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Kees Ribbens talks about perpetrator-heritage in Trouw

Kees Ribbens talks about perpetrator-heritage in Trouw

The SS headquarters located at the Maliebaan in Utrecht and the ‘Wall of Mussert’ located in Lunteren. Both are examples of problematic heritage-sites in the Netherlands, reminding its citizens of some of the darker pages in their history. How do people deal with this type of heritage, and is it important to preserve it or not? Historian Kees Ribbens talked to Rianne Oosterom of the Dutch journal Trouw about some of these sites in the Netherlands.

Following the end of the Second World War, many people consciously avoided biking over the Maliebaan in Utrecht. It had been the location of several offices of the German occupier and the NSB, the Dutch National-Socialist Movement. Much has changed over the years however, and today, the Maliebaan is again considered to be one of the liveliest and important streets in the city, with many people being unaware of its historical significance. This raises the question as to whether this history should be reemphasized or not.

Kees Ribbens highlights that a shift is already noticeable. He states that in many cases perpetrator heritage remains largely invisible, but that, in contrast to Austria for example, a slight revival of this type of heritage has been observed in the Netherlands in recent years.

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