Esmeralda Tijhoff

Some thoughts on History, Politics, and the Art of Living

Network of Concerned Historians (NCH)

Historians serve as the memory keepers of people, nations, and human mankind in general. We study the past by giving meaning to the sources and forming narratives to discuss with other historians and the public. This task brings with it an enormous moral side. What do we research, what plots and words do we use in our stories, what do we tell about who’s past? 


Studying the past can be very dangerous. People can get very angry if you write about their grandparents being Nazi’s, or about how the family fortune was build by the use of slaves. Or how their government, or ‘their people’ as they might see it, slaughtered thousands of people from a different race / tribe / country / colour / etc. Even governments themselves try to silence historians who do research into the dark and often horrible bloody history of their countries. History is very political indeed. That is why we need to support historians all over the globe who are under the treat of persecution and we need to give a platform to those who are being crushed by censorship.

The Network of Concerned Historians (NCH) wants to provide a bridge between international human rights organizations campaigning for  censored or persecuted historians (and others concerned with the past) and the global community of historians. The NCH is started in October 1995 at the History Department of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands by Antoon De Baets. The NCH is not your typical, traditional organisation. It has no budget, no personnel, no meetings etc. Instead, it is a modern e-mail and website-based network, that promotes campaigns set up by international human rights organizations.

Maati Monjib petitionTheir latest call involves Maâti Monjib ([1960]–), a historian of political ideas and of the Maghreb, who, together with six others, is facing trial on charges of receiving foreign funds with intent to undermine Moroccan institutions and endanger national security. The newsletter of NCH states that they face up to five years’ imprisonment if sentenced. “Their crime was to have organized training sessions in the use of a smartphone app called Story Maker, within the Ibn Rochd Center and AMJI with the support of the Dutch NGO Free Press Unlimited, and to have received funds from abroad to finance this project. The trial is due to start on 23 March 2016.”

The call for action is to sign a petition, so follow this link: 

For a pdf-version of the text by NCH, please click


Maati Monjib

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One Response to “Network of Concerned Historians (NCH)”

  1. […] Network of Concerned Historians (NCH) has stepped up to defend academics And their research around the globe. From this network, prof. […]

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