Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart
|Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart|
|Van Heuven Goedhart (Regent's Park London, 1944)|
|United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees|
January 1, 1951 – July 8, 1956
|Succeeded by||Auguste R. Lindt|
October 22, 1947 – January 1, 1951
|Minister of Justice|
July 12, 1944 – February 23, 1945
|Preceded by||Johannes Regnerus Maria van Angeren|
|Succeeded by||Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy|
|Born||Gerrit Jan Goedhart
March 19, 1901
|Died||July 8, 1956
|Political party||Labour Party|
|Spouse(s)||Francis Becht (1924-1931)
Erna Hauan (1932-1956)
|Alma mater||Leiden University (Dr.)|
Van Heuven Goedhart studied Law at Leiden University and graduated in 1926. The year before, he had already become a reporter for newspaper De Telegraaf. On January 1, 1930, at the age of 28, he was promoted to editor in chief. He was fired on June 1, 1933, because he refused to publish an article that called the newly elected German leader Adolf Hitler "a great statesman". He became editor in chief of regional newspaper Utrechts Nieuwsblad, where he would stay in office until the German invasion of the Netherlands.
During the Second World War, Van Heuven Goedhart worked as a reporter and editor in chief for the illegal resistance newspaper Het Parool. In 1944 he fled to London, where he was appointed Minister of Justice in the government in exile.
After the Second World War, Van Heuven Goedhart returned to Het Parool, where he once again become editor in chief. In 1947, he also became Senator for the Labour Party. In 1951, he gave up both occupations to become the first High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations. Under Van Heuven Goedhart, the UNHCR was awarded the 1954 Nobel Peace Prize.
Van Heuven Goedhart was also the first chairman of the "state committee for the coordination of government information" (Dutch: Staatscommissie over de coördinatie van de overheidsvoorlichting), the predecessor of the Netherlands Government Information Service (Dutch: Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst).
- Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 1949.
- Nobel Peace Prize, 1954 (awarded to the UNHCR).
- Wateler Peace Prize, 1956.
Van Heuven Goedhart was born on March 19, 1901 in Bussum, North Holland. His father, Gijsbert Willem Goedhart, was a Protestant vicar. His mother was Francina Dingena Helena van Heuven. Van Heuven Goedhart was initially called Goedhart, but in 1933 he received permission to add his mother's maiden name to his surname.
Van Heuven Goedhart married Francis Becht (1899–1987) in 1924. The marriage was dissolved in 1931. In 1932, Van Heuven Goedhart married Norwegian Erna Hauan (1899–1991). Van Heuven Goedhart had two children from his second marriage, Karin Sophie and Bergliot Halldis.
Van Heuven Goedhart died in Geneva on July 8, 1956, while being United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
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