Koos Vorrink

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Koos Vorrink in 1951

Jacobus Jan Vorrink, better known as Koos Vorrink (June 7, 1891 – July 19, 1955), was a socialist leader in the Netherlands.

Early life[edit]

Koos Vorrink was born on June 7, 1891 in Vlaardingen, in the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland.

He started his career as a schoolteacher. On November 1, 1920 he became secretary of the Arbeiders Jeugd Organisatie (AJC), the Dutch socialist youth movement. On May 11, 1924 he became chairman of the socialist youth movement.

On July 13, 1916 he married Irene Hendrika Bergmeijer. Together they had two daughters. Only one daughter survived, Irene Vorrink (January 7, 1918 - August 21, 1996), who would become minister of Health in the cabinet Den Uyl (1973–1977).

Vorrinks career progressed as he became chairman of the SDAP, the Dutch socialist party before World War II, on April 1, 1934. He would remain chairman of the SDAP until January 1946.

Life during World War II[edit]

As Nazi Germany occupied the Netherlands in 1940 Vorrink tried in vain to escape to England. After his failed attempt to escape he went into hiding to avoid being taken prisoner by the German occupational forces. He was a member of the Dutch resistance, notably as an editor of the underground newspaper "Het Parool".

On April 1, 1943 he was interned by the German occupational forces, first in the Scheveningen prison, later on in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, near Berlin.

Later life[edit]

In July 1945 he was appointed as a civil servant by prime-minister Willem Schermerhorn. Vorrink was charged with the arrest and prosecution of Dutch war criminals and political delinquents. Together with Hendrik Brugmans, Vorrink was the first Dutch civil servant with a political background (nicknamed 'The Schermerboys").

After the elections of 1946 he became a member of parliament, as a member of the social-democratic PvdA. He remained a member of parliament until 1954. As a member of parliament he was well known for his anti-communism. Vorrink therefore became the subject of a communist campaign of slander. As his rhetorical qualities were famous, in parliament he acted as the defence spokesman of the PvdA.

In February 1955 Vorrink suffered a stroke. He died on July 19, 1955 in Amsterdam.

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