PhD ceremony: Mr. J. de Lang, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Dienaar van koloniaal Nederland. Biografie van Frederik Christiaan Hendrik Hirschmann
Promotor(s): prof. J.W. Renders, prof. W. Klinkert
Frederik Christiaan Hendrik Hirschmann (1870-1935) served the Dutch colonial policies, doing so with conviction. He was an officer in the Royal Dutch Indian Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger - knil) and lived through almost three decades of Dutch military colonial policy in the heyday of modern imperialism.
This biography analyses the uniqueness of Hirschmann and the way he was representative of the group of cadets of the Royal Military Academy (KMA) who in 1891 were appointed to second-lieutenant. Doing so highlights the subject and also shows how widely and to what extent the knil was deployed within the Indonesian archipelago during the period when Dutch rule there became all-pervasive and definitive.
Between times, from 1909 to 1913, Hirschmann was the commander of the army in Suriname, with the task of redesigning it on the knil model. It was a turbulent time in which a coup d’état was defeated and Hirschmann strongly opposed to an advice to the Dutch government to liquidate the army in Suriname.
After retiring as an officer Hirschmann became mayor of Terschelling. From 1927 tot 1930 he concerned himself with the construction of roads as a means of advancing that economically backward island and making it attractive for tourists.
His public appearances in Wassenaar, as the chairman of a residents’ association and later as the chairman of the local branch of the Liberal State Party or ‘‘Freedom League’’ (Vrijheidsbond) shows that he was an arresting speaker. Shortly after his 42nd removal, to The Hague, he died.
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