Aarnoud Jan Anne Aleid, Baron van Heemstra (22 July 1871 – 30 December 1957) was a Dutch nobleman, jurist and politician. He served as mayor of Arnhem between 1910 and 1920, and Governor-General of Suriname from 1921 until 1928. Van Heemstra was the grandfather of Audrey Hepburn.

Aarnoud van Heemstra
Heemstra in 1920
Governor-General of Suriname
In office
23 May 1921 – 21 May 1924
Preceded byL. J. Rietberg [nl]
Succeeded byL. J. Rietberg
In office
21 February 1925 – 1 April 1928
Preceded byJan Luchies Nysingh [nl]
Succeeded byBram Rutgers
Personal details
Born(1871-07-22)22 July 1871
Vreeland, Netherlands
Died30 December 1957(1957-12-30) (aged 86)
Oosterbeek, Netherlands
Elbrig Willemine Henriette Baroness van Asbeck
(m. 1896; died 1939)
Anna Eliza Roosenburg
(m. 1947)
Children6, including Ella van Heemstra
RelativesAudrey Hepburn (granddaughter)

Life and career edit

Huis Zypendaal

He was a member of the Van Heemstra family and was born in Vreeland, the son of Wilhelmina Cornelia (née de Beaufort, 1843–1927) and Willem Hendrik Johan Baron van Heemstra (1841–1909), the mayor of Loenen.[1] He studied at Utrecht University where he obtained his doctorate in law in 1896.[1]

Van Heemstra established himself in Arnhem where he was prosecuting lawyer. In 1902 he was appointed official at the district court in Roermond and in October 1909 deputy public prosecutor at the arrondissement court of Maastricht.[1] In 1910 he became mayor of the city of Arnhem. He resigned in 1920 after a budget dispute,[2] and was succeeded by Dirk Jan de Geer.[3]

In 1921, van Heemstra was appointed governor of Suriname by Queen Wilhelmina.[1] He started to focus on the economy of the colony, and develop the potential of the bauxite reserves. In 1922, Alcoa opened the first bauxite factory in Moengo. He tried to attract German mining companies, but was blocked by the States General of the Netherlands.[2] In May 1924, he applied for a short leave,[4] but did not return until 23 January 1925.[5] He was reinstalled on 21 February 1925.[6] There were several conflicts with the Estates of Suriname who called for his resignation.[7] In 1928, he resigned as governor after a conflict with the States General.[2]

Van Heemstra returned to the Arnhem region, and became editor-in-chief of Politiek Economisch Weekblad, a political economic magazine published until 1940. He was originally pro-German and pro-Japan, however during the late 1930s, he started to change his mind.[1][2]

Van Heemstra refused to collaborate with the NSB during World War II. In 1942, the German occupiers confiscated most of his possessions, including his estate Huis Zypendaal [nl].[2][1] He moved to Oosterbeek and later Velp.[2] On 15 August 1942, his son-in-law Otto graaf van Limburg Stirum was executed in retaliation for a sabotage by the resistance movement.[8] After this, his widowed daughter Miesje (1897–1987) and his divorced daughter Ella (1900–1984) lived with him in Velp, along with Ella's youngest child, the future actress Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993).[1]

Van Heemstra died in Oosterbeek on 30 December 1957, at the age of 86.[1]

Family edit

In 1896, he married Elbrig Willemine Henriette Baroness van Asbeck (1873–1939), who was a granddaughter of Dirk van Hogendorp. They had six children:[2]

In 1947, eight years after the death of his first wife, Van Heemstra married a second time, to Anna Eliza Roosenburg (1901–1988). They remained married until his death in 1957.[1]

Honours edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Yop Segers (12 November 2013). "HEEMSTRA, Aarnoud Jan Anne Aleid baron van (1871-1957)". Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g David P. Steensma; Robert A. Kyle (2019). "Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, Humanitarian Governor of Suriname and Grandfather of Audrey Hepburn". Stamp Vignette on Medical Science. 94 (9): e111–e112. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.07.015. PMID 31486391. S2CID 201837336.
  3. ^ "Officiëele Berichten". De Nederlander (in Dutch). 8 March 1920. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Baron van Heemstra". Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (in Dutch). 6 May 1924. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Binnenland". Nieuwe Tilburgsche Courant (in Dutch). 26 January 1925. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Brief van den Gouverneur van Suriname, Mr. A.H.A.A. baron van Heemstra, aan den voorzitter der Koloniale Staten, van 21 februari 1925". De West-Indische gids (in Dutch). The Hague: M. Nijhoff. 1926. p. 35.
  7. ^ "Baron van Heemstra overleden". Het nieuws (in Dutch). 3 January 1958. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Vijf kinderen dominee-gijzelaar". Weekblad de Brug (in Dutch). 11 August 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Marriage on September 5, 1918 in Arnhem (Netherlands)". Open Archives. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Birth on April 30, 1898 in Velp (Netherlands)". Open Archives. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Birth on October 22, 1903 in Roermond (Netherlands)". Open Archives. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  12. ^ John Töpfer (7 January 2022). "Toen op 7 januari 1937: Juliana en Bernhard met hun bruidspersoneel". Adel in Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Birth on March 27, 1907 in Roermond (Netherlands)". Open Archives. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Birth on December 9, 1911 in Arnhem (Netherlands)". Open Archives. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Decoration (in the year 1815-1993)". Open Archives (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  16. ^ "Decoration (in the year 1815-1993)". Open Archives (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Decoration (in the year 1815-1993)". Open Archives (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 January 2022.