CABR gekoppelde bronnen

Largest war archive in the Netherlands searchable online from 2025

Amsterdam / The Hague – The largest war archive in the Netherlands is being made digitally accessible to a wide audience. With that ambitious aim, the War in Court (Oorlog voor de Rechter) project is being launched in February 2023. Four organisations are joining forces to digitise the Central Archive for Special Jurisdiction (Centraal Archief Bijzondere Rechtspleging or CABR) and make the digitised archival documents readable and searchable using artificial intelligence. The CABR will be open to the public from 2025, and the first files will be made available via the website ( GDPR privacy rules apply, meaning that it may not be possible to make all of the documents available online by then.


The CABR is the most consulted and largest archive on the Second World War in the Netherlands. Every year, thousands of people come to view the CABR files at the National Archives of the Netherlands. The archive contains the files of around 300,000 individuals who were suspected of collaborating with the Germans. The contents of the files, which run to nearly 4 kilometres, include witness reports, NSB membership cards, diaries, petitions for pardons and some photos. For a large proportion of the suspects, the suspicions proved unfounded. Twenty per cent of them were eventually convicted by a special court or tribunal, and almost 1,900 of them were jailed for ten years or more.


A joint project

War in Court is a joint project by the National Archives of the Netherlands, the Dutch Network of War Collections, the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. It is expected that the archival documents from the CABR will be digitised at an average rate of 152,000 scans per week. Artificial intelligence will then be used to make everything digitally readable and searchable. To enhance understanding of the CABR documents and place them in a wider context, they will be enriched with background information. Reference will also be made to sources from other CABR collections that address the same subject.


The first digital results will be presented at ( from 2025. During the project, the parties involved will discuss the handling of personal data with interest groups. The project will run until 2027. Having the opportunity to search the CABR archives will provide new insights into events during the Second World War in the Netherlands in all their diversity, from different perspectives.



The funding for War in Court is essentially agreed. At this time, the project is being financed by three Dutch ministries: the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, responsible for the National Archives that house the Central Archive for Special Jurisdiction; the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, responsible for caring for those affected by war and remembrance of the Second World War; and the Ministry of Justice and Security, which originally created the Central Archive for Special Jurisdiction.