Componentk2

Textile tales from the Second World War

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (1939-1945), an event that still reverberates in the lives of people in The Netherlands, Europe and indeed in many other parts of the world.

The collection of the TRC in Leiden houses various textiles, garments and accessories, which reflect life in The Netherlands during the Second World War and shortly afterwards. They all tell a story. Some of these are simple, others are painful, but they reflect the different ways that textile, garments and accessories were made and used. And in many cases they still retain personal and family stories associated with them. This online exhibition looks at some of these stories and puts them in the context of those disturbing times.

This online exhibition is based on an onsite event that was organised and set up by the Textile Research Centre in Leiden in th second half of 2020.

Colophon:

  • Author: Marieke Roozeboom
  • Web-design: Joost Koopman
  • Exhibition designand text editor: Willem Vogelsang
  • Publisher: TRC Leiden.
  • Year of publication: 2020
  • Copyright: All illustrations of objects housed in the TRC collection can be used free of charge, but please add to the caption: "Courtesy Textile Research Centre, Leiden" and the accession number.

1. World War II in The Netherlands

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II (1939-1945). This exhibition looks at different stories about textiles, clothing and accessories from the war and in…

2. National Socialism

The National Socialist Movement (NSB), the Dutch political party that sympathised with Nazi Germany, worked together with the occupying forces during the Second World War and was the only permitted…

3. Dutch people outside the Netherlands

In 1942 Queen Wilhelmina chose the daisy as a symbol for all those who had fallen in the resistance against Nazi Germany. She herself wore a daisy brooch. When Princess…

4. The Dutch textile production

During the war, the availability of textiles, clothing and shoes in The Netherlands declined sharply. Textile production fell because cotton and wool - the most important raw materials of the…

5. The Jewish Community

As early as 1940, the occupying forces introduced an administrative division between Jews and non-Jews, after which more and more restrictions were imposed on the Jews. From the beginning of…

6. Silent resistance

During the occupation, all kinds of ways were devised to express resistance to the Germans and support for the Queen and the Dutch government. Certainly at the beginning of the…

7. The distribution system

The occupying forces continued the distribution system that the Dutch government had introduced in 1939. In 1940, clothing was rationed. That the Dutch people were not very enthusiastic about the…

8. Making something from nothing

"Take care of what you have" is the title of a brochure issued by the authorities in 1942 and that was also the adage of the housewife. As the war…

9. The end of the occupation

While the southern part of The Netherlands was liberated in the autumn of 1944, the rest of the country passed through a period of severe austerity in the ensuing winter.…

10. The liberation

The period immediately after the liberation was a festive and special time for many people, although the scarcity and poverty continued. But there was another side: apart from civilians and…

11. The years after the war

The first few years after the liberation were soon characterised as the years of the re-emergence of The Netherlands. The liberation of the country in 1945, the succession to the…

12. Mennonite relief comforters

The Doopsgezinden, also known as the Mennonites, constitute a Christian Anabaptist community that can be found in many parts of the world. The community dates back to the sixteenth century,…