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All articles in History

Note: This is only of interest to those of the Dutch persuasion.

Ronflonflon, legendary anarchic radio show from the 80s. We used to stay home for this and discuss the latest antics of the crew the next day in school. Presenter Jacques Plafond (Wim T. Schippers) talked through his guests and music. Got into fights, played countless self made jingles, called up people and deliberately misunderstood them and got into irrelevant semantic discussions. And of course he shamelessly plugged the productions of his friends and himself.

I've been a bit under the weather this weekend and listening to these again has been a real boon for me. Now if you'll excuse me I have about 270 shows to go. I should be done around March.

The need for fuel
I learned something new today while zapping on the tv tonight that I thought I'd share as it stunned me a bit. Like most Dutch people of my age I grew up with stories about the second world war. There were a lot of boys' books about the second world war and I devoured a lot of them. Of course many were dramatized a lot, hopelessly patriotic and seemed to convey the feeling that three quarters of the Dutch population was in some way connected to the resistance. Which is of course a blatant lie. Some numbers on the internets, which I can't really verify at the moment, claim this is as low (or high depending on your point of view) as 25.000 people actively involved. In a country with 9 million inhabitants at the time this is far from the 3/4 many people assume. But that's beside the point at this moment.

Having a dad who had majored in history and specialised in international politics of England I got a lot of knowledge that way as well. (I shudder to think what I'll actually do with the 30+ biographies of Winston Churchill if I eventually inherit them.) As an interesting aside my dad used to work (he's retired now) in the building that was occupied by Seyss-Inquart, who was commissioner (Reichskommissar) for occupied Holland. It's a very nice building and it's good to know it's used for more benign purposes these days.

Of course history classes in the Netherlands are also riddled with references to the second world war. However there are still so many details about the second world war and the invasion following D-Day that are unknown to many, if simply because the period is so rich with history. Today I saw the tail end of a program on the BBC which mentioned Operation Pluto, a pipeline the allied forced laid between the British isles and the north of France to keep oil flowing to the allied forces. I did some web searches and it's very interesting. You learn something new every day. Even if it's only about something that happened more than 60 years ago.

Check out the names of cooperating oil companies as well. British imperialism at work.

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