Fedde Schurer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fedde Schurer
Fedde Schurer.jpg
Born25 July 1898
Drachten (Netherlands)
Died19 March 1968(1968-03-19) (aged 69)
Heerenveen (Netherlands)
Occupationpoet, writer (also school-teacher, journalist and politician)
LanguageWest Frisian
NationalityFrisian flag.svg Western Frisian
CitizenshipFlag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch
Period20th century
Genrepoetry, short stories, drama
Notable worksFersen
Simson
Years active1920–1968
SpouseWillemke de Vries
ChildrenAndries Schurer (adopted)

Fedde Schurer (West Frisian pron. [ˈfɛdə ˈskyːrər]; Dutch pron. [ˈfɛdə ˈsxyːrər]) (Drachten, 25 July 1898 – Heerenveen, 19 March 1968)[1] was a Dutch schoolteacher, journalist, language activist and politician,[2] and one of the most influential poets in the West Frisian language of the 20th century.[3][4]

Life and career[edit]

From 1904 on,[5] Schurer grew up in the Frisian fishing village of Lemmer,[6] and from a young age worked as a carpenter.[7] Through self-education in the evenings he studied to become a schoolteacher, and in 1919, he was appointed in that position to the local Christian elementary school in Lemmer.[5] His wife Willemke "Willy" de Vries, who was also a schoolteacher, and his colleague at this school, he had actually met when he was still a carpenter's apprentice, as she was the girl who delivered the newspaper at the carpenter's workshop everyday.[8] Schurer and Willy were married on 1 July 1924.[5]

In 1930, his openly pacifist stance caused Schurer to lose his job, after which he moved to Amsterdam, where he was appointed to a state-run school.[9][5] He was a talented orator, and his pacifist and socialist views were seen as a danger to society at that time, which is why the BVD, the Dutch secret service, started a file om him.[10][11] Schurer joined the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian-socialist splinter party, and in 1935–1936 he served as a member of the provincial assembly of North Holland for a year.[5] In World War II he was involved with the Dutch resistance in Amsterdam, where his house was used as a temporary hiding place for people wanted by the Nazis, before they could be smuggled out of the city.[12]

After the war, Schurer returned to Friesland, where he lived in Heerenveen, and worked as a journalist.[13][5][14] Like most people from Friesland, he was a native West Frisian speaker, and from a young age he had been an ardent supporter of his mother tongue.[15]

Kneppelfreed[edit]

Memorial of Kneppelfreed with a poem by Fedde Schurer in front of the Courthouse in Leeuwarden

In 1950 and 1951, in several court cases in Friesland the judge denied the defendants the right to speak Frisian,[16] Schurer wrote a sharply worded editorial rebuke in the Heerenveensche Koerier newspaper.[17][18] Mr. Sacco Richard Wolthers had said during the court session of 17 October 1951, "Officieel versta ik u niet" (Officially I can't understand you).[19] In the editorial, Schurer lectured the judge on a defendant's rights, and called Mr. Wolthers' behavior childish, offensive and harassment. Schurer continued to state that civil servants ought to learn Frisian as recommended by the decentralisation commission.[19] He was then charged with slandering the judge, and had to appear in court on Friday, 16 November 1951, in the provincial capital of Leeuwarden,[20] together with another journalist, Tsjebbe de Jong, of the Bolswarder Nieuwsblad who used the term "nazi methods" in his column about the case.[21]

On the Zaailand square, in front of the Leeuwarden Palace of Justice, a large crowd gathered that day. There were some supporters of Schurer (among them renowned Frisian authors like Douwe Tamminga, Anne Wadman and Eeltsje Boates Folkertsma), some Frisian nationalists, members of the Frisian-language press (who weren't allowed in the court-room) and a group of students carrying placards, but it happened to be market day that day, and a lot of the people there were simply market goers who came over to see what all the fuss was about.[22] Through inept crowd control by the police[23] the situation got completely out of hand and turned into a riot in which the police used excessive force[21] known as Kneppelfreed ("Baton Friday", after the batons used by the police).[24][25] Something like this was unheard of in sleepy Dutch post-war society, and the event triggered angry protest meetings throughout Friesland.[26][27] The story even made headlines in the foreign press,[28] and questions were raised in the Tweede Kamer, the Dutch lower house of parliament.[29] Under pressure to resolve the situation, the national government in The Hague sent a committee consisting of three ministers to Friesland to confer with the Frisian leaders,[30] which eventually led to changes in the national laws (in 1955 and 1956), making it possible for Frisians to speak their own language in the court of law and giving the Frisian language in the Province of Friesland the official status of tweede rijkstaal ("second national language").[31][32] Kneppelfreed is considered one of the most important milestones in the emancipation of the West Frisian language.[33]

Aftermath[edit]

As for Schurer, he lost his case, and was sentenced to a conditional prison sentence of 14 days and a fine of ƒ 150.- (€558.65 in 2018[34])[35] Schurer appealed the sentence, but lost and was finally sentenced to 30 days conditional and a fine of ƒ 150.-.[36][37][38]

Schurer served from 1956 to 1963 as a member of the Dutch national parliament for the Dutch Labour Party.[5] He also continued to win acclaim as a poet.[2] In fact, although Schurer is known as both a writer and a poet, his body of prose, consisting only of the short story collection Beam en Bast (1963) and his posthumously published autobiography De Besleine Spegel (1969), is diminutive when compared to his poetry oeuvre.[2] Schurer also wrote two plays, Simson (1945, about the Biblical figure of Samson), and Bonifatius (1954, about Saint Boniface). Active also as a translator, he was responsible for the Frisian text of the Book of Esther in the New Frisian Bible Translation, while in 1931 he published a collection of poetry written by Heinrich Heine, which he had translated into Frisian.[39] Fedde Schurer died in Heerenveen, in 1968,[40] and was survived by his wife and their adopted son Andries.[41] In 2010, the first comprehensive biography on Schurer was published, titled Fedde Schurer (1898–1968): Biografie van een Friese Koerier, written in Dutch by Johanneke Liemburg, the mayor of Littenseradiel.[42]

Bibliography[edit]

The statue of Fedde Schurer in Heerenveen.

Poetry[edit]

  • 1925 – Fersen ("Poems")
  • 1931 – Utflecht ("First Flight")
  • 1936 – Op Alle Winen ("On Every Wind")
  • 1940 – Fen Twa Wâllen ("Not Choosing One over the Other")
  • 1947 – It Boek fan de Psalmen ("The Book of Psalms" – not a translation)
  • 1949 – Vox Humana
  • 1955 – Frysk Psalm- en Gesangboek ("Frisian Book of Psalms and Songs", rhymed version in Frisian of the Dutch liturgical songbook)
  • 1955 – Fingerprinten ("Fingerprints")
  • 1966 – Efter it Nijs ("Behind the News")
  • 1966 – Opheind en Trochjown ("Caught and Passed On")
  • 1966 – De Gitaer by it Boek, part 1 ("The Guitar by the Book")
  • 1969 – De Gitaer by it Boek, part 2
  • 1974 – Samle Fersen ("Collected Poetry", republished in 1975)

Prose[edit]

  • 1963 – Beam en Bast ("Tree and Bark", short story collection)
  • 1963 – Brood op het Water ("Bread on the Water", collection of Schurer's editorials in the Friese Koerier newspaper, partly in Dutch)
  • 1969 – De Besleine Spegel ("The Blurred Mirror", unfinished autobiography, republished in 1998 and 2010)

Drama[edit]

  • 1945 – Simson ("Samson", Biblical tragedy)
  • 1954 – Bonifatius ("Saint Boniface", historical tragedy)

Translations[edit]

  • 1931 – Heinrich Heine: Oersettings út Syn Dichtwirk ("Heinrich Heine: Translations from His Poetry")
  • 1966 – Book of Esther (translation for the New Frisian Bible Translation)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fedde Schurer in the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren ("Digital Library for Dutch Literature")
  2. ^ a b c Klaes Dykstra and Bouke Oldenhof, Lyts Hânboek fan de Fryske Literatuer, Leeuwarden (Afûk), 1997, p. 92
  3. ^ Johanneke Liemburg, Fedde Schurer (1898–1968): Biografie van een Friese Koerier, Leeuwarden (Friese Pers/Noordboek), 2010
  4. ^ Fedde Schurer in the Biografisch Woordenboek van het Socialisme en de Arbeidersbeweging in Nederland ("Biografical Dictionary of Socialism and the Workers' Movement in the Netherlands")
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Fedde Schurer in the Biografisch Woordenboek van het Socialisme en de Arbeidersbeweging in Nederland
  6. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 18–30
  7. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 31–41
  8. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, p. 49
  9. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 65–96
  10. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, p. 89
  11. ^ Short biography of Schurer (below the headline Talentvol en gevaarlijk spreker: "In a BVD file Schurer is seen as "Talented and dangerous orator, especially dangerous to young people.")
  12. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 126–134
  13. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 148–152
  14. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 16–19
  15. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 54–56
  16. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 24–27, 33/34
  17. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 164–166
  18. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 34–36
  19. ^ a b "Mr Wolthers forstiet offisieel gjin Frysk". Heerenveensche Koerier via delpher.nl (in Western Frisian). 18 October 1951. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  20. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 37/38
  21. ^ a b "Het Laatste Woord". De Heerenveensche Courant via Delpher (in Dutch). 17 November 1951. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  22. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 44–47
  23. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 47–49
  24. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 168–170
  25. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 49–53
  26. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 170–171
  27. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 54–60 and 65–68
  28. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, p. 177
  29. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 68–74
  30. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 76–78
  31. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 174–183
  32. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 99–107
  33. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, p. 9
  34. ^ "De waarde van de gulden / euro". Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Deining in de Friese hoofdstad". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden via Delpher (in Dutch). 17 November 1951. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  36. ^ "Fedde Schurer in hoger beroep veroordeelt". Nieuwsblad van het Noorden via Delpher (in Dutch). 27 March 1952. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  37. ^ Fedde Schurer, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969, pp. 163–168 and 171–173
  38. ^ Peter R. Boomsma, Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, pp. 39–44 and 82–92
  39. ^ Klaes Dykstra and Bouke Oldenhof, Lyts Hânboek fan de Fryske Literatuer, Leeuwarden (Afûk), 1997, p. 92-93
  40. ^ Fedde Schurer in the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren
  41. ^ Biography of Fedde Schurer
  42. ^ Fedde Schurer: Een Doorbraakfiguur, bulletin of the University of Groningen, 16 March 2010

Sources[edit]

  • Boomsma, Peter R., Kneppelfreed, Franeker (Uitgeverij Van Wijnen), 1998, ISBN 9 05 19 41 838
  • Dykstra, Klaes, and Bouke Oldenhof, Lyts Hânboek fan de Fryske Literatuer, Leeuwarden (Afûk), 1997, ISBN 9 07 00 10 526, pp. 92–95
  • Liemburg, Johanneke, Fedde Schurer (1898–1968): Biografie van een Friese Koerier, Leeuwarden (Friese Pers/Noordboek), 2010, ISBN 978-9 03 30 08 689
  • Schurer, Fedde, De Besleine Spegel, Amsterdam (Moussault's Uitgeverij N.V.), 1969 (autobiography)
  • Steenmeijer-Wielenga, Tineke, Fedde Schurer, in the Biografisch Woordenboek van het Socialisme en de Arbeidersbeweging in Nederland (BWSA), 1987, pp. 146–148

External links[edit]