Prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf

Distinguished Faculty Professor
History of International Relations

October is National History Month, the largest history event in the Netherlands. Together with numerous museums, libraries, bookstores, archives and other cultural institutions, the Month organizes more than five hundred activities throughout the country. Under the motto "Discover yesterday, understand today," they will bring history into the limelight in October 2022 with the theme What a disaster!



Beatrice de Graaf wrote 'the Month' essay in 2022. In Crisis! she outlines historical crises and the role the government play as a manager of this.


The Dutch always managed to get out of a crisis. They struggled and came out on top. They helped each other or were helped back on their feet by the State. But nowadays more and more citizens seem to doubt that outstretched hand. Does the state want to save us, is it not oppression in disguise?

Historically, this distrust is a new development. For centuries there was no government at all and we were dependent on each other. Only with the establishment of the kingdom in the nineteenth century and new laws surrounding public health, disaster relief and crisis management did the government take over those duties from the citizens. During the twentieth century, crisis management became increasingly complex. Whether it was train accidents, terrorist attacks, floods or disasters like the Bijlmer disaster and MH17, the government tried to learn from previous crises and more professionally manage new ones. At the same time, public expectations, criticism and suspicion increased.

Crisis! outlines that historical development and concludes: isn't it time for a new sense of crisis management?


Beatrice on Tour

During National History Month, Beatrice will tour the country to talk about her essay.

Starting Sept. 12, 2022, Beatrice will partake in a History Theater Lecture titled: 'First aid for accidents' (in Dutch).

  • 12-09-2022, Niewspoort, Den Haag
  • 13-09-2022, Theater de Veste, Delft
  • 16-09-2022, Theatrer Odeon, Zwolle
  • 29-09-2022, Stadsschouwburg, Haarlem
  • 04-10-2022, Koningklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag
  • 11-10-2022, Tivolivredenburg, Utrecht
  • 17-10-2022, Oude Luxor, Rotterdam
  • 03-11-2022, Goede Schouwburg, Gouda
  • 26-01-2023, Leidse Schouwburg, Leiden
  • 21-02-2023, Flint Theater, Amersfoort
  • 09-03-2023, Stadsschouwburg, Groningen
  • 22-03-2023, Theater aan het Vrijthod, Maastricht
  • 24-04-2023, Stadsschouwburg e/d Vereeniging, Nijmegen
  • 17-05-2023, ITA, Amsterdam
  • 30-05-2023, Parktheater, Eindhoven


Other events surrounding National History Month:


02-10-2022, OVT, Month official opening, live episode from OVT in the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Arnhem. 


08-10-2022, Keynote, ‘Crisis in Europe: Crisis!’, Nacht van de Utrechtse Geschiedenis, Hamburgerstraat, Utrecht.


15-10-2022, Geschiedenis Festival 2022, ‘Beatrice de Graaf over crisis en de overheid’. Philharmonie, Haarlem. 


29-10-2022, Keynote, ‘Crisis in Europe: Crisis!’, Nacht van de Geschiedenis, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.


Media appearances around National History Month:


21-09-2022, Podcast (Dutch), NPO1 Radio 1, De ongelooflijke Podcast, nr.106: ‘Crisis! History and religion behind the crises of today’ with Beatrice de Graaf and Stefan Paas


22-09-2022, TV-appearence (Dutch), Op1, 'The government is doing more than it has historically'


28-09-2022, Essay, Trouw (Dutch newspaper), ‘Hebben we echt te maken met zoveel meer crisis en ellende dan vroeger, of is er iets anders aan de hand?’


01-10-2022, Podcast (Dutch), NPO Radio 2, Spijkers Met Knoppen, 'Historian Beatrice de Graaf provides initial help during crises.'


01-10-2022, Interview with Frank Mulder, VPRO Gids, 'Death Dance'