Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Homosexuality in the Netherlands in the 20th Century

In 2004 the Institute started three research projects into homosexuality in the Netherlands in the twentieth century.

In February Anna Tijsseling started her Ph.D. project investigating the persecution and repression of homosexuals in the Netherlands before, during and after the Second World War (pdf, 211 Kb, in Dutch). To place wartime prosecution into relief, she will also investigate the position of homosexuals and the repression of homosexuality in the years before (1911-1940) and after (1945-1970) the war. Her project will be finished in 2009.

Theo van der Meer started his investigation of castration of homosexuals (pdf, 53 Kb, in Dutch) in September. He investigated how castration was to repress homosexuality and what the consequences were for those involved. He covered the period from about 1930, when the debate on castration began, until the practice was discontinued in 1968. His project has ended in 2007.

Marian van der Klein completed the team when in November she started her investigation into homosexuals in the collective memory of the Second World War (pdf, 43 Kb, in Dutch). Her project has ended in 2007.

The repression of homosexuals by the German Occupying Forces was specifically directed towards men. In contrast with Dutch pre-war legislation, German regulations differentiated between men and women. In each of the projects the question whether the position of homosexual men and women was different or similar will be taken into account.

Taken together, the projects cover the twentieth century from 1911. They focus on the Second World War. The projects are financed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, based on a Cabinet decision of 8 February 2001 to fund research into the history of homosexuality in the Netherlands during and after the Second World War. After consultation with the Broad Homo/Lesbian Platform the Ministry asked the Institute to take responsibility for these three projects.

An advisory board for the project consisted of B. Bijl, J.C.H. Blom, Y. Buruma, S. Faber, K. Hofmeester, S. Plantinga, M. Schraal and J. Schuyf. The projects were supervised by Lex Heerma van Voss.

Publications and presentations
Marian van der Klein, De homo commemorans en de bezetting: kanttekeningen bij een dominant discours. Presentation, May 2006, Westerbork. See the website: Wie kan ik nog vertrouwen? Homoseksueel in nazi Duitsland en bezet Nederland. (in Dutch)

Marian van der Klein, Theo van der Meer, "Gevangen in Slachtofferschap. Homoseksualiteit en de Tweede Wereldoorlog'' In De Gids, 170e jrg. (2007) no. 1, pp. 73-84 (attached as PDF)

Theo van der Meer, Eugenic and sexual folklores and the castration of sex offenders in the Netherlands (1938-1968). In Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 39 (2008) no. 2., pp. 195-204 (attached as PDF)

Anna C.M. Tijsseling, Social responses to illicit sexual contacts - Hesitations in the prosecution of homosexuals, 1911-1960. Paper at the European Social Sciences and History Conference, March 2006, Amsterdam (attached as PDF)

Anna C.M. Tijsseling, Professional intervention in sex crime - Policing and expert witnessing hetero- and homosexual sex crimes. Paper at the Conference Thinking Gender – The NEXT Generation, June 2006, University of Leeds (attached as PDF)

Anna C.M. Tijsseling, Frictions in Sex Crimes - The Peculiarities of Guilt-attribution Practices, The Hague (1911-1960). Paper at Women’s Studies Open Forum, April 2007, University of Limerick (atached as PDF)

Anna C.M. Tijsseling, A sincere belief in Dracula - Debunking the History of the Dutch Prosecution of Homosexuality. Paper at the European Social Sciences and History Conference, February 2008, Lissabon. (pdf attached, 92 Kb)