Dirk Jan de Geer

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Dirk Jan de Geer
Dirk Jan de Geer.jpg
Dirk Jan de Geer in 1930
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
10 August 1939 – 3 September 1940
MonarchWilhelmina
Preceded byHendrikus Colijn
Succeeded byPieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
In office
8 March 1926 – 10 August 1929
MonarchWilhelmina
Preceded byHendrikus Colijn
Succeeded byCharles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Chairman of the Christian Historical Union
In office
30 June 1933 – 10 Augustus 1939
Preceded byJan Rudolph Slotemaker de Bruïne
Succeeded byHendrik Tilanus
Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives
In office
28 April 1933 – 10 August 1939
Preceded byReinhardt Snoeck Henkemans
Succeeded byHendrik Tilanus
Parliamentary groupChristian Historical Union
Leader of the Christian Historical Union
In office
8 July 1929 – 14 May 1940
Preceded byJohan de Visser
Succeeded byHendrik Tilanus
Minister of the Interior and Agriculture
In office
4 August 1925 – 8 March 1926
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byCharles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Succeeded byJan Kan
Minister of Finance
In office
10 August 1939 – 3 September 1940
Prime MinisterDirk Jan de Geer
Preceded byChristiaan Bodenhausen
Succeeded byCharles Welter
In office
8 March 1926 – 26 May 1933
Prime MinisterDirk Jan de Geer
(1926–1929)
Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
(1929–1933)
Preceded byHendrikus Colijn
Succeeded byPieter Oud
In office
28 July 1921 – 11 August 1923
Prime MinisterCharles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Preceded bySimon de Vries
Succeeded byHendrikus Colijn
Mayor of Arnhem
In office
8 May 1920 – 28 July 1921
Preceded byAarnoud van Heemstra
Succeeded bySalomon de Monchy
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
9 May 1933 – 10 August 1939
In office
25 July 1922 – 18 September 1922
In office
4 November 1907 – 30 August 1921
Parliamentary groupChristian Historical Union
(1908–1939)
Christian Historical Party
(1907–1908)
Personal details
Born
Dirk Jan de Geer

(1870-12-14)14 December 1870
Groningen, Netherlands
Died28 November 1960(1960-11-28) (aged 89)
Soest, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyChristian Historical Union
(from 1908)
Other political
affiliations
Christian Historical Party
(1903–1908)
Christian Historical Voters' League
(until 1903)
Spouse(s)
Maria Voorhoeve
(m. 1904; her death 1955)
RelationsBoudewijn de Geer (grandson)
Mike de Geer (great-grandson)
Children3 daughters and 2 sons
Alma materUtrecht University
(Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws)
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Jurist · Managing editor · Author

Jhr. Dirk Jan de Geer (14 December 1870 – 28 November 1960) was a Dutch politician of the defunct Christian Historical Union (CHU) now merged into the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 8 March 1926 until 10 August 1929 and from 10 August 1939 until 3 September 1940.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Groningen, he was a descendant of the De Geer family. After receiving his J.D. in 1895, De Geer worked as a journalist and acted as the town councillor of Rotterdam (1901–1907).

Politics[edit]

He served from 1907 as a Christian Historical member of Parliament. De Geer was a stable and respected politician before World War II. From 1920 to 1921 de Geer served as mayor of Arnhem. Between 1921 and 1923 he served as Minister of Finance. He resigned in 1923 because of his disagreement with the Naval Law of 1924. From 1925 to 1926 he served as minister of the interior and minister of agriculture. He was Prime Minister from 8 March 1926 to 10 August 1929. He also served as Minister of Finances from 1926 to 1933.

After the end of the fifth cabinet of Colijn he was again asked to form a government in August 1939, concurrently holding the office of Minister of Finance and of General Affairs. However, he was not suited for the role of prime minister of a nation at war as he knew himself. When the Germans attacked the Netherlands on 10 May 1940, the situation soon became very serious. Because of this the government decided to flee to London.

When in London, De Geer advocated negotiating a separate peace between the Netherlands and the Third Reich, which damaged the Dutch government and the Dutch morale by openly stating that the war could never be won. He was finally removed from office on the instigation of the iron-willed Queen Wilhelmina, and replaced by Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy, officially on account of ill-health.[1]

Later on, he was sent with a diplomatic package to the Dutch East Indies, present day Indonesia. He never arrived there: on a stop-over in Portugal he left, and returned via Berlin to his ailing wife, and the rest of his family[2] in the Netherlands with the permission of the Germans. This greatly angered Queen Wilhelmina, who called him a traitor and deserter to the Dutch cause. He later wrote a controversial leaflet with "instructions" for the people on how to cooperate with the Germans. "With this pamphlet," the Dutch government in exile stated in a broadcast, "the writer has betrayed the Netherlands people, whatever happens to him personally."[2] Wilhelmina warned De Geer that if he went on to publish this, he would be put on trial after the conclusion of the war.[3]

With the permission of the Nazis,[2] De Geer went through with the publication; after the war he was duly accused and brought to trial. He was found guilty and stripped of all of his honorary titles. The Appeal Court confirmed the sentence of a year's imprisonment for high treason in time of war, with 3 years' probation, but waived the fine of 20,000 guilders and his deprivation of the title "Minister of State".[4] He died some 15 years later in Soest, embittered and still believing in his innocence.

Personal[edit]

On 11 August 1904, De Geer married Maria Voorhoeve (1 May 1883 – 6 April 1955).[5][6]

His grandson is ex-footballer Boudewijn de Geer, and his great-grandson is current footballer Mike de Geer.

Decorations[edit]

Honours
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
NLD Order of the Dutch Lion - Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 31 Augustus 1933 Stripped of title on 15 March 1950
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Commander BAR.png Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 11 August 1923 Stripped of title on 15 March 1950
Honorific Titles
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Minister of State Netherlands 31 Augustus 1933 Style of Excellency
Stripped of title on 12 November 1947

References[edit]

  1. ^ "As a result of a reshuffle..." The Age. 19 September 1940. p. 8. Retrieved February 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  2. ^ a b c "Dutch Accuse Ex-Premier Of Traitor's Act". The Salt Lake Tribune. 22 April 1942. p. 5. Retrieved February 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  3. ^ Keesing's Contemporary Archives, Volume IV, (February, 1941) p. 4479
  4. ^ Keesing's Contemporary Archives Volume VI, (November, 1947) p. 8944
  5. ^ Driessen, Eduard. "Maria Voorhoeve (1883-1955) » Stamboom Driessen » Genealogie Online". Genealogie Online. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Maria Voorhoeve geb. 1 mei 1883 Rotterdam ovl. 6 apr 1955 Soest: jwvdhurk". www.stamboomonderzoek.com. Retrieved 27 October 2018.

External links[edit]

House of Representatives of the Netherlands
Preceded by
Otto van Limburg Stirum
Member for Schiedam
1907–1918
District abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
Johan de Visser
Leader of the Christian
Historical Union

1929–1940
Succeeded by
Hendrik Tilanus
Preceded by
Reinhardt Snoeck
Henkemans
Parliamentary leader of the
Christian Historical Union in the
House of Representatives

1933–1939
Preceded by
Jan Rudolph
Slotemaker de Bruïne
Chairman of the Christian
Historical Union

1933–1939
Political offices
Preceded by
Aarnoud van Heemstra
Mayor of Arnhem
1920–1921
Succeeded by
Salomon de Monchy
Preceded by
Simon de Vries
Minister of Finance
1921–1923
1926–1933
1939–1940
Succeeded by
Hendrikus Colijn
Preceded by
Hendrikus Colijn
Succeeded by
Pieter Oud
Preceded by
Christiaan Bodenhausen
Succeeded by
Charles Welter
Preceded by
Charles Ruijs de
Beerenbrouck
Minister of the Interior
and Agriculture

1925–1926
Succeeded by
Jan Kan
Preceded by
Hendrikus Colijn
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
1926–1929
1939–1940
Succeeded by
Charles Ruijs de
Beerenbrouck
Succeeded by
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
Minister of General Affairs
1939–1940
Succeeded by
Hendrik van Boeijen