Some facts about the
newspaper Het Vaderland
Vaderland during World War II
The Dutch daily newspaper Het Vaderland
- staat- en letterkundig nieuwsblad was founded in 1869. One of
the founders was the Hague citizen Martinus Nijhoff, bookseller and
publisher. His grandson, Martinus Nijhoff, later would become known as
an author. Before and during World War II, Het Vaderland was
seated on 25 Parkstraat in The Hague.
In 1927, De Nieuwe Courant- dagblad voor Nederland, a liberal
newspaper, was bought up by Het Vaderland. Until March 1936, De
Nieuwe Courant remained issued; from March 1936 became
Vaderland - staat- en letterkundig nieuwsblad waarin opgenomen "De
Het Vaderland was published twice a day. On Sunday, there
was only one edition, a morning edition. On the other days, there was a
morning edition and an evening edition.
From the beginning, Het Vaderland played an important part in
art and culture. Some authors became well-known by their articles in Het
Vaderland bekendheid, such as Louis Couperus, whose first novel,
entitled Eline Vere, was published in Het Vaderland between
June 17, 1887 and December 4, 1887 as a serial. The first book edition
of Eline Vere was published in 1889. The column Kronieken
(tr.: Chronicles), in which the essayist Menno ter Braak each
week compared a number of books (new and/or re-edited) became a mirror
of Dutch literature in the period 1900-1940 and enhanced Ter Braak's
reputation who in 1932, together with his compatriot Eduard du Perron
and the Flemish author Maurice Roelants, founded the literary magazine Forum.
At the time of its foundation in 1869, Het Vaderland had a
progressive-liberal character. At the end of the nineteenth century, it
was the mouth-tube of the Liberale Unie, a Dutch political group.
At the end of the thirties, there was an apathetic, if not appreciating
attitude among the editor staff towards the New Order in Germany.
May 1940, the estimated number of subscribers of Het Vaderland was 12.101.
After the capitulation of the Netherlands on May 15, 1940, Het
Vaderland was continued to be published. Her position was
pro-national-socialist. The news about the war was written from a German
point of view and there was extensive information about the Nationaal
Socialistische Beweging, the Dutch national-socialist party, lead by
ir. Anton Mussert. The header of Het Vaderland kept on carrying
the motto Het Vaderlandt ghetrouwe blijf ik tot
in den doet (tr.: Until death, I will remain faithful to the
fatherland), the second line of the first stanza of the Wilhelmus,
the national anthem of the Netherlands. By the end of
1940, the estimated number of subscribers was 11.353. In July 1943, the
estimated number of subscribers was 8.736. In March 1944, the estimated
number of subscribers was 9.085.
In the post-war purification of the press, E. de Lang, who during World
War II was the director of Het Vaderland, was relieved of his
office for twelve years; the editors from Het Vaderland were
relieved for one and a half year. Moreover, Het Vaderland temporarily had
to change her title. Until 1951, she was not allowed to carry the title Het
Vaderland, but had to carry the title De Nieuwe Courant.
After 1951, the newspaper was entitled Het Vaderland - Nieuwe Courant.
In the post-war period, Het Vaderland managed to recapture her
pre-war position in art and culture. The last edition of Het Vaderland was
issued on August 14, 1982.
Nostradamus in Het
Frequently, Het Vaderland
contained articles about religions, philosophical trends and themes like
astrology, occultism and parapsychology. Many reviews about books and
magazines in this field were published in Het Vaderland. The
readers were informed about lectures and broadcastings.
From time to time, Het Vaderland published articles which dealt
with Nostradamus and the Centuries. The pre-war articles about
Nostradamus and the Centuries had no connection with each other.
Some of these articles were informative, sometimes, an article was
critical towards the Centuries. The morning edition of Het Vaderland
of February 13, 1937 contained a report of the lecture De voorspellingen van
Nostradamus en andere historische profetieŽn (tr.: The predictions
of Nostradamus and other historic prophecies), given by dr. P.A. Dietz
on February 12, 1937, for the Hague branch of the
Studievereniging voor Psychical Research. In the eyes of Dietz, the
many fulfilled predictions in the Centuries showed that
Nostradamus was a reliable seer. In this lecture, Dietz also argued that
because of the patriotism of the seers, there were only a few accurate
predictions about the course and the end of World War I. Each of the
seers claimed the victory for his own nation.
edition of Het Vaderland of May 24, 1939, contained an article
about another lecture by Dietz on predictions, given the day before for
parapsychologists and spiritualists. In this lecture, Dietz spoke a.o.
about the Centuries.
In the morning edition of Het Vaderland of August 29, 1937, Menno
ter Braak discussed Groote ProfetieŽn der
Menschheid, the Dutch translation of a book by Henry James Forman.
In this book, Forman discussed a.o. the Centuries; Ter Braak's
article was illustrated with a portrait of Nostradamus, taken from the
1697-Viret-edition of the Centuries. Ter Braak heavily criticized
Forman's assumption that predictions like the ones in the Centuries
have sense and value. In all ages, according to Ter Braak, people had
the want for a formulated expectation of future developments. As such,
predictions supplied a want for order and safety.
Shortly before World War II, two favourable reviews about articles in
the magazine Astrologische
Wereldschouw (tr.: Astrological World View) in which one Van der
Willigen, basing himself upon Century-comments, described a short
French-German war and a peace-empire.
After the occupation of the Netherlands by the Germans in 1940, three
articles in Het Vaderland were devoted to Dutch
national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries, in which
the German victory was presented. In the evening edition of Het
Vaderland of July 18, 1940, the brochure Hoe
zal deze oorlog eindigen? was discussed. In this article, while
referring to Nostradamus, Hitler was characterized as "a great
one" and England was confronted with a debacle. In
the morning edition of Het Vaderland of March 25, 1942 and
the evening edition of Het Vaderland of June 25, 1942, the
brochure Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... was discussed.
De Meern, the Netherlands, December
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on February 10, 2010
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
source of the estimated number of subscribers of Het Vaderland:
Vos, p.327. [text]
- See: Historische
kranten in beeld. [text]
- Van Berkel: De
ProfetieŽn van Nostradamus (Van
der Willigen, April and May 1940). [text]
- Van Berkel: Hoe
zal deze oorlog eindigen?. [text]
- Van Berkel: Voorspellingen
die uitgekomen zijn.... [text]