Loughborough University
Whirlwind_in_Occupied_Holland_Shama.pdf (479.57 kB)
Download file

A whirlwind in occupied Holland

Download (479.57 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2009-01-13, 11:55 authored by Gilbert Shama, Gerben van der Els
● Two separate groups of Dutch microbiologists led clandestine efforts to produce antibiotics while the country was occupied during World War II. ● In one of these efforts, J.V. Köningsberger and Abraham van Luyk at the Botanical Laboratory in Utrecht tested antibiotics produced by Penicillium expansum on animals and humans. ● Although hampered by wartime censorship, this Dutch group benefitted from information on penicillin from an unusual source—namely, a leaflet that British Royal Air Force (RAF) fliers dropped over Holland. ● The group in Utrecht laboured under conditions of severe deprivation, but despite their best efforts their work came to an abrupt end in August 1944 when gas and electricity supplies collapsed.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


SHAMA, G. and VAN DER ELS, G., 2008. A whirlwind in occupied Holland. Microbe, 3 (11), pp. 511-515


© American Society for Microbiology


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date



This article was published in the journal, Microbe [© American Society for Microbiology] and the definitive version is available at: http://www.asm.org/microbe/ No material may be reproduced without the permission of the author. No changes may be made to the material without first obtaining permission from both ASM and the author, and any such changes must be identified in the material when it is published.




  • en