Witnesses Of War

WITNESSES OF WAR

2020

At the request of the National Committee for 4 and 5 May, I worked together with journalist Maarten Dallinga to portray five witnesses of World War II for NRC Magazine. What if you lived through a war? How does this affect your thoughts about freedom, how do you judge its meaning, its importance and its vulnerability? These are questions we must continue to ask these witnesses. They know what it is like to live through situations so surreal and beastly that it even makes you wonder: Was this real, or just a bad dream? It was real. And as these stories show, it changes your perspective of what freedom is – not just for the people that lived through war, but also for the generations to come.

 

Text & research: Maarten Dallinga (www.maartendallinga.nl/)

Photography: Daniel Niessen

Idea: Maarten Dallinga & Daniel Niessen

 

Witnesses Of War

WITNESSES OF WAR

2020

At the request of the National Committee for 4 and 5 May, I worked together with journalist Maarten Dallinga to portray five witnesses of World War II for NRC Magazine. What if you lived through a war? How does this affect your thoughts about freedom, how do you judge its meaning, its importance and its vulnerability? These are questions we must continue to ask these witnesses. They know what it is like to live through situations so surreal and beastly that it even makes you wonder: Was this real, or just a bad dream? It was real. And as these stories show, it changes your perspective of what freedom is – not just for the people that lived through war, but also for the generations to come.

 

Text & research: Maarten Dallinga (www.maartendallinga.nl/)

Photography: Daniel Niessen

Idea: Maarten Dallinga & Daniel Niessen

Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Commissioned Stories

‘I do what I want to do’

Marie Verbraeken-Blommaart (99)

Marie Verbraeken-Blommaart was in her twenties during the War and smuggled food stamps meant for people in hiding – she got caught. She survived both Camp Haaren and Camp Vught. As a prisoner she stitched notes in the hems of the clothing of prisoners that were to be released, so they could smuggle messages to families outside.

‘I do what I want to do’

Marie Verbraeken-Blommaart (99)

Marie Verbraeken-Blommaart was in her twenties during the War and smuggled food stamps meant for people in hiding – she got caught. She survived both Camp Haaren and Camp Vught. As a prisoner she stitched notes in the hems of the clothing of prisoners that were to be released, so they could smuggle messages to families outside.

Commissioned Stories
Witnesses Of War

‘There must be light’

Kees van Hattem (89)

Kees van Hattem used to live close to the Muiderpoortstation in Amsterdam and saw how thousands of Jews were taken away and deported. And then, suddenly his friend Loekie was also gone.

 

Witnesses Of War

‘There must be light’

Kees van Hattem (89)

Kees van Hattem used to live close to the Muiderpoortstation in Amsterdam and saw how thousands of Jews were taken away and deported. And then, suddenly his friend Loekie was also gone.

 

Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War

‘There is always a yesterday’

Virry de Vries Robles (87)

When Virry de Vries Robles was eleven years old, she was deported to camp Westerbork. Just before her transport to camp Bergen-Belsen took off, she was taken of the train.

 

Virry’s hollowed-out book, used to smuggle things inside the camp.

‘There is always a yesterday’

Virry de Vries Robles (87)

When Virry de Vries Robles was eleven years old, she was deported to camp Westerbork. Just before her transport to camp Bergen-Belsen took off, she was taken of the train.

Witnesses Of War

Virry’s hollowed-out book, used to smuggle things inside the camp.

Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War

‘To be home alone is delightful’

Henny Dormits (90)

Together with her parents and sister, Henny Dormits (90) was taken away to camp Westerbork and later Theresienstadt. 65 of her family-members were murdered in camp Sobibor.

Witnesses Of War

‘To be home alone is delight-ful’

Henny Dormits (90)

Together with her parents and sister, Henny Dormits (90) was taken away to camp Westerbork and later Theresienstadt. 65 of her family-members were murdered in camp Sobibor.

Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War
Witnesses Of War