Rebels with a Cause

Exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of the IISH

The IISH was founded in the turbulent 1930s at a time when, following Hitler's seizure of power, many documents and archives of opposition movements were threatened with becoming irredeemably lost. Vital archives that were brought to safety in Amsterdam in the early years include: the archive of the German socialist movement (including the manuscripts of Marx and Engels), the archives of revolutionaries at risk from Stalin, and the archives of the Spanish trade unions, threatened with falling into Franco's hands.

After the end of World War Two, the IISH successfully continued collecting documents. With the exception of Dutch emancipation movements such as Provo, and internationally active movements such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International, endangered archives of organizations and individuals from countries like Turkey, Iran, Burma and Indonesia were safely housed at the Institute.

A selection of the unique documents that have been collected by the IISH in Amsterdam in the last 75 years is shown on this website. This fascinating collected history of one of the world's oldest and largest institutes in the field of social history will be displayed, organized around five themes: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Near- and Middle East, South- and Southeast Asia, and Globalization.

Photomontage by Platvorm

The documents were also exhibited in the building of Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam from 29 October 2010 until 30 January 2011.

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The catalogue

A lavishly illustrated catalogue has been published by Aksant Academic Publishers, both in English and in Dutch.
240 Pages, € 29,50

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