Bomans, Godfried

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Bomans, Godfried Gender: M
Godfried Jan Arnold Bomans
born on 2 March 1913 at 09:00 (= 09:00 AM )
Place The Hague, Netherlands, 52n06, 4e18
Timezone LST m4e53 (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Gauquelin
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 11°11' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 09°36 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 21°08'

Godfried Bomans (with Mies Bouwman, 1966)
photo:, license cc-by-sa-3.0


Dutch writer and journalist, a popular humorist for the ironic twist that he added to his stories. After his former study of law and philosophy he turned to writing and was known as well for his children's stories.

Bomans was the fourth child of a dominant father, the Catholic writer, lawyer and politician Johannes Bernardus (Jan Bernhard) Bomans (1 May 1885, Amsterdam - 20 March 1941, Heemstede) and Arnoldina Josina Oswalda Reynart (19 Dec 1883 Rotterdam- 2 Dec 1955 Heemstede). His parents married 9 July 1908 in Rotterdam and got seven children. Their second daughter (1911) and third son (-1921) died at very young age. Being the eldest living son, Bomans was in the Dutch Catholic tradition expected to become a priest or at least do the will of his father, but he took a another route and became a beloved Dutch fairy tale writer.

Bomans was born in Den Haag but he spent his youth in Haarlem, where his father started a lawyers practice in 1913 when he was a several months old. Haarlem was also the city where his grandfather Johannes Michiel Bomans (22 Jan 1850 Schiedam -19 July 1909, Den Haag) was head of the daily newspaper Haarlems Dagblad.

Bomans visited the Catholic Trinity Lyceum in Overveen (Sept 1926-5 July 1933). He was as a youngster active in school papers, and studied Law from Sept 1933 till 1939 at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He got his "Kandidaats" exam Law 4 July 1936, but he was not the serious Law student his father wished him to be. As he was more interested in Letters. In 1932 he released poetry and proza in "Het Venster". Under the pseudonym Bernard Majorick he wrote in 1932 "Drijfjacht en Gebed voor Nederland" and historical drama "Bloed en liefde".

He became a member of Catholic student association "Saint Thomas van Aquino". Summer 1936 he decided to step out of urban life to become a member of the Monastery "Monte Olivete" in Italy, but before he could enter the monastery he became physically ill and doubted a lot. He went on with the Law study and invested even more in Letters. In dec 1937 he wrote "Memoires of gedenkschriften van mr. P. Bas" (Dec 1937) inspired by Charles Dickens "David Copperfield", who he very much admired. From 1938-1939 he was an editor of "Propria Cures", the literary and cultural student periodical of the UvA.

On 20 March 1941 his father died. He engaged with "Pietsie" and became a translator of Dickens. He had to end his study of philosophy as Dutch Universities closed. Scientific works could only be published if one became a member of the Kulturkammer. In Dec 1940 he published his most read "Erik of het klein insektenboek" (Eric in the Land of the Insects) as a children's book. But actually is was a very philosophical book that he wrote when studying philosophy. On 5 Dec 1941 he played his first role of "Sinterklaas" in Nijmegen.

During the war he helped Jewish people to escape from he Nazi regime by hiding them. End of the war he hided as he was called to unfree labour. Among the were the German musician Hans Lichtenstein and the potter Jan ter Gouw. In 1987 he got posthumously the Yad Vashem award for this: "And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a "yad vashem")... that shall not be cut off. (Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5)".

After the war he became art editor of De Volkskrant (-1946) and editor of Elseviers Weekblad (-1949). During that time he published comic strips (Pa Pinkelman), fairy tales (Sprookjes, 1946), fictive interviews (Kopstukken, 1947). He kept on publishing a lot of "light" literary work, in all fields. His work was characterised by a mild kind of irony. He was typically apolitical in a polarised Holland. Because of his irony and intellectual sharpness, he was a valued speaker and interviewer. The not judging Bomans was a great what is your heart type interviewer, but when being interviewed him selves he typically asked/replied his interviewer with his Socratic questions about their being in the world.

His eldest sister Wally (aka sister Borromée, 30 Sept 1909) and his youngest brother Jan (Jean Baptist) went to a monasteries in resp. Maastricht (1939) and Zundert. He kept contact with them and years later on 23 November 1970 a very appreciated television interview with them under the title Bomans in triplo was broadcast on Dutch Protestant NCRV television. Because of Bomans immense popularity three million people looked at it (almost all with a television). On 10 January 1971 it was repeated, again 3 million Dutch people looked at it and appreciated it extremely high. It happened in a time of secularisation and "ontzuiling" in which people that choose for the monastery were viewed as exceptionally weird. But Bomans interviewed his siblings and others with the greatest respect.

From 10 to 17 July 1971 Bomans confined himself to solitude on the desert island Rottumerplaat from which he reported daily on radio.

Bomans, a restless pipe smoker and womaniser, died shortly after midnight on 22 Dec 1971 at Bloemendaal of a heart attack. He was 58.


Bomans kept a special relationship with his youngest brother Arnold Jan (Jean Baptist, Brother Jan, Joës B) who lived from 15 June 1916 (Haarlem) till his death in a Benedict Monastry in Zundert 7 Febr 1997. The calligrapher and writer Arnold was for many years not allowed to speak. In the not published book Monnikenwerk (2006) he described his father as an authoritarian tyrant. After the 1970 television interview Bomans in triplo, Bomans in 1971 published his autobiographic "De man met de witte das" (The man with the white tie) about a father that figuratively crushed his son. See: Mr. J.B. (Jan) Bomans - Parlement & Politiek

In 1941 he engaged with Gertrud Anna Maria "Pietsie" Verscheure, whom he with some hesitation married 14 April 1944 in a liberated Nijmegen. They got a daughter Eva Maria Antoinette Boman who died 14 Dec 1960 at Haarlem.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Other Family 2 May 1914 in Haarlem (Brother Reginald Peter Jozef "Rex" born)
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  • Other Family 30 May 1915 in Haarlem (Jan Arnold was born)
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  • Other Family 15 June 1916 in Haarlem (brother Arnold Jan born)
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  • Death of Sibling 5 May 1921 (Herman Jan Olaf Bomans (8 or 9 age old) died after long suffering)
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  • Mundane : Accident 7 January 1925 (own fault, his father paid the fine)
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  • Social : Begin a program of study 1 February 1939 in Nijmegen (moved to Nijmegen to study philosophy)
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  • Other Work 25 January 1940 in Nijmegen (Finished : Erik of het klein insektenboek)
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  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released December 1940 (Erik of het klein insektenboek)
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  • Death of Father 20 March 1941 in Heemstede (heart attack)
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  • Social : End a program of study March 1943 in Nijmegen (end study philosophy)
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  • Relationship : Marriage 12 February 1944 in Nijmegen (Marrirage cancelled because of illness by Bomans)
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  • Relationship : Marriage 14 April 1944 in Nijmegen (had doubts after it)
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  • Death of Mother 2 December 1955 in Heemstede (heart attack)
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  • Other Social 10 July 1971 (reported from desert island Rottumerplaat)
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  • Death by Heart Attack 22 December 1971 at 12:05 AM in Bloemendaal (Age 58)
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Source Notes

Gauquelin Series A Vol 6 #1241

Sy Scholfield also quotes 9AM from "De spoken van Godfried Bomans" by Jeroen Brouwers (Arbeiderspers, 1982), p. 25: "Op dit adres [Den Haag] werd Godfried Jan Arnold Bomans op 2 maart 1913 om negen uur 's morgens geboren."


Bomans, Godfried Jan Arnold (1913-1971)

Timeline on DBNL


  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (tyranic father, children communicated with him using written notes.)
  • Vocation : Writers : Children's literature (Children's stories)
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist (Journalist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Humor
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy