Cobbenhagen Centrum - Monument voor de Vrijheid

Memorial Project “Passing on Freedom”

From 2017 through 2020, the Tilburg Cobbenhagen Center worked on the memorial project “Passing on Freedom.” Central to the project are the 22 stories of Tilburg students who perished during World War II. What were their questions, dilemmas, dreams, and ideals? In an interactive way, the stories of the former Tilburg students are linked to the stories that are currently prevalent among young people. By passing on the stories of the past, the researchers want to create empathy and awareness among today’s students.

With leading partners in the field of heritage, including the Regionaal Archief Tilburg, the Tilburg Cobbenhagen Center has worked towards a physical and digital monument, a TV documentary, and a book.

Physical monument

The physical monument was unveiled on May 4, 2017, following the launch of the digital monument. This memorial wall is on display in Tilburg University's Cobbenhagen Building.

More about the monument (Dutch only)

Digital monument: 'Monument to freedom'

During the Second World War, 22 Tilburg students died during bombardments, resistance activities, in concentration camps, and as a result of forced labor, accidents, or illness. Originally, no more than a name and a date of death were known about them. On this digital monument, they are given a story and a face. The monument is not only a tribute to the university community in wartime but also a means to deepen the content of the university motto Understanding Society and to make today’s students think about freedom and education.

To the 'Monument to Freedom' (Dutch only)

The book “Her story. The resistance of Tilburg women in the Second World War”

('Haar verhaal. Het verzet van Tilburgse vrouwen in de Tweede Wereldoorlog')

In the grand narratives after the liberation, women's resistance work has received attention and appreciation insofar as it fit the traditional role pattern. Much of women's resistance work has therefore remained invisible. This invisibility has a long history, both in society and in historiography. In the past, women's struggle for their rights in the political, social, and economic spheres has taken precedence over the struggle for a full place in the culture of remembrance of World War II.

More about the book (Dutch only)

The documentary 'Loyal! But To What?

('Loyaal! Maar waaraan?')

Through the eyes of two students from Brabant who were friends at the time, cultural scientist, Liesbeth Hoeven, investigated what it was like as a student to have to choose between the lecture hall and the German war factory. Her research resulted in a TV documentary 'Loyal! But to what?

More about history and academic heritage

The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.