Gerbrandy Memorial Sneek
This monument in Sneek commemorates Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy. This Frisian Reformed farmer's son was Prime Minister of the Netherlands during the Second World War.
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This monument in Sneek commemorates Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy. This Frisian Reformed farmer's son was Prime Minister of the Netherlands during the Second World War. A rebellious politician with a majestic walrus mustache, he encouraged the Dutch population from London in the years 1940-1945 to persevere against the German occupier.
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy was born on April 13, 1885 in Goënga, Friesland. He grew up in a Reformed environment, in which politics played an important role. He left Friesland to study law at the Free University in Amsterdam. In 1939 Gerbrandy was approached in Amsterdam by formateur De Geer of the Christelijk-Historische Unie to become Minister of Justice. Because Gerbrandy was of the opinion that he had to take responsibility with the approaching threat of war, he left the university in 1939 to join the De Geer cabinet.
During the German invasion in May 1940, Gerbrandy fled to England as a minister and after a few months was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Wilhelmina. Gerbrandy, like Wilhelmina, was tireless and encouraged the citizens and the resistance via radio messages to keep up their spirits. Gerbrandy remained active in politics until 1959 and in 1955 he was appointed Minister of State in recognition of all his merits. Gerbrandy died in 1961 in The Hague.