Five Resources for World War II Research

It can be hard to find out what happened to your family in World War II, since it was often not talked about. Here are some resources that may help you.

Newspapers (Delpher)

The newspaper website Delpher has many digitized newspapers from World War II and afterward. Some things to look for:

  • Names of your ancestors during the war
  • Names of your ancestors after the war, for example to see if they were tried for collaboration.
  • Articles about what was going on in the town where they lived, for example bombings, strikes.

War Graves

The website of the Oorlogsgravenstichting [War Graves Foundation] has an overview of all war graves in the Netherlands.

Prisoners at the Oranjehotel

During World War II, 26,000 people were inprisoned at the Oranjehotel [Orange Hotel] in Scheveningen. An index with links to a memorial book is available at the GahetNA website.

memorial page

Memorial page from the Oranjehotel. Credits: Nationaal Archief (public domain)

Central Archives for Special Jurisdiction

After World War II, the Court for Special Jurisdiction tried everybody who was suspected of collaboration. Their archives are kept at the National Archives in The Hague. The article Finding collaborators in World War II gives more information about these records and how to use them.

Domestic Armed Forces [Binnenlandsche Strijdkrachten]

The largest resistance group during World War II was the Binnenlandsche Strijdkrachten. Their files are kept at the National Archives in The Hague. Files can only be accessed with permission of the person involved, or with proof of death. You will have to contact the National Archives first.

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. My father was a prisoner in Amersfort in 1943 or 44. I have tried contacting the people involved with the research of Amersfort. I was told I needed to give them permission to research my father’s records. They said they have to contact Germany and give them my authorization. I did that over three years ago and have not received any further information. We even have his prisoner number. All we want to know is when he entered the camp and when he left. That’s it. Do you have any other suggestions?
    Thank you for your service to so many people. Our family history is what ties us all together across the world.


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