Radio Free Orange Turntable
From the collection of the Overloon War Museum
h 40 cm x w 82 cm
The 28th of July 1940: ‘This is Radio Oranje, the voice of the Netherlands at war’.
Thousands of the Dutch were glued to their radios for the initial broadcast of Radio Oranje (Radio Free Orange). After having fled to England, Queen Wilhelmina addressed the Dutch nation from London for the first time.
It was the beginning of a daily fifteen minute radio programme that was broadcast by the European Service of the BBC. Official messages from the Dutch government in exile were interspersed with songs and sketches, which were played on this phonograph turntable. Queen Wilhelmina spoke to the Dutch many times more on Radio Oranje. Also messages in code for the Dutch Resistance were relayed via this programme. Listening to these broadcasts was quickly forbidden and whenever possible the German occupier tried jamming the signal, but to no avail. So in 1943 nearly all radios had to be turned over to the authorities. Many people hid the family radio and listened in secret, risking severe penalties even the confiscation of all their household belongings.