'Wie kan keren, de Hand des Heren'. Politics and newspapers on responsibilities following the flood disaster in ZeelandAfter a quick look through the media in search of those to blame for recent disasters, this author wonders how the process of blame took place in 1953, after the floods; how did the media and politics behave back then? With the aid of debates which took place in the 'Tweede Kamer' and in the 'Provinciale Staten' of those affected provinces, and with the aid of the most important articles in the Algemeen Dagblad (neutral-elitist), de Volkskrant (Roman-Catholic) and De Telegraaf (neutral-popular), the author has extensively explored the attitudes of the various columns, and whether they did indeed stand for pacification, as the literature concerning the Fifties suggests. After researching the matter it seems as though in the media only De Telegraaf and in politics only the communist party, were (very) critical and demanded that the politicians should be held accountable. By taking this stance they found themselves on the outside of compartmentalized decency and social and civil restraint. The other political parties and the other newspapers were less critical and preferred to consider the floods a natural catastrophy, or one invoked by God, instead of a disaster which could possibly have been the result of a lack of aid, from a government that had its hands full with the rebuilding of the country, and the pacification of the population. 'Put your back into it, look towards the future and not the past' was the message; neither the politicians nor the citizens were really appreciative of criticism - but it was given nevertheless, just not by those who were of any real influence.

media history, disaster, newspapers
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
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TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 5, No 2 (2002): Rampen. Calamiteiten of mediaconstructies?; 64-87

Hulscher, Eva. (2002). ' Wie kan keren, de Hand des Heren'. Politiek en dagbladen over verantwoordelijkheid na de Zeeuwse watersnoodramp. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 5(2), 64–87. doi:10.18146/tmg.525