De Grootste Nederlander

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De Grootste Nederlander ('The Greatest Dutchman') was a public poll held in 2004 by the broadcasting company KRO of the Publieke Omroep. The series has the BBC's 100 Greatest Britons TV format. During the series, it included individual programmes on the top ten, with viewers having further opportunities to vote after each programme.


The recently assassinated politician Pim Fortuyn was announced as the winner in a live television broadcast on 15 November 2004, two weeks after Theo van Gogh was murdered. This was controversial, and was said to be an "embarrassing" choice by several journalists and historians. [1] Later it became revealed that William of Orange had received the most votes in total, but only the votes that were tallied before the end of the live programme counted (the number of calls was so large that not all could be counted before the end of the show). And thus Fortuyn remained the official number one according to the rules, as announced originally.

Top 10

RankPersonalityNotabilityNomination defended byRef.
1 Pim Fortuyn - May 4.jpg Pim Fortuyn Politician. Admired by his followers for breaking with political correctness and criticizing Dutch politics. His murder made him a martyr for his case. His high position in the list was affected by the murder of Theo van Gogh only a few days before the contest was held. The program later revealed that William of Orange had received the most votes, but many could not be counted until after the official closing time of the television show (and the proclamation of the winner), due to technical problems. The official rules of the show said that votes counted before the end of the show would be decisive, but it was suggested that all votes correctly cast before the closing of the vote would be counted. Following the official rules, the outcome was not changed. [2] Yoeri Albrecht, journalist. [3] [4]
2 WilliamOfOrange1580.jpg William of Orange Politician. Led the Dutch people during the Eighty Years' War against Spain, which eventually led to their independence. He himself never lived to see this, as he was assassinated. Is considered the "Father of the Nation" to this day. Jacobine Geel, theologist, TV presenter and columnist. [3] [4]
3 Drees, W. - SFA002019221.jpg Willem Drees Prime Minister (1948–1958). Re-elected four times in a row. Admired for helping the post-war country to get back on its legs and for his introduction of various social reform laws. Wouter Bos, Dutch politician. [3] [4]
4 Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723). Natuurkundige te Delft Rijksmuseum SK-A-957.jpeg Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Biologist and microbiologist. Inventor of the microscope. Did pioneer work in cell biology and microbiology. André Kuipers, astronaut. [3] [4]
5 Holbein-erasmus.jpg Desiderius Erasmus Philosopher and novelist. Author of In Praise of Folly . Admired for his humanist philosophies. Herman Pleij, medievalist. [3] [4]
6 Ajax-selectie presenteert zich aan de pers, nummer 15 Heinz Stuy, nummer 16 Ruud Krol, nummer 13 Johan Cruyff, nummer 14 Wim Suurbier (allen koppen).jpg Johan Cruyff Association football player and trainer. Universally considered to be one of the greatest and most influential football players of all time. Michael van Praag, association football trainer and administrator. [3] [4]
7 Bol, Michiel de Ruyter.jpg Michiel de Ruyter Dutch admiral. Successfully defended his country during the 17th century from invaders at sea. Rob de Wijk, historian. [3] [4]
8 AnneFrankSchoolPhoto.jpg Anne Frank Victim of the Holocaust, famous for her posthumously released diary which gives an unforgettable eyewitness account of her tragic life. Xandra Schutte, journalist. [3] [4]
9 Rembrandt Self-portrait (Kenwood).jpg Rembrandt van Rijn Painter ( The Night Watch , The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp , The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis , The Jewish Bride , Syndics of the Drapers' Guild , Self-Portrait with Two Circles ). Considered one of the greatest painters of all time, admired for his humanity and amazing mastery of the brush. Ronald de Leeuw, art historian. [3] [4]
10 Vincent van Gogh - Self-Portrait - Google Art Project.jpg Vincent van Gogh Painter ( Sunflowers , Starry Night , Bedroom in Arles , Café Terrace at Night ). Admired for his groundbreaking techniques, which weren't recognized in his own lifetime. Lived and died as the classic example of the "suffering artist" and "misunderstood genius". Jochum ten Haaf, actor. [3] [4]

From 11–50

  1. Aletta Jacobs (1854–1929) (Feminist)
  2. Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) (Scientist)
  3. Annie M.G. Schmidt (1911–1995) (Writer)
  4. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (1909–2004) (Monarch)
  5. Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798–1872) (Politician, social reformer)
  6. Majoor Bosshardt (1913–2007), (Prominent member of the Dutch Salvation Army)
  7. Anton Philips (1874–1951) (Businessman)
  8. Freddy Heineken (1923–2002) (Businessman)
  9. Hannie Schaft (1920–1945) (World War II resistance fighter)
  10. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880–1962) (Monarch)
  11. Baruch de Spinoza (1632–1677) (Philosopher)
  12. Toon Hermans (1916–2000) (Comedian, poet)
  13. Prince Claus (1926–2002) (Prince of the Netherlands)
  14. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (1547–1619) (Politician, executed)
  15. Marco van Basten (1964–) (Football player)
  16. Piet Pieterszoon Hein (1577–1629) (Admiral, national hero)
  17. Joop den Uyl (1919–1987) (Politician)
  18. Jan Adriaenszoon Leeghwater (1575–1650) (mill builder and hydraulic engineer)
  19. Fanny Blankers-Koen (1918–2004) (Athlete)
  20. van Kooten en de Bie (Comedians)
  21. Hugo de Groot (1583–1645) (Philosopher)
  22. Johan de Witt (1625–1672) (Politician, murdered)
  23. Anthony Fokker (1890–1939) (Aviation pioneer)
  24. Multatuli (1820–1887) (Writer)
  25. Prince Bernhard (1911–2004) (Prince of the Netherlands)
  26. Wim Kok (1938–2018) (Politician)
  27. M. C. Escher (1898–1972) (Graphical artist)
  28. Marco Borsato (1966–) (Singer)
  29. Eric Hazelhoff Roelfzema (1917–2007) (World War II resistance fighter)
  30. DJ Tiësto (1969–) (DJ)
  31. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (1938–) (Monarch)
  32. Titus Brandsma (1881–1942) (Priest, World War II resistance activist, murdered)
  33. Cornelis Lely (1854–1929) (Scientist)
  34. Hans Teeuwen (1967–) (Comedian)
  35. Joseph Luns (1911–2002) (Politician)
  36. Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel (1970–) (Athlete)
  37. Willem Kolff (1911–2009) (inventor of hemodialysis)
  38. Godfried Bomans (1913–1991) (Writer)
  39. Hendrik Lorentz (1853–1928) (Scientist)
  40. Abel Tasman (1603–1659) (Explorer)

From 51–100

  1. Joop van den Ende (1942–) (Businessman)
  2. André van Duin (1947–) (Comedian)
  3. Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679) (Poet, Writer)
  4. Rinus Michels (1928–2005) (Football Coach)
  5. Mies Bouwman (1929–2018) (Television personality)
  6. Willem Barentsz (Explorer)
  7. Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (1846–1919) (Politician)
  8. Ruud Lubbers (1939–2018) (Politician)
  9. Jan Tinbergen (1903–1994) (Economist)
  10. Wim Sonneveld (1917–1974) (Comedian)
  11. Joke Smit (1933–1981) (Feminist)
  12. Frits Bolkestein (1933–) (Politician)
  13. Jeroen Bosch ( – ) (Painter)
  14. Johnny Kraaykamp, sr (1925–2011) (Actor)
  15. Marga Klompé (1912–1986) (Politician, first female minister)
  16. Johannes Vermeer (Painter)
  17. Dick Bruna (1927–2017) (Writer, illustrator)
  18. Albert Plesman (1889–1953) (Aviation pioneer)
  19. Joop Zoetemelk (1946–) (Cyclist)
  20. Hella Haasse (1918–2011) (Writer)
  21. Thomas à Kempis (Monk)
  22. Koning-Stadhouder Willem III of Orange (Stadholder of Holland, King of England)
  23. Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer (1526–1588) (Resistance fighter in the Eighty Years' War)
  24. Johannes Diderik van der Waals (1837–1923) (Scientist)
  25. Wubbo Ockels (1946–2014) (Astronaut)
  26. Anna Maria van Schurman (1607–1678) (17th century female genius)
  27. Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738) (botanist, humanist and physician)
  28. Ruud Gullit (1962–) (Football player)
  29. Monique van de Ven (1952–) (Actor)
  30. Freek de Jonge (1944–) (Comedian)
  31. Anton Pieck (1895–1987) (Painter)
  32. Boudewijn de Groot (1944–) (Singer)
  33. Willem Frederik Hermans (1921–1995) (Writer)
  34. Pieter Jelles Troelstra (1860–1930) (Politician)
  35. Albert Heijn (Businessman)
  36. Paul de Leeuw (1962–) (Television personality)
  37. Jac. P. Thijsse (1865–1945) (Environmentalist)
  38. Jan Wolkers (1925–2007) (Writer)
  39. Piet Mondriaan (1872–1944) (Painter)
  40. Simon Stevin (1548–1620) (Scientist)
  41. Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (1801–1876) (Politician)
  42. Rutger Hauer (1944–2019) (Actor)
  43. Harry Mulisch (1927–2010) (Writer)
  44. Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) (Politician)
  45. Maarten Tromp (1598–1653) (Admiral, national hero)
  46. Wim Kan (1911–1983) (Comedian)
  47. Paul Verhoeven (1938–) (Director)
  48. Belle van Zuylen (1740–1805) (Writer)
  49. Ramses Shaffy (1933–2009) (Singer)
  50. Abe Lenstra (1920–1985) (Football player)

From 101–202

  1. Gerard Reve (1923–2006) (Writer)
  2. Anton de Kom (1898–1945) (World War II resistance fighter of Surinamese descent, executed)
  3. Max Euwe (World Champion Chess)
  4. Ko van Dijk (Actor, director)
  5. Gerrit van der Veen (1902–1944) (Sculptor, World War II resistance fighter, executed)
  6. Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856–1934) (Architect)
  7. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853–1926) (Scientist)
  8. Anton Geesink (1934–2010) (Athlete)
  9. Bert Haanstra (1916–1997) (World War II resistance fighter, director)
  10. Claudius Civilis (Hero of the Batavian rebellion)
  11. C.H.D. Buys Ballot (1817–1890) (Scientist)
  12. Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587–1629) (Admiral, Governor of the Dutch East Indies)
  13. Samuel van Houten (1837–1930) (Politician)
  14. Ard Schenk (1944–) (Athlete)
  15. Nico Tinbergen (1907–1988) (Biologist, Nobel prize winner)
  16. King Willem I of the Netherlands (Monarch)
  17. Mary Dresselhuys (1907–2004) (Actress)
  18. Simon Carmiggelt (1913–1987) (Writer)
  19. John de Mol (1955–) (Businessman)
  20. Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964) (Architect, designer)
  21. Frank Martinus Arion (1936–2015) (Poet, writer, linguist)
  22. Hans van Mierlo (1931–2010) (Politician)
  23. Hadewych (Writer)
  24. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–1621) (Composer)
  25. Geert Groote (1340–1384) (Theologist)
  26. Sonja Barend (1940–) (Feminist, television personality)
  27. Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol (1741–1784) (Politician)
  28. Jan van Speijk (1802–1831) (National hero)
  29. Anton Corbijn (1955–) (Photographer)
  30. Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647) (Poet, historian)
  31. Bernard Haitink (1929–) (Conductor)
  32. Willem van Loon (1891–1975) (Businessman)
  33. Karel Appel (1921–2006) (Painter)
  34. Johan Huizinga (1872–1945) (Historian)
  35. Suze Groeneweg (1875–1940) (Politician)
  36. Graaf Floris V (1254–1296) (Monarch)
  37. Koning Lodewijk Napoleon
  38. L.E.J. Brouwer (1881–1966) (Mathematician)
  39. Tobias Asser (1838–1913) (Lawyer, Nobel prize winner)
  40. Rem Koolhaas (1944–) (Architect)
  41. Jacob Cats (1577–1660) (Poet, politician)
  42. Alexandra Radius (1942–) (Ballet dancer)
  43. Eva Besnyö (1910–2003) (photographer)
  44. Jan Rutgers (Activist)
  45. Reinier Paping (1931–) (Athlete)
  46. Paul Huf (Photographer)
  47. P. J. H. Cuypers (1827–1931) (Architect)
  48. Paul Crutzen (1933–) (Scientist)
  49. Samuel Sarphati (1813–1866) (Doctor)
  50. Frits Fentener van Vlissingen (Businessman)
  51. Joris Ivens (1898–1989) (Director)
  52. Pieter Brueghel (1525–1569) (Painter)
  53. Frans Hals (1582–1666) (Painter)
  54. Simon Vestdijk (1898–1971) (Poet)
  55. Olivier van Noort (1558–1627) (Explorer)
  56. Hendrik Colijn (1869–1944) (Politician)
  57. Willem Beukelszoon (Fisherman)
  58. Viktor & Rolf (Designers)
  59. Cornelis Verolme (Businessman)
  60. Lucebert (1924–1994) (Poet)
  61. Sjoukje Dijkstra (1942–) (Athlete)
  62. Henri Polak (1868–1943) (Politician)
  63. Loe de Jong (1914–2005) (Historian)
  64. Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990) (Photographer)
  65. Hans van Manen (1932–) (Ballet dancer)
  66. Theo Thijssen (1879–1943) (Writer)
  67. Jan Steen (Painter)
  68. Anton Dreesmann (Businessman)
  69. Jaap Eden (1873–1925) (Athlete)
  70. Willem Marinus Dudok (1884–1974) (Architect)
  71. Johnny Jordaan (1924–1989) (Singer)
  72. Benno Premsela (Architect)
  73. Louis Davids (Comedian)
  74. Marlene Dumas (1953–) (Painter)
  75. Erwin Olaf ( 1959–) (Photographer)
  76. Martinus Nijhoff (1894–1953) (Writer, poet)
  77. Cristina Deutekom (1931–2004) (Singer)
  78. Jacob Olie (1834–1905) (Photographer)
  79. Willem de Kooning (1904–1997) (Painter)
  80. Remco Campert (1929–) (Writer, poet)
  81. Herman Gorter (1864–1927) (Poet)
  82. Faas Wilkes (1923–2006) (Football player)
  83. W.A. Visser ‘t Hooft (1900–1985) (Theologist)
  84. Ada Kok (1947–) (Athlete)
  85. Herman Daendels (1762–1818) (Politician)
  86. Rudi Carrell (1934–2006) (Television personality)
  87. Pierre Bokma (1955–) (Actor)
  88. Louis Andriessen (1939–) (Composer)
  89. Henk Hofland (1927–2016) (Reporter)
  90. Jacob van Campen (1596–1657) (Architect)
  91. Pieter Cort van der Linden (Politician)
  92. Jacob van Ruisdael (Painter)
  93. Theo van Doesburg (Painter)
  94. Pieter Saenredam (Painter)
  95. Ootje Oxenaar (1929–) (Graphic artist)
  96. Rineke Dijkstra (1959–) (Artist/Photographer)
  97. Hendrik Doeff (1764–1837) (Dutch commissioner in the Dejima trading post)
  98. Fons Rademakers (1920–2007) (Director)
  99. Reinbert de Leeuw (1938–) (Conductor)
  100. Erik de Vries (Television pioneer)
  101. Jan Dibbets (1941–) (Artist)
  102. Johan van der Keuken (1938–2001) (Director)

See also

Related Research Articles

Willem Surname list

Willem is a Dutch and West Frisian masculine given name. The name is Germanic, and can be seen as the Dutch equivalent of the name William in English, Guillaume in French, Guilherme in Portuguese, Guillermo in Spanish and Wilhelm in German. Nicknames that are derived from Willem are Jelle, Pim, Willie, Willy and Wim.

Gerrit is a Dutch male name meaning "brave with the spear", the Dutch and Frisian form of Gerard. People with this name include:

Meijer is a Dutch surname. It refers to a profession similar to a bailiff or steward. It originates from the Latin word maior and is often rendered Meyer abroad.

Van Leeuwen is a Dutch toponymic surname meaning "from Leeuwen". In 2007, nearly 28,000 people in the Netherlands carried the name, making it the 18th most common name there. There are two places named Leeuwen in Gelderland and two in Limburg. Considering the frequency of the name and the small size of these places, it has been speculated that people from the city of Leuven may have come to be called "van Leeuwen" as well. Although translated as "lions" in modern Dutch, the place name may be explained originating from Germanic hlaiw, meaning (burial) mound. The name appeared in records since the 13th-century in South Holland. People with this surname include:

The Dutch male given name Hendrik is a cognate of the English Henry. The spelling Hendrick was interchangeable until the 19th century. Birth names of people with this name can be Latinized to Henderikus, Hendricus, Hendrikus, or Henricus, while common nicknames for Hendrik are Han, Hein, Henk, Hennie, Henny, Henri, Henry, Rijk, and Rik. People with Hendrik or Hendrick as their first name include:

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Oud Eik en Duinen is a cemetery in The Hague, the Netherlands, formerly called Eik en Duinen and also nicknamed "the Dutch Père-Lachaise". The cemetery is built around a chapel constructed around 1247 by William II of Holland in honor of his father, Floris IV, Count of Holland. This chapel was partially demolished in 1581, and in the 17th century the area was again used as a cemetery. When Eik en Duinen was full, a new cemetery, Nieuw Eykenduynen, was constructed in 1891 across the road, and since then the old cemetery is known as "Old" Eik en Duinen.

Events in the year 1945 in the Netherlands.


  1. "Keuze voor Fortuyn is 'beschamend'". DGN | Nieuwsoverzicht (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 24 September 2005.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "'Pim Fortuyn toch niet de Grootste Nederlander'". NU. 16 November 2004. Retrieved 16 January 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "[gp] NISV client". Retrieved 16 January 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Cookies op de Volkskrant". Retrieved 16 January 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)