On Thursday 6 April 2017 Foundation Regional Historical Investigation, in Dutch Stichting Regionaal Geschiedkundig Onderzoek (SRGO)  held a symposium entitled 'The face behind the NSB'. We were there.

The symposium preceded the presentation of the book: 'Kring 71 De NSB in het Westland' written by drs. Philip Van den Berg. The first copies The first copies were handed over to the mayor Westland Sjaak van der Tak and prof. dr. Peter Romijn.

Speakers at the conference were historians dr. Ewart Bosma, prof. Dr. James Kennedy, dr. Frank van Riet, prof. Dr. Peter Romijn and Drs. Robin to Garner. They talked about the police and National Socialism, the local government and the NSB. The question was how radically the NSB was discussed.
The Winterhilfswerk des Deutschen Volkes (English: "Winter Relief of the German People"), commonly known by its abbreviated form Winterhilfswerk or WHW, was an annual drive by the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (National Socialist People’s Welfare Organization) to help finance charitable work. Its slogan was "None shall starve nor freeze". The drive was originally set up under the government of Heinrich Brüning in 1931, though Hitler would later claim sole credit. It ran from 1933–1945 during the months of October through March, and was designed to provide food, clothing, coal, and other items to less fortunate Germans during the inclement months. As part of the centralization of Nazi Germany, posters urged people to donate rather than give directly to beggars.
The Hitlerjugend and Bund Deutscher Mädel (boys' and girls' associations, respectively) were extremely active in collecting for this charity. As part of the effort to place the community over the individual, totals were not reported for any individuals, only what the branch raised.
Winter Relief was giving food and clothing to those in need. By National Socialist organisations these children were given a cup of soup.

Collecting for Winter Relief 1941


Robin te Slaa, writer of the book The NSB

The NSB is the ancient symbol of right-wing extremism in the Netherlands. In this book describes the history of the NSB for the first time, a systematic and with the use of all the available repositories.
In the interwar kinds of small radical parties arrived in the Netherlands, inspired by Italian fascism of Mussolini. Most disappeared in a short time, usually after interference by political troublemakers and wildfires (the parallel with the present arises).

The National Socialist Movement of Ir. Anton Mussert, founded in 1931, was the first far-right party that lasted longer.

HistoriansTe Slaa en Klijn describe how the NSB tried to develop its own national variant of fascism, but could not escape the influence of Hitler's Third Reich. The 'Dutch National Socialism' thus became increasingly Nazi tendencies.
Within the NSB was the youth movement "Youth Storm". These two girls are dressed in the uniform of the Youth Storm and bring enthusiasm to the Hitler salute.

Formaly the organisation was a separate part, but practically it had close contact with the NSB. The leader ('head stormer') was the leading NSB member Cornelis van Geelkerke
n. On 1 mei 1934 Van Geelkerken was dismissed as civil servant since being a member of the NSB was incompatible relating to the public function. On that same day he founded the Youth Storm. Almost all members of the Youth Storm were children of members of the NSB. Before occupation the Youth Storm had about 2000 members. That number increased during the war to more than 12.000. Other sources mention 16.000 members. Members were at the age between 10 and 17 years old. Dutch, Preferably 'Arisch' zijn, but mostly not Jewish. There were some members of Indian blood. The members called themselves gulls and meeuwkes (10-13 years) and stormers and female stormers (14-17 years). Boys and girls were separated groups within the organization. When they were 18, the boys were pretty seamless the Dutch Labor Department of the Waffen-SS piloted in.



Aktion Silbertanne (Actie Zilverspar) was the code name for a series of murder attacks and assassinations by Dutch members of the SS and Dutch veterans from the Eastern Front. Committed between September 1943 and September 1944. The name "Aktion Silbertanne" is derived from the fact that a fir tree came to be the name of any victims on the list of Dutch prominents.

The actions were regarded as retaliation for attacks on mainly Dutch collaborators and as such had the support of several German officers. They were conducted by specially formed death squads of the Waffen-SS and later only by the notorious Sonderkommando Feldmeijer. They were conducted by specially formed death squads of the Waffen-SS and later only by the notorious Sonderkommando Feldmeijer. Some notorious Dutch war criminals who had participated in the Silbertanne LiquidationsHeinrich Boere, Maarten Kuiper, Sander Borgers, Klaas Carel Faber, his brother Pieter Johan Faber, Daniel Bernard and Lambertus van Gog. The death squads went to work in the relationship 1:3 – For every killed Dutch collaborator killed by the recistance three Dutch known as anti-national socialist were killed. Therefore the occupier kept secret lists with anti-German candidates eligible for this reprisal.

The killings started in Meppel and Staphorst in the autumn of 1943. The victims were people who were known as Orangist or Deutschfeindlich. Without any trial they were, after ringing, shot in the doorway of their home or anywhere along the roadside. Within a year, 45 anti-German Dutch were killed. 11 others survived the attacks. Known victims of Aktion Silbertanne were the writer A.M. de Jong and the surgeon Engbertus Johannes Roelfsema.
Anton Mussert, leader of the NSB, was against the death squads. When SS-Brigadeführer Eberhard Schöngarth heard of this violence he made an end of this in September 1944. Because of these actions Hanns Albin Rauter was sentenced to death.

Prof dr Peter Romijn NIOD talked about the NSB and local management. He deposited some statements the notes.
Dr. Ewart Bosma talked about Ds Kersten, SGP and NSB. The NSB was fising in several ponds in the society.Among them also churches. Ds Kersten played an imported role in foundation of SGP. The SGP was an interdenominational party. Many so called Veel zogenaamde 'pietistic reformed' belonged to the SGP. They saw in the prevailing worldview a decline in church and state. The therefrom resulting aversion to modernity, not only technological advances, but also changed attitudes regarding the usage, social relations, politics and theology, it contributed to ensuring that even in this denomination NSB found her supporters.

Thanks by Elisa Vreugdenhil to conclude

At the symposium we met drs. Ingrid Maan of Schreibenswert

We attentively listen to the speakers at the symposium

After the symposium the book 'Kring 71 De NSB in het Westland' was presented

We also received a copy signed by the author. We got his appreciation for the fact that we have a long journey through the troubled Dutch striker on the roads over had to attend the symposium and book launch. But we found it well worth the effort