Re:help with Netherlands

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Alois Treindl

Aug 31, 2011, 8:36:37 AM8/31/11
to Victor Reijs,
Dear Victor

are you in or from Holland?

Is there a Dutch publication, maybe in a magazine, about Netherland's
timezone history?

Of particular concern are the years 1944 and 1945, when different parts
of the country were freed at different times and then changed timezone

Shanks has 9 different areas with different timezone history, but as
usual he dos not name his sources. We would like to have corrobation
from local sources, who not just copy Shanks.

Please feel free to forward this question to Dutch contacts.

Answers may go directly to the project mailing list



PS: The current tzdata file contains this comment, but the link for the
quoted source at the bottome does not work anymore.
-------- from tzdata/europe
# Netherlands

# Howse writes that the Netherlands' railways used GMT between 1892 and
# but for other purposes the Netherlands used Amsterdam mean time.

# However, Robert H. van Gent writes (2001-04-01):
# Howse's statement is only correct up to 1909. From 1909-05-01 (00:00:00
# Amsterdam mean time) onwards, the whole of the Netherlands (including
# the Dutch railways) was required by law to observe Amsterdam mean time
# (19 minutes 32.13 seconds ahead of GMT). This had already been the
# common practice (except for the railways) for many decades but it was
# not until 1909 when the Dutch government finally defined this by law.
# On 1937-07-01 this was changed to 20 minutes (exactly) ahead of GMT and
# was generally known as Dutch Time ("Nederlandse Tijd").
# (2001-04-08):
# 1892-05-01 was the date when the Dutch railways were by law required to
# observe GMT while the remainder of the Netherlands adhered to the common
# practice of following Amsterdam mean time.
# (2001-04-09):
# In 1835 the authorities of the province of North Holland requested the
# municipal authorities of the towns and cities in the province to observe
# Amsterdam mean time but I do not know in how many cases this request was
# actually followed.
# From 1852 onwards the Dutch telegraph offices were by law required to
# observe Amsterdam mean time. As the time signals from the observatory of
# Leiden were also distributed by the telegraph system, I assume that most
# places linked up with the telegraph (and railway) system automatically
# adopted Amsterdam mean time.
# Although the early Dutch railway companies initially observed a variety
# of times, most of them had adopted Amsterdam mean time by 1858 but it
# was not until 1866 when they were all required by law to observe
# Amsterdam mean time.

# The data before 1945 are taken from
# <>.

Alois Treindl

Aug 31, 2011, 8:47:15 AM8/31/11
As often when mailing for assistance on a question, the spirits gathered
together and sent an answer quickly.

Here it is this link I found on google to the query 'netherlands
timezone history'
and especially its sub-page


Aug 31, 2011, 2:42:59 PM8/31/11
to tzdata history

You have to be careful when using The International Atlas. If you
look at the book, at the Netherlands, you will see that all cities are
assigned to time table 1, except that one city each is assigned to
time tables 2 through 9. Just one city has time table 2. One city
has time table 3, and so on. Now, it is true that the city with time
table 2, Eindhoven, is mentioned in Wikipedia as having Allied
paratroopers enter it on September 18, 1944, so there could be some
historical basis for these time exceptions, but Tom Shanks probably
just created all these little differences to mark proprietary data.

There should only be one time table for the Netherlands.


Alois Treindl

Aug 31, 2011, 2:59:45 PM8/31/11

be assured that we are careful to respect intellectual property where it
actually applies.

But we are fighting the privatization of public information, which
always was in the public. Which time clocks on walls and church towers
were showing at a give place was never PRIVATE information.

But I see no ground for painting Thomas Shanks in such a negative light
as you do. He was an excellent researcher. It is only a pity that he
failed to name the sources for all the information he assembled from them.

We are in the process of repeating this assembly process, in many cases
better, as the tzdata project by Olson & community has already proven.
Not because we are more clever than Shanks, but because we have one big
advantage: the Internet and email. The ability to work as a worldwide
group. It is also a lot easier to get at information now.

For Netherlands, I have found an excellent source already,
which lists the transition dates during liberation:
Maastricht: 19 september 1944 om 3 uur.
Sas van Gent: 19 september 1944 om 21 uur.
Eindhoven: 20 september 1944 om 14 uur.
Heerlen: 21 september 1944 om 3 uur.
Sittard, Weert: 22 september 1944 (uur onbekend).
Helmond: 26 september 1944 (uur onbekend).

You will find the same places and times in Shanks' tables. He used
apparently the same Dutch source Diegenbach.

Shanks did not make these up to poison the database with invented bits.
Certainly not here, and I doubt elsewhere.

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