Recreation for German troops
The bunker in which the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum now houses part of its film collection was a recreation centre for German soldiers defending the coast here in World War II. The largest space was a games room and dining room with a stage, buffet and open fireplace. In addition, there were toilets and a kitchen.
Many associations lost their club houses during the construction of the Atlantic Wall. After Westduinen reopened to the public in May 1946, the bunker was converted into a club house for a scouts group. The ‘Kleine Ridderzaal’ [Small Knight's Hall] as it was known, was transferred to the Stichting Haagse Jeugdverblijven, a foundation for youth accommodation, in 1949.
A police officer lived in the kitchen section until 1950, after which the concierge’s family lived there. This family continued to live there when the bunker was acquired by the Netherlands Government Information Service in the mid-1950’s to house its photo and film collection there. They only moved out in the Seventies when the bunker was renovated and equipped with four special film safes in which to store the flammable nitrate films. Later, the film collection of the Netherlands Government Information Service was housed with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.