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Research Biografie Instituut

Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart (1901-1956): Journalist, hero of the resistance, diplomat

Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart
Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart

Jeroen Corduwer (1956, independent journalist, historian) is writing a biography of Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart.

Van Heuven Goedhart was born in 1901 in Bussum as the son of a book dealer who later became a cleric. After studying law at Leiden, Van Heuven Goedhart was employed by De Telegraaf. Within a few years he became a member of its editorial board and from 1930 he was editor-in-chief. In 1933 he was fired by the owner, H.C.M. Holdert, for among other reasons, resisting the newspaper’s pro-German slant.    A month later he became editor of the Utrechtsch Nieuwsblad. He turned this newspaper into a leading daily with a national tone. As editor-in-chief, he took a stand against Nazism, both in Germany and The Netherlands. In May 1940, shortly after the German invasion, he was fired precisely for this reason. He became involved with the resistance and through it with the illegal Het Parool. Van Heuven Goedhart edited Het Parool from 1942 until mid-1940, when he had to flee, as the Germans were hot on his heels. Through a spectacular journey, he managed to escape to London, where, within one month, he was named Minister of Justice in the Gerbrandy cabinet. In February 1945 he was deliberately overlooked for reappointment in what was to be Gerbrandy’s last war cabinet.    Back in the Netherlands, after its liberation, he became editor-in-chief of Het Parool, but at the same time pursued an international career. Van Heuven Goedhart was a member of the Dutch delegation to the United Nations. On 1 January 1951 he was named High Commissioner for Refugees of the newly established UNHCR. He continued to occupy this position until his death on 8 July 1956.

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Het Parool 28 februari 2011

Review Het Parool 2 maart 2011

Review NRC Handelsblad 17 maart 2011

Review Historisch Nieuwsblad april 2011

Review BMGN 128(2013)3

Last modified:08 September 2019 09.11 a.m.
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