Universiteit Leiden

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The National-Socialist Movement in the Netherlands - the NSB - remained the only legal party in the Netherlands during most of the Second World War.

The party sympathised with the Nazis and collaborated with the occupying forces. They also had strong propaganda techniques targeting men as well as women.

At the Leiden University, a number of professors and students were associated with the National Socialist Student’s Front (NSSF), a national socialism studentsorganisation based in The Hague, which published their own monthly magazines and had a branch in Leiden. Along with part of the magazines, two almanacs respectively from 1942 and 1943-1944 are kept at the Special Collections at the Leiden University, and they are available to be consulted at the Reading Room Special Collections. Although these historic materials were dominated with male figures and perspectives, the involvement of female students was certain. Have they been considered as leading ladies in the national socialist perspective? What drove or forced them into a national socialist organisation? The search for answers to these questions would definitely bring light to shadowed historic perspectives.

Het afgelopen jaar en de vrouwelijke studenten (Last Year and the Female Students),an article from the 1943-1944 Almanac, is written from the perspective of a female national socialist student. A story was told about the sub-organisation dedicated specifically to female students, aiming to develop their unique qualities and enlarge the network. Through a vacation work in factories, they were excited to learn to know each other and to acquire knowledge of different communities and institutions where they were from. They have also learnt to sacrifice personal preferences for order, discipline and ideology and found these ideas more important than the results of the production tasks, some of which were not as satisfactory as expected.

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