Criminal Careers of Dutch War Criminals

Empirical quantitative research on the criminal careers of war criminals is scarce. Little is known about the question to what extent they had been engaged in criminality before war, how and if the circumstances of war encouraged them in committing crimes, and how their criminal career developed after war in a post-war society that might – depending on the role they played – might consider them to be traitors or collaborators.

This PhD project aims to address the life course of Dutch World Word II war criminals. The research provides a description and an analysis of the life course of the so called ‘political offenders’ who were convicted by one of the special courts in the Netherlands that have been installed briefly after the Second World War. By means of a file analysis their criminal career before, during and after the war will be researched. Based on these unique historical (closed) archives, the research aims to identify and explain what type of offenses they are convicted for, what the nature of these offenses was and how their criminal careers have developed before, during and after the war. As such, the research includes the ‘classical’ criminological questions on prevalence and etiology of a unique group of perpetrators.

For more information on the project contact: Jantien Stuifbergen

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