What is the context?

“It could hardly fit better: foreign nurses who speak the language.”

Shortly after World War II Dutch hospitals were faced with a shortage of nursing personnel. In a broadcast speech the Minister of Social Affairs, addressed young Dutch women and urged them to go into nursing.


Some lines from his speech:

  • Dear listeners: the situation is so alarming that I want to discuss this on the radio.
  • It is about the shortage of female workers in general and more specifically in the field of nursing. This could have disastrous consequences for the post-war situation.
  • Young girls are not as willing to do this work as they used to be. We see this happening also with domestic help, laundry girls, typists and the girls who work in workshops and factories.
  • Nursing is a profession, but it is also a calling and a duty: to provide help to a suffering fellow human being. I urgently call upon the nurses to come back. This is an emergency situation.



Later you will read more about the speech of the Minister.