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Personal information

Bettine Siertsema graduated cum laude in Dutch Language and Literature at the VU. After working as a clerk at the University Executive Board and a staff member of the Blaise Pascal Institute on science and religion, she earned her PhD in 2007 with a study of religious and ethical issues in Dutch autobiographical literature on the Nazi concentration camps. She was a fellow of the Summer Institute of the Holocaust Education Foundation at Northwestern University (Evanston, Il, USA) in 2008. Other fields of interest include theology, liturgy and Dutch poetry. She is a free-lance preacher, based at the Ekklesia Amsterdam (http://ekklesia-amsterdam.nl/home/ ). 


Siertsema’s research focuses on international Holocaust literature and on oral testimonies of the Holocaust. She published on Etty Hillesum, Abel Herzberg, Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones, David Grossman’s See under: Love, female perpetrators, Dutch literary representations of the Eichmann trial and Dutch poets like Martinus Nijhoff, Ida Gerhardt, Huub Oosterhuis and Lloyd Haft. Currently she works on the Holocaust perpetrator as a literary personage.


Siertsema teaches a class on Media Ethics for bachelor students in Journalism (in the Department of Language, Literature and Communication) and, together with Dr. D.G. Hondius, a class on The Holocaust: History and Memory for bachelor students in History.

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  • Diamantkinderen: Amsterdamse Diamantjoden en de Holocaust

    Translated title of the contribution: Diamond Children: Amsterdam's Diamond Jews and the HolocaustSiertsema, B., 9 Feb 2020, Hilversum: VERBUM. 224 p.

    Research output: Book / ReportBookProfessional

  • Het concentratiekamp als heilige ruimte

    Translated title of the contribution: The concentration camp as sacred spaceSiertsema, B., 19 Nov 2020, In: Herademing. 28, 3, p. 13-17 5 p., 2.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleProfessional

  • ‘The kind of spirit that people still kept’: VHA testimonies of Amsterdam’s Diamond Jews

    Skorczewski, D. & Siertsema, B., 2 Jan 2020, In: Holocaust Studies. 26, 1, p. 62-84 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • God en geloof in Joodse kampdagboeken

    Translated title of the contribution: God and faith in Jewish camp diariesSiertsema, B., 2019, Geen moment verloren. Opstellen over de Hebreeuwse Bijbel, Etty Hillesum en het Jodendom: Liber amicorum voor dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik bij zijn afscheid als professor Hebreeuws en Joodse Studies aan de Universiteit Gent. Clement, M., Coetsier, M. C. S. & Wiersma, J. (eds.). Oud-Turnhout, België: Gompels & Svacina, p. 213-227 15 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

  • Hemonylaan 5 Amsterdam

    Translated title of the contribution: 5 Hemonylaan, AmsterdamSiertsema, B. & Skorczewski, D., 2019, Joodse Huizen 5: Verhalen over vooroorlogse bewoners. Rijksbaron, F., Shaya, E. & de Vries, G. J. (eds.). Amsterdam: Gibbon, Vol. 5. p. 50-55 6 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterPopular