Hi Lovie Award judges!

We proudly present our entry in the Podcast category. With the podcast series ‘De Verdwenen SS’er’ (The Missing SS Officer), National Monument Kamp Amersfoort achieved 30% more museum visits. The podcast had over 1.2 million downloads to date. And counting… This makes it one of the most listened to branded podcasts ever. Do you want to know how this success came about? Then read on. We wish you a lot of reading, viewing and especially listening pleasure.


National Monument Kamp Amersfoort


Attract (potential) visitors to the museum


An eight-part podcast distributed through own channels

When you say 'World War II' and 'concentration camps in the Netherlands', you quickly think of Camp Westerbork or Camp Vught. Kamp Amersfoort is rarely mentioned. Yet 652 people died and 47,000 people were imprisoned by the horrific regime.

So the challenge for National Monument Kamp Amersfoort was: how do you encourage people to visit your museum? How can we combine physical and digital experiences so that they complement and reinforce each other? How do you convey a real story to a wide audience and thus arouse the interest of potential visitors?

Listen to the podcast:

A podcast: the best medium to share real stories

There is only one medium that can tell a story like this in a compelling way: a podcast. Social media has a character limit, YouTube is snackable media (users tend to jump between clips), and blogs should be short and to the point.

A podcast is the perfect medium to tell a complex story about real events. But in a special place like Kamp Amersfoort, there are at least 47,000 stories to tell. Several of them have already been highlighted in the museum. The question: how do you get all the stories in a podcast series? The answer: you don't.

We chose to highlight one story. A story that was hardly discussed in the museum, about which there was not much to share at the time. Because this podcast turned out to be more than a powerful audio story full of tension and twists. It became a series about the process of historical research into one of the most important people in the camp: the founder Walter Heinrich.

We had zero media budget, so we developed a podcast campaign to be launched from earned media. So we had to look for newsworthy hooks in order to creatively achieve reach through local, regional and hopefully national media.

Various hypotheses were formed and from there, the chief researcher of Kamp Amersfoort and iO’s podcast maker spent weeks searching through archives, looking for information.

For example, searches were made at NIOD, in the National Archives, in The National Archives of London and the US, in German archives.

Discussions were held with well-known and lesser-known experts. We searched for family and new information was discovered.

The search, the detective work, the calls and visits with experts, everything is recorded in the podcast. Nothing is scripted or preconceived. It has become a distinctive and historically engaging story, told chronologically. A story for young and old. A story that can tempt you to visit Kamp Amersfoort.

It has really become a journalistic production, but branded.

NOS news broadcast about this podcast


iO and National Monument Kamp Amersfoort have made an eight-part podcast: De Verdwenen SS'er. A gripping audio story that already has over 1.2 million downloads.

“As makers, our starting point was the same as always: we wanted to tell a strong, exciting story. A podcast that combines entertainment and education. With an overwhelming number of people listening, we have succeeded in introducing a wider audience to National Monument Camp Amersfoort.”

Jordy Hubers

Jordy Hubers, Podcast Creative iO

The search for Walter Heinrich

Walter Heinrich was a war criminal, a mass murderer, and the founder of one of the most gruesome concentration camps in the Netherlands during World War II. In February 1945 he disappeared without a trace. What happened to him?

In 'De Verdwenen SS'er', iO podcast maker Jordy Hubers and Floris van Dijk, Head of Research at National Monument Camp Amersfoort, went in search of the answer. They examined all possible leads.

Did he die during the fall of Berlin? Was he a prisoner of war? Has he successfully escaped to the other side of the world?

After months of research, Jordy and Floris came to surprising discoveries that made national headlines in, among others, Trouw, NRC, NOS.nl and the Algemeen Dagblad, with the icing on the cake being an item in the NOS eight-o’clock news, which told the story to 2.4 million TV viewers.

Research during the podcast revealed that Walter Heinrich's wartime crimes were far worse than previously established and that he was responsible for at least 625 deaths.


The collaboration in numbers




increase in museum visits


weeks at #1 in the "History" category (Apple Podcasts)

Top 10

in the charts (Spotify)


average score (Apple Podcasts & Spotify)


weeks uninterrupted in the top 100 of best listened to Apple podcasts in the Netherlands

One of the best branded podcasts of The Netherlands

The podcast was only promoted on its own channels and with free publicity. Thanks to articles and reports in the national and regional media, the podcast went viral. With over 1,200,000 downloads, the podcast reached the top spot on both Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

But it didn't stop there.

The original goal was to attract more visitors to National Monument Kamp Amersfoort — and we succeeded. After the podcast went live in October 2022, the camp saw a 30% visitor increase over the previous month. While the 'quiet' season traditionally starts from September, there were more visitors in October 2022 than in August.

“In the end, we linked a face and a story to a war criminal who was unknown before in the Netherlands — and filled some big gaps in our shared history and knowledge. This way, we have not only strengthened the profile of our museum and increased involvement and visitor numbers, but I also think - although you have to be careful with statements like this - that ‘De Verdwenen SS'er’ is one of the best branded podcasts of the moment.”

Floris van Dijk

Floris van Dijk, Head of Research National Museum Kamp Amersfoort