Nicolaas (Cola) Debrot (4 May 1902 – 3 December 1981) was a writer, lawyer, medical doctor and politician.[1]

Cola Debrot
Nicolaas Debrot (1963).jpg
Governor of the Netherlands Antilles
In office
Preceded byAldert van Bruggen [nl]
Succeeded byBernadito Leito
Personal details
Nicolaas Debrot

4 May 1902
Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands
Died3 December 1981 (aged 79)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Alma materUtrecht University
OccupationWriter, lawyer, doctor, politician


Debrot was born in Kralendijk, the son of a plantation owner. In 1904 he moved from Bonaire to Curaçao, and then when he was 14 he moved to the Netherlands to attend school. He went to secondary school, and later to Utrecht University in the Netherlands, studying law and later medicine, where he also started his literary career.[2] His debut, Mijn zuster de negerin (1935) is his best known. In the late 1940s, he returned to the Antilles and lived on Curaçao, where he established the foundations of Dutch-Antillian literature.

Debrot was also active as a politician. In 1952, Debrot became the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands Antilles and played a major role in reshaping the relationship between the Netherlands, the Antilles and Suriname. From 1962 to 1970, Debrot served as Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, the first to be born on one of the islands. In 1970, he retired to the Netherlands to dedicate his time to writing.[3] He died in Amsterdam.

Cola Debrot PrizeEdit

In 1968, the Government of Curaçao, decided to institute yearly cultural award. The award was named after Cola Debrot. The annual prize can be awarded for either music, literature or science.[4]

Cola Debrot LecturesEdit

In 2008, the Werkgroep Caraïbische Letteren, an independent group within the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde, which aims to promote and assist Caribbean literature, initiated the annual Cola Debrot lectures in Amsterdam.[5] The first lecture was given by the Nobel Prize winning author Derek Walcott.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Collier, Gordon; Davis, Geoffrey V.; Delrez, Marc; Ledent, Bénédicte (17 November 2016). The Cross-Cultural Legacy: Critical and Creative Writings in Memory of Hena Maes-Jelinek. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-33808-1.
  3. ^ "Cola Debrot". Literatuur Museum (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  4. ^ Wim Rutgers (1996). Beneden en boven de wind. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij. p. 415. ISBN 9023435303.
  5. ^ "Over de Werkgroep". Werkgroep Caraïbische Letteren (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Nobelprijs winnaar Derek Walcott bezoekt Amsterdam". Spui 25 (Academic Podium of University of Amsterdam) (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 June 2020.

External linksEdit