From 1934 to 1938 Jettie Derksen studied at the theological and social department at what was then known as the Catholic University of Nijmegen. That department had been established in 1927 in order to give women and laypeople the opportunity to study theology.
War and resistance
After her graduation Jettie Derksen worked during the Second World War as an assistant to John Baptist Knipping, private teacher in Mediaeval Iconography and active in the resistance. Together they visited artists and Jewish friends at their safe houses. Jettie Derksen also helped people in resistance circles do their work. Jettie Derksen is mentioned extensively in a thesis on Knipping. So the owner of the beret is certainly no stranger.
First pre-war beret in heritage collection
Although Radboud’s heritage collection has several student berets, there was no pre-war beret up to now. It isn’t known when Jettie Derksen wore her beret, but we do know that a beret was usually worn on official occasions such as an academic ceremony.
On Friday, 28 October one of Jettie Hill-Derksen’s relatives will donate the beret to Daniël Wigboldus, the chair of the board of Radboud University. The beret will be added to Radboud University’s heritage collection. When Radboud University celebrates its centennial next year, the beret might be on display as one of the objects of the university’s history.