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Interview with Prof. Dr. Rob van der Laarse (in English)

War, Heritage and the Dynamics of Memory (in English)

Rob van der Laarse is research director of the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (ASHMS). He explains the dynamics in Dutch, German and European remembrance cultures. He discusses the role of Oral History collections and talks about the place of Nazi forced labor in these competing memories in postwar Europe. The interview was conducted in English.

About Rob van der Laarse:

Rob van der Laarse was born in 1956. He studied history and anthropology at the university of Amsterdam’s (UvA) faculty of humanities where he graduated cum laude in 1989. His published dissertation was awarded a Praemium Erasmium research prize in 1990. Rob van der Laarse is research director of the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (ASHMS) at the UvA and professor for War Heritage and Memory at VU University Amsterdam. His research focuses on cultural landscape, heritage and memory of the Holocaust in postwar Europe. In recent years he organized a substantial number of international conferences on topics such as The Challenge of Heritage (Amsterdam 2002), The Dynamics of War, Memory and Remembrance (Amsterdam 2007), The Archaeology of Terrorscapes (Helsinki 2012) and Competing Memories (Amsterdam 2013) in close collaboration with experts of different disciplines.

Interview Information:

Place: Berlin
Date: April 29, 2014
Interviewer: Dr. Cord Pagenstecher
Camera and Editing: Branka Pavlovic
Script editing: Maximilian von Schoeler


  • van der Laarse, Rob (1999): Masking the other: Max Nordau's representation of hidden Jewishness. Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historique, 25(1), 1-31.
  • van der Laarse, Rob (2000): A Nation of Notables: Class, Politics and Religion in the Netherlands in the Nineteenth Century. (Occasional Papers in the Contemporary History and Politics, 3). Salford: European Studies Research Institute.
  • van der Laarse, Rob (2005) (Ed.): Bezeten van vroeger. Erfgoed, musealisering en identiteit. Amsterdam: Spinhuis

  • van der Laarse, Rob (2010): Gazing at places we have never been. Landscape, heritage and identity. In: Tom Bloemers et al. (Eds.): The Cultural Landscape and Heritage Paradox. Amsterdam: AUP, 321-328.
  • van der Laarse, Rob (2011): De oorlog als beleving: over de musealisering en enscenering van Holocaust-erfgoed. (Reinwardt Memorial Lecture, 3). Amsterdam: Reinwardt Academie.
  • van der Laarse, Rob (2013). Nooit meer Auschwitz? Erfgoed van de oorlog na Europa’s eeuw van de kampen (Inaugural lecture, VU University Amsterdam). Hooghalen.

  • van der Laarse, Rob (2013): Archaeology of Memory. Europe’s Holocaust dissonances in East and West. In: Dirk Callebaut, Jan Mařík and Jana Maříková-Kubková (Eds.): Heritage Reinvents Europe (EAC Occasional Paper 7), Namur, 121-132.

  • van der Laarse, Rob (2013): Beyond Auschwitz. Terrorscapes in the Age of Postmemory. In: Marc Silberman and Florence Vatan (Eds.):  Memory and Postwar Memorials. Confronting the Violence of the Past. (Studies in European Culture and History) Palgrave MacMillan, 71-94.

  • van der Laarse, Rob (2014): Fatal Attraction. Nazi Landscapes, Modernism, and Holocaust Memory. In: Jan Kolen and Hans Renes (Eds.) Landscape Biographies. (AHP Landscape and Heritage Series) Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.