find the strength in themselves not only to strive for peace and security, but also succeed in making female voices heard at international level.