Emigration 1945-1967

Post-war emigration policy in the Netherlands 1945-1967

Aasembled by Marijke van Faassen, with cooperation of Marja Timmermans-Hornsveld, Maria Schouten and Marielle Scherer

During the years immediately following World War II, one in three Dutch people seriously entertained the idea of living in another country. Acutely aware of the rapidly growing population and the associated employment problems that this would bring, the government took advantage of this enthusiasm and actively stimulated emigration for more than a decade. Civil society organisations were actively involved in formulating this policy as well as implementing it. Ultimately, almost half a million Dutch people were to set off across the seas between 1945-1967, bound for their new homelands.

The goal of the project is to compile a research guide that provides a survey of all the individuals and institutions on a local, provincial, regional, national and international level who took part in initiating and implementing the emigration policy. In addition, the most important national archives and private archives belonging to either individuals or organisations are unlocked. By describing the institutions, the guide promises to provide the scientific researcher as well as other interested parties with insights into the working practices and division of competences of the different institutions and organisations involved in this policy area and to highlight the links that exist between the different archives.

The guide will not only offer different perspectives for further research in the area of post-war emigration, but also for historical studies into areas such as religious segregation, the history of women or socio-economic issues.