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Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy (born Pieter Gerbrandij; 13 April 1885 – 7 September 1961) was a Dutch politician of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP). He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 3 September 1940 until 25 June 1945. On 5 April 1955, he was granted the honorary title of Minister of State.[1]

Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy 1941 (1).jpg
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy in 1941
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
3 September 1940 – 25 June 1945
Preceded byDirk Jan de Geer
Succeeded byWillem Schermerhorn
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
23 October 1956 – 20 March 1959
In office
27 July 1948 – 3 July 1956
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Minister of Colonial Affairs
In office
17 November 1941 – 21 May 1942
Prime MinisterPieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
Preceded byCharles Welter
Succeeded byHubertus van Mook
Minister of Justice
In office
23 February 1945 – 25 June 1945
Prime MinisterPieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
Preceded byGerrit Jan van
Heuven Goedhart
Succeeded byHans Kolfschoten
In office
10 August 1939 – 21 February 1942
Prime MinisterDirk Jan de Geer
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
Preceded byJohan de Visser
Succeeded byJan van Angeren
Personal details
Pieter Gerbrandij

(1885-04-13)13 April 1885
Goënga, Netherlands
Died7 September 1961(1961-09-07) (aged 76)
The Hague, Netherlands
Political partyAnti-Revolutionary Party
Hendrina Elisabeth Sikkel
(m. 1911; his death 1961)
Children2 sons and 1 daughter
Alma materVrije Universiteit Amsterdam
(Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, Doctor of Philosophy)
OccupationPolitician · Jurist · Lawyer · Judge · Prosecutor · Nonprofit director · Author · Professor
Military service
AllegianceThe Netherlands
Branch/serviceRoyal Netherlands Army
(National Reserve Corps)
Years of service1905–1906
(Reserve from 1915–1921)
RankCaptain Captain


Early lifeEdit

Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy was born on 13 April 1885 in the village of Goënga near Sneek, in the province of Friesland, in the Netherlands. He was an ethnic Frisian, and his name is styled in the traditional Frisian way: first name ("Pieter"), patronymic ("Sjoerds", meaning "son of Sjoerd"), family name (Gerbrandy). Incidentally, the name Gerbrandy is also a patronymic; his great-great-grandfather Jouke Gerbrens (1769-1840) took 'Gerbrandy’ as a family name on 30 December 1811.[2]


From 1920 to 1930, he was a member of the States of Friesland for the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), and became a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (1930). Against his party's advice he was Minister of Justice (1939).

World War IIEdit

The royal family and many leading politicians had fled to London in 1940. There, they formed a government in exile. After De Geer's resignation and because of Gerbrandy's rejection of De Geer's defeatism, Queen Wilhelmina appointed him as prime minister of the Dutch government in exile,[3] serving in turn as minister of justice, the Colonies, and the general conduct of the War. On his initiative, the Dutch government started to broadcast from Radio Oranje. This station supplied the Dutch population with information from the free world whilst under the occupation of Nazi Germany. His premature broadcast announcement on 4 September 1944 that Allied forces had crossed the border prompted the celebrations of Dolle Dinsdag (Mad Tuesday), and undermined the morale of the German occupiers. Gerbrandy became an inspirational figure to Dutch citizens during the wartime period, as such he was awarded a medal of valour in 1950 and knighted by HRH Princess Wilhelmina.


In 1945, after the liberation of the south, he formed a new cabinet without socialists, which was alleged to be strictly subordinated to military rule.[further explanation needed] He resigned after the total liberation. He strongly opposed the government's ‘Indonesian policy’, and in 1946–50 chaired the National Committee for the Maintenance of the Kingdom's Unity, which was against the separation of Indonesia and supported the idea of a Republic of the South Moluccas.

In 1950 his book, "Indonesia," was published, offering an explanation of the history of the relationship of the two nations from the 1600s to 1948, including "The Indies under Netherlands Rule, The Rule of Law, The Japanese Occupation" and "Chaos," with each section outlining his detailed observations.[4]

In 1948, he returned in the Dutch Parliament. However, because of his hot temper, he alienated himself from his party members. In 1956 he was member of a commission which investigated the affair around Greet Hofmans. In 1959, he resigned as a member of Parliament.

Personal lifeEdit

On 18 May 1911, Gerbrandy married Hendrina Elisabeth Sikkel (26 February 1886 – 4 May 1980).[5][6][7] Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy died on 7 September 1961 in The Hague at the age of 76.


Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
  Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 6 May 1946 Elevated from Knight (28 August 1930)
  Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 5 April 1955
  Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau Luxembourg
  Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire United Kingdom [8]
Honorific Titles
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
  Minister of State Netherlands 5 April 1955 Style of Excellency


  1. ^ (in Dutch) GERBRANDIJ, Pieter (1885–1961)
  2. ^ see, under Familinamen 1811
  3. ^ "As a result of a reshuffle..." The Age. 19 September 1940. p. 8. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via  
  4. ^ Gerbrandy, P. S. (Pieter Sjoerds) (1950). Indonesia. Hutchinson, London
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Hendrina Elisabeth Gerbrandy". Geni. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Gerbrandy, Pieter Sjoerds". WW2 Gravestone. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Bijzondere onderscheidingen gevonden in archief Gerbrandy" (in Dutch). Omrop Fryslân. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2018.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Johan de Visser
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Jan van Angeren
Preceded by
Gerrit Jan van
Heuven Goedhart
Succeeded by
Hans Kolfschoten
Preceded by
Dirk Jan de Geer
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Willem Schermerhorn
Preceded by
Charles Welter
Minister of Colonial Affairs
Succeeded by
Hubertus van Mook
Preceded by
Hendrik van Boeijen
Minister of General Affairs
Succeeded by
Willem Schermerhorn