De April-Meistakingen van 1943 | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 128, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The reimprisonment of all Dutch prisoners of war by the German occupier in the spring of 1943 provoked a considerable number of protest strikes throughout the country, which afterwards became known as the April-May Strikes. In contrast with other strikes under German occupation, these have been largely neglected in Dutch war historiography. The only monograph on the April-May Strikes, written by sociologist Pieter Jan Bouman, dates from 1950. The objective of this article, therefore, is to offer a reassessment of the importance and nature of the April-May Strikes. The first step is critically to discuss existing historiography on the topic (Bouman’s work in particular, in view of its lasting impact) in order to reveal its ideological bias. In the second part this critical reading of existing literature is confronted with new sources in order to formulate new questions and hypotheses about the April-May Strikes.


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