Information about the Foundation Werkgroep Herkenning

The Foundation Werkgroep Herkenning was established in May 1981 as an organization of providing help to the children of parents and grandparents who were on the side of the occupying forces in the years between 1940 and 1945. Even today, many of these children, now adults, are faced with problems in their personal and/or social lives.

The goals of the Werkgroep are:

  • To promote help for those people faced with serious problems in their personal or social lives because their parents or grandparents collaborated with the Nazis in World War II.
  • To raise awareness among the general public for the problems this target group has to deal with.

The Werkgroep attempts to achieve this by:

  • offering those concerned the opportunity to come into contact with one another to exchange their experiences and discuss the problems specific to their particular circumstances;
  • organizing and coordinating discussion groups;
  • giving information and advice on the availability of spiritual help;
  • stimulating circulation of publications and developing other ways of communicating information, thus contributing towards the population’s better understanding of the problems of the target group;
  • searching for contact with other wartime children with a view to combining the plea for help with an exchange of experiences, thus making it possible for the Werkgroep to perform its work more effectively;
  • establishing and maintaining contact with those organizations that provide help in general, and extend help and support to war victims in particular.

The Foundation Werkgroep Herkenning has no ties with any political party, philosophical movement or
religious fellowship.

The target group consists of all those people born in 1928 or later. Persons born before then (between 1924 and 1928) only fall within the scope of the Werkgroep objectives if it is evident that they took no active part in any form of collaboration or, in the event of collaboration under force, explicitly disassociated themselves from their activities at a later date. On the ground of this definition the ‘grandchildren of Dutch collaborators’ are also included in the target group.

Apart from the individual problems specific in each case, we can distinguish between:

  • persons who have memories of the war (those born before 1942/43);
  • persons who, although having experienced the war, have no conscious memories of that period (those born between 1942/43 and 1945);
  • persons born after the war, i.e. those that did not experience the war.

When speaking about other war victims, only group 3 is strictly categorized under what is often referred to as the second generation. Our Werkgroep has the view (and this is also the opinion of experts) that not only the second category but also the first one can be faced with several aspects of these ‘problems of the second generation’. It has even become evident in recent years that those people belonging to the third generation (the grandchildren) can have problems because of the choices their grandparents made during the war.

If you have any questions or interest arraise then please contact us:

Stichting Werkgroep Herkenning

Rijksstraatweg 193
1115 AR Duivendrecht

Mobiel: +31 (0)6 330 57 003