Occupied Binnenhof – What did The Hague look like as a German administrative city? Lecture by Herman Rosenberg about The Hague under Nazi rule and the administrative bodies that were located here.
The Hague as Nazi headquarters
Early on May 10, 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. The Hague became the epicenter of the German administration in our country. For example, Reich Commissioner Arthur Seyss Inquart took up residence on the Clingendael estate, while the German Ministry of Defense was housed in the Logement van Rotterdam at Plein 4. The Höhere SS and Police Leader Hanns Albin Rauter occupied the Ministry of Colonies at Square 1. De Witte at number 24 had to accommodate the officers mess.
From 1943 The Hague turned into a true fortress with the construction of the impressive German coastal defense, the Atlantikwall, which left a trail of destruction due to the many demolition activities. Dissidents were locked up in the Oranjehotel.
Nazis in the Ridderzaal
The photo taken on May 29, 1940 from the collection of the Hague Municipal Archives, shows Seyss-Inquart and two generals in our Ridderzaal.
What did The Hague look like under Seyss Inquart?
The central question in this lecture is how the German occupation manifested itself especially in The Hague. Which German administrative bodies settled here and which police services? Which buildings were confiscated and which were not? The main physical consequence for the city was the design of the “fortress”. This arrangement would never have been undertaken on this scale if The Hague was not the administrative center.
Herman Rosenberg is a journalist and historian. He studied at the University of Leiden, among others with professors Fasseur and Schöffer. His graduation thesis dealt with colonization projects in the Dutch East Indies, but Rosenberg has always been involved with and published about the history of The Hague. As a journalist he wrote for the daily newspapers Het Binnenhof and (AD) Haagsche Courant. Rosenberg is currently editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper The Hague Central and member of the editorial board of the Die Haghe Yearbook.