Het Grote Verzwijgen

Marieke van der Winden

Marieke van der Winden’s gripping and emotional search into her family’s history shows the taboo that many families who collaborated with the Germans have to deal with. At her mother’s funeral, an uncle tells her that her grandparents collaborated with the Germans during World War II. For thirty years, she couldn’t face that family secret. Now she goes to find out the astonishing truth. The stories offer little comfort, but they do provide insights into the disturbed relationship with her mother.

Lieke, Marieke van der Winden’s mother, was quiet, insecure and vulnerable. After she died of cancer at the age of 48, Van der Winden is approached at her funeral by Lieke’s stepbrother. He tells her that her grandfather and grandmother – of whom she has very fond memories – worked with the Nazi’s during World War II. This secret, which had affected Lieke enormously, had been kept under a tight lid for decades.

Only thirty years later, Van der Winden gets up the nerve to investigate her mother’s history. In conversation with friends and family she develops a whole new perspective on Lieke and on her own childhood. And when she dives into the archives to search for her grandparent’s activities during the war, the shocking revelations keep piling up – with great emotional consequences.


Marieke van der Winden
Iris Lammertsma, Boudewijn Koole
Country of production
Netherlands, The
90 minutes
Spoken language
Dutch, German
Production company
Dutch distributor