substudy "WORLD WAR II"
Information on Het Vaderland - staat- en letterkundig nieuwsblad (The Hague, 1869-1982)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
Some facts about the newspaper Het Vaderland

Header "Het Vaderland"
Header Het 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 entitled Het Vaderland - staat- en letterkundig nieuwsblad waarin opgenomen "De Nieuwe Courant".
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.
Before 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 Vaderland [2]
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.
The evening 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]


De Meern, the Netherlands, December 28, 2007
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.

  1. The source of the estimated number of subscribers of Het Vaderland: Vos, p.327. [text]
  2. See: Historische kranten in beeld. [text]
  3. Van Berkel: De ProfetieŽn van Nostradamus (Van der Willigen, April and May 1940). [text]
  4. Van Berkel: Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?. [text]
  5. Van Berkel: Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn.... [text]

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