Hendrikus Colijn

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Hendrikus Colijn
Hendrik Colijn (1925).jpg
Hendrikus Colijn in 1925
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
26 May 1933 – 10 August 1939
MonarchWilhelmina
Preceded byCharles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Succeeded byDirk Jan de Geer
In office
4 August 1925 – 8 March 1926
MonarchWilhelmina
Preceded byCharles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
Succeeded byDirk Jan de Geer
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 June 1937 – 1 October 1937
Ad interim
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byAndries Cornelis Dirk de Graeff
Succeeded byJacob Adriaan Nicolaas Patijn
Minister of Defence
In office
2 September 1935 – 24 June 1937
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byLaurentius Nicolaas Deckers
Succeeded byJannes van Dijk
Minister of Water Management
In office
13 January 1935 – 15 March 1935
Ad interim
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byJacob Kalff
Succeeded byOtto van Lidth de Jeude
Minister of Economic Affairs
In office
25 July 1939 – 10 August 1939
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byMax Steenberghe
Succeeded byMax Steenberghe
In office
17 April 1934 – 25 June 1934
Ad interim
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byTimotheus Verschuur
Succeeded byMax Steenberghe
Minister of Colonial Affairs
In office
26 May 1933 – 24 June 1937
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded bySimon de Graaff
Succeeded byCharles Welter
In office
4 August 1925 – 1 October 1925
Ad interim
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded bySimon de Graaff
Succeeded byCharles Welter
Minister of Finance
In office
19 May 1939 – 25 July 1939
Ad interim
Prime MinisterHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byJacob Adriaan de Wilde
Succeeded byChristiaan Bodenhausen
In office
11 August 1923 – 8 March 1926
Prime MinisterCharles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck
(1923–1925)
Hendrikus Colijn
(1925–1926)
Preceded byDirk Jan de Geer
Succeeded byDirk Jan de Geer
Leader of the Anti-Revolutionary Party
In office
31 March 1920 – 18 September 1944
Preceded byAbraham Kuyper
Succeeded byJan Schouten
Chairman of the Anti-Revolutionary Party
In office
6 September 1939 – 18 September 1944
LeaderHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byJan Schouten
Succeeded byJan Schouten (1945)
In office
31 March 1920 – 26 May 1933
LeaderHendrikus Colijn
Preceded byAbraham Kuyper
Succeeded byJan Schouten
Minister of the Navy
In office
14 May 1912 – 29 August 1913
Prime MinisterTheo Heemskerk
Preceded byJan Wentholt
Succeeded byJean Jacques Rambonnet
Minister of War
In office
4 January 1911 – 29 August 1913
Prime MinisterTheo Heemskerk
Preceded byWouter Cool
Succeeded byNicolaas Bosboom
Parliament
Parliamentary leader in the Senate
In office
23 September 1926 – 17 September 1929
Preceded byAnne Anema
Succeeded byAnne Anema
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Member of the Senate
In office
31 October 1939 – 18 September 1944
In office
23 September 1926 – 21 August 1929
In office
15 September 1914 – 10 November 1920
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Parliamentary leader in the
House of Representatives
In office
17 September 1929 – 23 May 1933
Preceded byTheo Heemskerk
Succeeded byJan Schouten
In office
11 July 1922 – 11 August 1923
Preceded byVictor Henri Rutgers
Succeeded byVictor Henri Rutgers
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
8 June 1937 – 25 June 1937
In office
17 September 1929 – 26 May 1933
In office
25 July 1922 – 15 August 1923
In office
9 November 1909 – 4 January 1911
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Personal details
Born
Hendrikus Colijn

(1869-06-22)22 June 1869
Burgerveen, Netherlands
Died18 September 1944(1944-09-18) (aged 75)
Ilmenau, Nazi Germany
Cause of deathHeart failure
NationalityDutch
Political partyAnti-Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s)
Helena Groenenberg
(m. 1893; his death 1944)
RelationsArie Colijn (brother)
ChildrenAnton Colijn (1894–1945)
Hendrikus Colijn Jr. (1897–1945)
Pieter Colijn (1903–1943)
Alma materRoyal Military Academy
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Military officer · Teacher · Editor-in-chief · Businessman · Corporate director
Signature
Military service
AllegianceNetherlands
Branch/serviceRoyal Netherlands East Indies Army
Years of service1886–1909
RankNl-landmacht-majoor.svg Major

Hendrikus "Hendrik" Colijn (22 June 1869 – 18 September 1944) was a Dutch politician of the defunct Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) now merged into the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 4 August 1925 until 8 March 1926 and from 26 May 1933 until 10 August 1939.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 22 June 1869 in the Haarlemmermeer to Antonie Colijn and Anna Verkuijl, who had migrated to the newly created Haarlemmermeer polder from the Land of Heusden and Altena for religious reasons. He was the first of six children, all born in Haarlemmermeer. Colijn grew up in the Land of Altena.

Military service[edit]

At the age of 16, he went to a military academy in Kampen for officer training, where he graduated as a 2nd lieutenant in 1892. On 18 September 1893, he married Helena Groenenberg (23 September 1867 – 14 February 1947).[1] and was sent to the Dutch East Indies. During his 16 years in the Dutch East Indies, he spent ten years in the Colonial Army, serving in the Aceh War as the lieutenant of J. B. van Heutsz, and six further years in the Colonial administration, having the same role towards van Heutsz when the latter became Governor General in 1904.

Colijn's letters to his wife from his period on Lombok reveal his participation in acts of brutality which by modern standards would be considered severe war crimes:

I have seen a mother carrying a child of about 6 months old on her left arm, with a long lance in her right hand, who was running in our direction. One of our bullets killed the mother as well as the child. From now on we couldn't give any mercy, it was over. I did give orders to gather a group of 9 women and 3 children who asked for mercy and they were shot all together. It was not a pleasant job, but something else was impossible. Our soldiers tacked them with pleasure with their bayonets. It was horrible. I will stop reporting now.[2]

Political life[edit]

After his return to the Netherlands in 1909, he was elected as an Anti-Revolutionary Party Member of Parliament for the district Sneek (Before 1918, the Dutch voting system was the same as the British).

In 1911, he was appointed Minister of War[3] and revised the Dutch Selective Service System. In May 1918 he acted as an intermediary between the British and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to arrange an armistice, resulting in the Kaiser getting refuge in The Netherlands.

Business life[edit]

In 1910 the Holland Dakota Landbouw Compagnie is established[4] with Hendrikus Colijn and his brother nl:Arie Colijn as the primary share holders.[5]

From 1914 to 1922 he served as CEO for the Bataafse Petroleum Maatschappij (BPM). In 1925, he also became CEO of Royal Dutch Shell.

Prime minister[edit]

In 1922 he accepted the political leadership of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (Calvinist) from Dr. Abraham Kuyper. Already one year later he succeeded resigning minister Dirk Jan de Geer as Minister of Finance.[3] In 1925 Colijn also became prime minister,[3] but a year later Colijn had to step down when the House of Representatives accepted a resolution by Gerrit Hendrik Kersten of the Protestant Reformed Political Party which called for diplomatic ties with the Vatican to be broken. This was unacceptable to the Roman Catholic State Party then in government.[6] Colijn then returned to the Senate, and from 1927 to 1929, he served as head of the Dutch delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva. At the election of 1929 he was elected for the House of Representatives, and immediately became Parliamentary leader of his party. This proved to be a success: at the election of 1933 the ARP gained two seats, and Colijn became Prime Minister again.[3] From 1933–1939 he served four more times as prime minister. During the 1930s his government faced the effects of the Great Depression, which took a heavy toll on the Netherlands. Colijn's government responded to the economic crisis with a very strict fiscal policy, which may have further weakened the Dutch economy. Colijn's decision to adhere to the Gold Standard until 1937, long after most of the trading partners of the Netherlands had dropped it, also played a role in lengthening the economic crisis. In 1939, his latest cabinet, with Protestant and liberal ministers but without Catholic ministers, lasted only three days before a government crisis.

World War II and death[edit]

After the Dutch defeat in the Battle of the Netherlands in 1940, he published an essay entitled "On the Border of Two Worlds",[7] in which he called for accepting German leadership in Europe, immediately after the Royal House had fled to England, leaving him behind. His view was influenced by the tremendous show of force the German blitzkrieg had shown and the relative weakness of the Allied forces. Soon thereafter, he tried to organize political resistance but was arrested in June 1941 and taken to Berlin for interrogation. The Germans tried to have him confess that he had conspired with the British to invade the Netherlands to serve as an excuse for the German invasion.

Late in the war after the tide had turned against the Germans, according to a grandson, Himmler wanted to keep Colijn available as a possible intermediary with the British, as he had done earlier for Wilhelm II. The very fact that the Gestapo allowed the visit suggests that Himmler was already making contingency plans in case of a German loss. In March 1943 Colijn was put under house arrest in a remote mountain hotel in Ilmenau, where he died on 18 September 1944.[8][9]

Decorations[edit]

Honours
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
NLD Military Order of William - Officer BAR.png Knight 3rd Class of the Military Order of William Netherlands 1 August 1895 Style of Excellency
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 12 March 1926 Elevated from Grand Officer (5 September 1913)
NLD Order of the Dutch Lion - Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 31 August 1929 Elevated from Commander (11 August 1923)
Honorific Titles
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Minister of State Netherlands 31 August 1929 Style of Excellency

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cardinaal, C.N. "Helena Groenenberg (1867-1947) » Stamboom De Kanter » Genealogie Online". Genealogie Online.
  2. ^ Engelfriet, Aad. "Introduction to the History of the Dutch East Indies Aad 'Arcengel' Engelfriet". home.iae.nl.
  3. ^ a b c d "Defense in two spheres - Holland's New Cabinet". The Age. 25 May 1939. p. 8. Retrieved 13 May 2017 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  4. ^ "Middelburgsche Courant - 6 juni 1910 - pagina 7". Krantenbank Zeeland.
  5. ^ Smits, Mari. "'Anthonie Colijn (1870-1932). Boer, boerenvoorman, burgemeester' in: P.E. Werkman en R.E. van der Woude (red.), Wie in de politiek gaat, is weg? Protestantse politici en de christelijk-sociale beweging (Hilversum: Verloren 2009), pp. 151-176". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ (in Dutch) Vaticaan moet plaats kennen; by Lousewies van der Laan, Elly Plooij-van Gorsel and Joke Swiebel [nl], Trouw, 18 November 2000
  7. ^ DE GRENS V A N TWEE WERELDEN[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Dr. H. (Hendrik) Colijn". www.parlement.com.
  9. ^ Oral History Hendrik "Henk" Colijn Archived 2016-06-30 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Official
House of Representatives of the Netherlands
Preceded by
Hendrik Pollema
Member for Sneek
1909–1911
Succeeded by
Jan Gerrit Scheurer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Abraham Kuyper
Leader of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party

1920–1944
Succeeded by
Jan Schouten
Chairman of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party

1920–1933
1939–1944
Preceded by
Jan Schouten
Preceded by
Victor Henri Rutgers
Parliamentary leader of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party in the
House of Representatives

1922–1923
1929–1933
Succeeded by
Victor Henri Rutgers
Preceded by
Theo Heemskerk
Succeeded by
Jan Schouten
Preceded by
Anne Anema
Parliamentary leader of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party
in the Senate

1926–1929
Succeeded by
Anne Anema
Political offices
Preceded by
Wouter Cool
Minister of War
1911–1913
Succeeded by
Nicolaas Bosboom
Preceded by
Jan Wentholt
Minister of the Navy
1912–1913
Succeeded by
Jean Jacques
Rambonnet
Preceded by
Dirk Jan de Geer
Minister of Finance
1923–1926
1939
Ad interim
Succeeded by
Dirk Jan de Geer
Preceded by
Jacob Adriaan
de Wilde
Succeeded by
Christiaan Bodenhausen
Preceded by
Charles Ruijs de
Beerenbrouck
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
1925–1926
1933–1939
Succeeded by
Dirk Jan de Geer
Preceded by
Charles Ruijs de
Beerenbrouck
Succeeded by
Dirk Jan de Geer
Preceded by
Simon de Graaff
Minister of Colonial Affairs
1925
Ad interim
1933–1937
Succeeded by
Charles Welter
Preceded by
Simon de Graaff
Succeeded by
Charles Welter
Preceded by
Timotheus Verschuur
Minister of Economic Affairs
1934
Ad interim
1939
Succeeded by
Max Steenberghe
Preceded by
Max Steenberghe
Succeeded by
Max Steenberghe
Preceded by
Jacob Kalff
Minister of Water Management
1935
Ad interim
Succeeded by
Otto van Lidth
de Jeude
Preceded by
Laurentius
Nicolaas Deckers
Minister of Defence
1935–1937
Succeeded by
Jannes van Dijk
Preceded by
Andries Cornelis
Dirk de Graeff
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1937
Ad interim
Succeeded by
Jacob Adriaan
Nicolaas Patijn