The Peace Palace and the Second World War (part I)


This article will provide information on events in the surrounding area of the Peace Palace during the Second World War. A number of sources have been consulted to write this article. This is very much appreciated. Special thank you to Jacobine Wieringa for all aid and assistance.

On the 10th of May 1940 the German army invaded the Netherlands. After five days of war, the capitulation was signed on 15 May 1940. Five difficult years of war followed, during which many crimes against humanity took place on Dutch soil. Fortunately, there were also countless acts of resistance.


After an attempt of the German armed forces to take possession of the Peace Palace was rebuffed by the impassioned pleadings of Dhr. Juliao Lopez Olivan[1], registrar of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), the Peace Palace remained “neutral territory”.

During a visit of the Reichskommisar for the province South Holland in October 1943, it was announced that it was under consideration to house government departments in the Peace Palace. This led to protests by the board of directors of the Carnegie Foundation and fortunately did not come to pass.[2] 

Article by C. van Tol


[1] Wikipedia Julio Lopez Olivan (Spanish)

[2] See letter Board of Directors Carnegie Foundation to F.L. Rambonnet. 7 October 1943. Dossier Rambonnet. Achives Carnegie Foundation..