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Jong, Louis (Loe) de

JONG, LOUIS (Loe) DE (1914–2005), Dutch historian. Born in Amsterdam into a secular socialist family, De Jong studied history in Amsterdam and started his career in 1938 as foreign editor of the anti-Nazi weekly De Groene Amsterdammer. Upon the German invasion in May 1940 De Jong and his wife managed to flee the European mainland, leaving behind his parents, sister, and twin brother – none of whom survived the war. De Jong spent the war years in London, working for Radio Oranje, the voice of the Dutch government-in-exile. He also wrote four volumes on the events in the occupied Netherlands.

In September 1945 De Jong was appointed head of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, which had been founded in Amsterdam immediately after the liberation. In 1953 he earned his doctorate with a study of the German fifth column. In 1955 he was commissioned by the government to write the history of the Netherlands in World War II. Between 1969 and 1991 Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog ("The Kingdom of the Netherlands in World War II") was published in 14 volumes.

Aside from his position as head of the RIOD, De Jong also gained recognition and respect in television appearances. He worked as a commentator on international current affairs and from 1960 to 1965 presented a series on the Netherlands during World War II.

He always remained an assimilated, secular Jew. During the Six-Day War (1967), however, he identified with the Israeli cause. De Jong became more and more a conscious Dutch Jew rather than a Dutchman of Jewish descent.


C. Kristel, Geschiedschrijving als opdracht. Abel Herzberg, Jacques Presser en Loe de Jong over de jodenvervolging (1998).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.