Gerrit Bolkestein

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Gerrit Bolkestein
Gerrit Bolkestein (1944).jpg
Gerrit Bolkestein in 1942
Minister for Education, Arts and Sciences
In office
MonarchQueen Wilhelmina
Prime MinisterDirk Jan de Geer
Personal details
Gerrit Bolkestein

(1871-10-09)9 October 1871
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died8 September 1956(1956-09-08) (aged 84)
The Hague, Netherlands
Resting placeZorgvlied cemetery
Political partyFree-thinking Democratic League
Spouse(s)Johanna Meijer

Gerrit Bolkestein (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣɛrɪd ˈbɔlkəstɛin];[1] 9 October 1871 – 8 September 1956) was a Dutch politician and member of the Free-thinking Democratic League.

Bolkestein was the Minister for Education, Art and Science from 1939 until 1945, and was part of the Dutch government-in-exile from 1940. In early 1944 he gave a radio address from London in which he said that after the war he would collect written evidence from Dutch people relating to the oppression they had endured during the Nazi occupation. Among those who heard the broadcast was Anne Frank who had been keeping a diary for two years, which she had spent multiple years in hiding. His comment that he was particularly interested in diaries and letters, led Frank to edit what had originally been a diary kept for her own amusement. Frank later died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but her partially edited diary was saved, and eventually published in 1947.

Bolkestein is the grandfather of prominent market liberal Frits Bolkestein. He is buried at Zorgvlied cemetery.


  1. ^ Gerrit in isolation: [ˈɣɛrɪt].
Political offices
Preceded by
Bep Schrieke
Minister of Education, Arts and Sciences
Succeeded by
Gerard van der Leeuw