Martijn Eickhoff appointed new NIOD Director

6 April 2021

Martijn Eickhoff has been appointed Director of NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies effective 1 September 2021. Eickhoff succeeds Frank van Vree, who will be retiring soon but intends to continue his work at NIOD as the director of a research programme examining the use of violence by the Netherlands during the Indonesian War of Independence.  

Martijn Eickhoff (b. 1967) has been a Senior Researcher at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies since 2006. For the past two years, he has also been Professor by Special Appointment in Archaeology and Heritage of War and Mass Violence at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA), University of Groningen. He studies the history, cultural dimensions and effects of large-scale violence and regime change in Europe and Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing in particular on the spatial, material and transnational aspects of such events.

Politics, heritage and violence

One major theme in Eickhoff's research is the relationship between politics, heritage and violence. With Marieke Bloembergen of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), he has researched transformations of archaeological sites in colonial and post-colonial Indonesia, resulting in the monograph The Politics of Heritage in Indonesia. A Cultural History (CUP), published in 2020.

Eickhoff studied at the University of Amsterdam and the Freie Universität in Berlin and obtained his PhD from the University of Amsterdam for his research on Dutch archaeology and its confrontation with National Socialism.  In 2005-2006, he was a research fellow at the Historisches Institut of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, where he studied excavations conducted by the Ahnenerbe, an SS unit, in Eastern Europe. In 2007, Eickhoff published the NIOD report In naam der wetenschap? P.J.W. Debye en zijn carrière in Nazi-Duitsland [In the name of science? P.J.W. Debye and his career in Nazi Germany], in which he analysed the career of Dutch Nobel laureate P.J.W. Debye in the Third Reich.

Independence and decolonisation

In addition to his appointment at NIOD, Eickhoff also coordinates the ‘Regional Studies’ project, a collaborative project involving Dutch and Indonesian historians and part of the broader programme ‘Independence, Decolonisation, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945-1950’. Between 2006 and 2015, he was Assistant Professor of Cultural History at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Academy President about Frank van Vree

Academy President Ineke Sluiter praises outgoing director Frank van Vree for his ‘intellectual and organisational leadership, thanks to which NIOD is in excellent shape as a healthy and dynamic institute conducting significant historical research at the very heart of society. I am also grateful to him for his contribution to the national debate about meaningful and fair assessment criteria for humanities research groups.’

For a more complete list of Martijn Eickhoff’s projects, publications and other professional activities, see https://www.niod.nl/en/staff/martijn-eickhoff.

NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD-KNAW) is an Academy research institute. The NIOD’s expertise lies in the dissemination of knowledge about the Second World War, the Holocaust and genocide. In addition to research, NIOD offers content-rich, intensive services. Both professionals and private individuals can approach NIOD for information or to consult its extensive collection.

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