New book: Dutch Children of African American Liberators

A new book was just announced, written by Mieke Kirkels and Chris Dickon: Dutch Children of African American Liberators: Race, Military Policy and Identity in World War II and Beyond. … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Slachtoffer

The word slachtoffer means "victim" or "casualty." On 4 May, the Dutch commemorate the casualties since World War II. The 4 May date was chosen because 5 May is Liberation Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands on 5 May 1945. We commemorate before we celebrate. Two years ago, I was at the National Genealogical Society … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Website War Lives

The website War Lives documents the lives of people during World War II using original records from the period. The website shows a time line for each person, and links to the sources that were used to compile the information. Sources include war graves, databases of prisoners in camps in the Netherlands and the East Indies, documentation … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Fout

Fout means "wrong" or "error." Dutch records are pretty reliable in general but we should always look for multiple independently created original records to prevent one error from leading us astray. In World War II, the word fout got a special meaning. It was used to indicate people who collaborated with the Germans. Many of them were prosecuted … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten

Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten or Domestic Armed Forces was a resistance organization in World War II. During World War II, there were many resistance local organizations working all over the country. When the liberation of the Netherlands started in September 1944, these organizations merged to form the Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten. Head of the … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Dwangarbeider

A dwangarbeider is a forced laborer. During World War II, many able men from the Netherlands were forced to work in Germany. The German factories and other places of employment needed laborers since so many of their own men were fighting in the army. Local labor offices in the Netherlands coordinated the placement. Both my grandfathers were … [Read more...]

Dutch Records that became Public on 1 January 2020

Happy New Year everybody! Many records become public after 25, 50, 75, or 100 years. Here is an overview of some of the records that became public as of 1 January 2020. Exceptions may exist for records that involve people that could still be alive. Civil registration records: Birth records from 1919 Marriage records from 1944 Death … [Read more...]

Dutch records that are public as of 1 January 2019

Happy New Year everybody! Many record series have schedules that determine when they become public. Here are some of the civil registration records that have become public today: Birth records from 1918, which includes my maternal grandfather Johannes Marijnissen. Marriage records from 1943, which includes my maternal grandparents … [Read more...]

Commemorating the Dead

On 5 May 1945, the Germans capitulated and World War II was over for the people of the Netherlands. Every year on the fifth of May, we celebrate our freedom. But before we can celebrate, we need to commemorate. Because our freedom came at a price. About 200,000 Dutch men, women, and children lost their lives during World War II. More than … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Onderduiker

An onderduiker literally means "under diver" and is somebody who went into hiding. The term was used during World War II to indicate Jews and other people who went into hiding to avoid deportation to the German concentration camps. The most famous onderduiker was Anne Frank, who went into hiding with her family in the annex of the building where … [Read more...]