Those who use or hear the term “war victims”, when referring to World War II, practically always focus attention on the fallen or those who essentially went punished for “doing the good deed.” All too often are we remiss in acknowledging the fact that those on the side of the “enemy” also suffered casualties — i.e., lost people who fought for their country; persevered to aid their fellow comrades; and also had loved ones, children, parents, friends who were forced to cope with their loss. In stating Stichting oorlogsslachtoffers “Foundation War Victims,” there is no line drawn between these two modes of thinking, in which case the vast majority of activities are focused on memorializing German victims and survivors. As such, over the course of many years of practical experience, a plethora of expertise has developed on the potpourri of activities pertaining to this topic.
Activities centered around “war victims” can be broken down into the following key points:
- (Military) historical research on people in German armed forces or civil administration, inasmuch as they were active on Dutch territory during both World Wars.
- (Military) historical research on Dutch personnel in the German armed forces on and off Dutch territory, inasmuch as they were active during both World Wars.
- (Military) historical publication / presentation work in relation to the previously named target groups.
- (Military) historical research on (former) grave fields.
- Research related to grave history.
- Genealogical research on victims AND survivors.
- Registry and archive research in the Netherlands and Germany.
- Piecing together and presenting concise reconstructions of well researched personal histories to survivors or associated stakeholders.
- Support services during identification processes for various service units at home and abroad, including the reidentification of unknown soldiers.
This service is offered to individuals, organizations, and government agencies. It can pertain to limited service, such as information on a survivor of one of the fallen, for instance. In other cases, it might concern cooperating on a publication, documentary, or large-scale research. Not to mention, projects or activities of enormous magnitude where collective efforts are usually needed from government agencies, museums, or charitable foundations.