“The aim of this collection is to give a historical account of the eventful era and inform future generations of what happened. They must remain alert so as to prevent history repeating itself”

H.M.Cohen, 1955

Today, nationalism rises its ugly head in many parts of the world. Ultra-right captures the limelight with unfounded claims.

The general public is misled and the media often do not feel obliged to be objective. In the United Kingdom, voters have been misinformed about  the pros and cons of Brexit. Rhetorics of the leaders of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Poland, Italy and Turkey resemble the extreme language used by politicians in the nineteen thirties in Europe. We also see racist, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-homo propaganda. How can this happen again?

The aim of this web site is to give, once again,  a historical account of the eventful era 1920-1945 so as to prevent history repeating itself.

Use has been made of the enormous collection of war memorabilia of the period 1920-1945, brought together by Henri Max Cohen, a jewish Dutchman. That collection, consisting of 24 albums,   is kept in the NIOD (the Dutch Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies).

A choice of these items is presented on this web site with translations to English where appropriate. They can be leafed through by subject.

The total collection of some 2300 items in 24 albums can also be found in this web site in PDF form, under ‘Archive”.

In August 2019, a shorter version of this web site has been created in Dutch for schoolchildren and teenagers, entitled


In that site, two books are mentioned. The first book, entitled “Er zit gevaar in de lucht, ik ruik het”, written by Henri Max Cohen’s youngest daughter Nora Corwin, is a biographical novel of him and his family. The second book “Ooggetuige van het begin tot het eind”, contains extensive correspondence by Henri Max Cohen with Jewish friends and relatives in the period 1942-1945, his diary over the period 1942 until 16 October 1943, the day of his arrest, and his account of his arrest, escape and hiding. He wrote that account just after the war.

The English translation of Nora Corwin’s book appeared in print in 2015. It can be read or downloaded from this web site.

Directions for use

After selecting one of the album links in the black column to the left, an introductory text appears to the right. Click on the blue button at the end of the text to arrive at the album. One can turn its pages by clicking on the arrow on the right edge of the right-hand page or on one of its pictures (not on the text). After perusal 0f the album clicking on the white cross in the top right-hand corner of the black screen will take you back to the album page and you can select another album in the black column to the left.

Moving the cursor across the text results in lighting up the paragraph in blue. Click on the blue surface and the English translation will appear in white. Leave the translation by clicking on the cross.