Polak was born to a Jewish merchant family in Amsterdam on 14 September 1924. His parents were murdered by the Nazis during the German Occupation of the Netherlands. After the Second World War, he worked as a journalist for Het Vrije Volk. Polak was appointed Secretary of State for local finances in Joop den Uyl's government. He worked towards improving the financial position of the larger Dutch cities. Subsequently, he became mayor of Amsterdam for a six-year period, where his challenges included numerous squatting cases as well as riots related to Queen Beatrix's coronation.
He died in 1999 at his home in Ilpendam.
- This article incorporates text from French Wikipedia, Wim Polak
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Ed van Thijn
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