Domela Nieuwenhuis, Ferdinand

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Domela Nieuwenhuis, Ferdinand Gender: M
Ferdinand Nieuwenhuis
born on 31 December 1846 at 04:00 (= 04:00 AM )
Place Amsterdam, Netherlands, 52n22, 4e54
Timezone LST m4e53 (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 09°09' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 22°02 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 18°00'

Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (ca 1875)


Dutch socialist and anarchist, the first socialistic politician in the Dutch parliament.

He was the son Ferdinand Jacobus Nieuwenhuis (3 May 1808, Utrecht - 28 April 1869, Diepenveen), an Evangelic Lutheran theologian and professor at the Lutheran seminary in Amsterdam and Henriette Frances Berry (8 May 1810, Alphington - 7 May 1857, Amsterdam). They married 18 June 1834 in Amsterdam. On 10 July 1859 the family name was changed in Domela Nieuwenhuis. The after his wife's death by court acknowledged surname addition "Domela" means "mistress of the home".

They got many children: Francis Coenraad (2 Sept 1839 - 24 June 1868), Hendrik Bernard (14 March 1843 -21 Nov 1883), Johannes Marinus (3 June 1844 - 9 Nov 1922), Ferdinand (31 Dec 1846 -18 Nov 1919), Henrietta Frances (6 Feb 1848 - 25 July 1930), Adriaan Jacob (17 or 27 March 1850 - 26 May 1935). His eldest brother Jacobus Domela Nieuwenhuis (19 February 1836, Monnickendam - 4 Augustus 1924, Den Haag) was a jurist, social reformer and professor of Law in Groningen. His youngest brother Adriaan Jacob Domela Nieuwenhuis (17 March 1850, Amsterdam - 26 May 1935, Rotterdam) studied chemistry, philosophy and contributed in 1923 as an art collector to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam with 3000 prints, including the famous "Los Desastres de la Guerra" series of Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes.

Ferdinand's British mother died when he was ten (1857). His father, who was a professor of the Lutheran Seminar in Amsterdam since 1842, remarried the rich still life's paintress Marianne Antoinette Meyer (26 Augustus 1804, Amsterdam - 23 March 1886, Amsterdam). After her death he inherited a lot of family money and became financially independent.

Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis followed the Gymnasium in Amsterdam. He studied theology in Amsterdam (1864-1868). He became influenced by the seminal work of D.F. Strauss Das Leben Jesu (1839). He became an Evangelical Lutheran preacher in Harlingen (22 May 1870-1871), Beverwijk (1871-1875) and in The Hague (1875-31 Augustus 1879). The stories of his church-goers made him as a pastor more socially aware.

Gradually, he lost his faith in a personal G'd. He first became a Liberal theologian like Renan and D.F Strauss. In 1875 he went to Germany to study "The social question" and became interested in social work. He asked his brother Adriaan in Germany to send him socialist writings. He then became a pantheist, like Spinoza, and later an atheist. On 1 September 1879, he left the Lutheran church of Den Haag and published "Mijn afscheid van de Kerk" (1879, My separation from the Church). Being a widower with four children, and now without income, it was a major jump into the deep. But just like the revolutionary reformer Luther, he as an once Evangelic Lutheran theologian, saw no other option then to tell his truth.

He became involved in various socialistic, suffrage and trade union activities. He now preached against the five "K's": Kerk, Koning, Kapitaal, Kazerne en Kroeg" (Church, King, Capital, Army and taverns) and pleaded for equal rights for men and women, abstinence and introduction of universal suffrage. On 1 March 1879 he started the weekly "Recht voor Allen" (Rights for all), in Agustus 1879 he became editor of "Oost en West" (East and West). He corresponded with and visited Multatuli in Ingelheim. He became a member of the Freemason "De Dageraad" lodge of the Jean Meslier publisher D'Ablaing van Giessenburg. For the translation of "Das Kapital", he corresponded with Marx (1880-81). He also did investigations into the social circumstances of the workers as he, like Marx, did not see his work as just his personal view of politics, but as a historical and necessary science (i.e. a transpersonal mission).

In 1882 he became secretary of the "Sociaal-Democratische Partij" (SDP). Soon he became the party leader. In 1882 he erected the "Bond voor Algemeen Kies- en Stemrecht" (universal suffrage association), as only one in eight man and no woman could vote. They started with petitions, organised demonstrations and wrote critical articles.

For the publication of an article "De koning komt" of a co-worker in the SDP Party magazine "Recht voor allen" (24 April 1886), for which he as the main editor took the responsibility, he was sentenced to a year prison for lese majesty. The prosecutor demanded on 10 June 1886 in Den Haag two years solitary confinement. Domela Niewenhuis defended himself. He saw his public trial as a perfect arena to make propaganda for the socialist case. He argued that without universal suffrage, the question "what is right", equals with the question: Who has the power? He called his prosecution a political process and denied to ever having the legitimate king offended. On 19 January 1887 he was prisoned in Utrecht. Many national and international politicians and activist supported him and wrote him supporting and protest letters to the Dutch government under which were : De Paepe, F. Engels, E. Anseele, W. Liebknecht, E. Bernstein, K. Kautsky, W. Morris and E. Reclus. After his earlier release on 31 Augustus 1887, by pardon, he made a triumph tour through the Netherlands.

From 1 May 1888 till 15 September 1891 he was the first socialist in Dutch parliament. His maiden speech was held on 14 May 1888: he pleaded for a prohibition of the truck system forced to peat workers. Social reforms he helped to accomplish were: prohibition of forced trade; introduction of the eight-hour day; introduction of the minimum wage ; ban on child labour under the age of fifteen (Kinderwetje van Sam van Houten); free education; establishment of sickness funds and pension funds; benefit industrial accidents; reduction in indirect taxes; termination of the Atjeh War; independence to the colonies; nationalization of the railways and the abolition of tolls on state roads.

In 1889, the prominent socialists Liebknecht, Bebel, Volders, Anseele, Lafargue, Scherrer, Croll and Bernstein, met in his house, to prepare for International Workers Congresses of Paris, held from 14–19 July 1889. In his memoirs he wrote, that he left the congress hungry, as there was no vegetarian food.

In the end of his career, he turned away from parliamentary democracy and became an anarchist. He left politics and concentrated on his editorial work for "De Vrije Socialist" (The free or unbound Socialist, 1898). In 1903 he moved to Hilversum and devoted himself to writing. He wrote many historical books, including several biographies. In 1903 he made ​​the first Dutch translation of Utopia, the story of Thomas More of an ideal society on a socialist basis. In 1904 he co-founded the "Internationale Antimilitaristische Vereniging" (IAMV). In 1910 he published his autobiography "Van Christen tot anarchist" (From Christian to Anarchist).

He died 18 November 1919 as a poor man in Hilversum. His money had went to the social cause. Twelve thousand travelled to Amsterdam to visit his funeral on 22 November 1919. He was one of the first Dutch citizens to be cremated in Westerveld.


He was known as a talented speaker, but was a mediocre writer. He never drank and became a vegetarian on ethical grounds in 1878. His pseudonyms were: Criticus, Ex-Theoloog, Germanus, Philalethes and Dr. Sagittarius. Note that this Dr. Sagittarius had Mercury and Mars in Sagittarius and became a member of the Free Masonry lodge "De Dageraad" (The dawn).

Domela Nieuwenhuis married four times, and doubted the wisdom of the Almighty G'd as he lost three by him beloved wife's (and children) in the child-bed. The reading of Strauss and Feuerbach made him a atheist. The stories of his poor church-goers made him an socialist.

On 24 March 1870 he married in Amsterdam Johanna Lulofs (1 April 1847, Amsterdam- 26 March 1872, Beverwijk). They got two sons: Ferdinand Jacobus (12 February 1871, Harlingen - 17 July 1911, Hartsrivier-Rietfontein), an engineer in South Africa and Theodoor (17 March 1872, Beverwijk - 30 September 1941), who became a French physician in Tunis.

On 29 October 1874 he married in Beverwijk Johanna Adriana Verhagen (11 February 1842, Beverwijk - 1 Augustus 1877, Den Haag). They got two surviving daughters and an unknown early dying son (1876): Johanna (23 September 1875, Beverwijk - 24 July 1947, Ukkel, Be) and Louisa (7 July 1877, Den Haag - 6 December 1902, Repelen, Ger).

On 21 April 1880 he married Johanna Frederica Schingen Hagen (14 September 1843, Beverwijk - 27 February 1884, Den Haag). In 1884 mother and son died.

On 27 May 1891 he married Egberta Johanna Godthelp (2 Augustus 1863, Harlingen - 3 April 1933, Hilversum). They got three or four children of whom two died early: Annie Domela Nieuwenhuis (12 Augustus 1892, Den Haag - 24 January 1899) and Cesar (1895-1895).

His youngest son César Domela (15 January 1900, Amsterdam – 30 or 31 December 1992, Paris) became a famous sculptor, painter, photographer and typographer, and was the youngest member of the "De Stijl" movement of Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondraan. César accepted the "Domela" part of his name (mistress of the home), but skipped the "Nieuwenhuis" part, which literally means "new house". It was derived from the Danish name "Nyegaard" ("new homestead" or "new farm") of Ferdinand Nieuwenhuis's great-grandfather, who settled in the Netherlands.

Link to Wikipedia


  • associate relationship with Fimmen, Edo (born 18 June 1881)
  • associate relationship with Goes, Frank van der (born 13 February 1859). Notes: defended Domela Nieuwenhuis with " Majesteitsschennis"
  • associate relationship with Liebknecht, Karl (born 13 August 1871). Notes: prepared for the 2nd International Congress
  • associate relationship with Marx, Karl (born 5 May 1818). Notes: translated Das Kapital, Marx read Dutch and helped him
  • associate relationship with Morris, William (born 24 March 1834). Notes: prepared for the 2nd International Congress
  • friend relationship with Eeden, Frederik van (born 3 April 1860). Notes: Van Eeden accepted Domela as a genuine spiritual preacher for "Our daily bread"


  • Relationship : Marriage 24 March 1870 in Amsterdam (Johanna Lulofs)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 22 May 1870 in Harlingen (Evangelical-Lutheran preacher)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 12 February 1871 in Harlingen (Ferdinand Jacobus)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 17 March 1872 in Beverwijk (Theodoor)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 26 March 1872 in Beverwijk (1st wife Johanna Lulofs)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 29 October 1874 in Beverwijk (Johanna Adriana Verhagen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 23 September 1875 in Beverwijk (Johanna)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Child 1876
  • Family : Adopted a child 7 July 1877 in Den Haag (Louisa)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 1 August 1877 in Den Haag (2nd wife Johanna Adriana Verhagen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 1 September 1879 (Left church)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 21 April 1880 in Den Haag (Johanna Frederica Schingen Hagen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 27 February 1884 in Den Haag (3th wife Johanna Frederica Schingen Hagen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mother 23 March 1886 in Amsterdam (Marianne Antoinette Meyer, his rich stepmother)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 24 April 1886 (Pubished "De koning komt" of a co-worker in "Recht voor allen")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Trial dates 10 June 1886 (Two years of lonely asked for Lese-Majesty)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 19 January 1887 in Utrecht (political prisoner)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Deinstitutionalized - prison, hospital 31 August 1887 in Utrecht (got pardon after many protests)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1 May 1888 in Den Haag (First socialist in Dutch parliament)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 27 May 1891 in Harlingen (Egberta Johanna Godthelp)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : End Major Project 15 September 1891 in Den Haag (Left parliament)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 15 January 1900 in Amsterdam (César Domela)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1901 (Is Diefstal eigendom? door Dr Sagittarius (Is theft property?))

Source Notes

Selma Schepel quotes Gemeente archief of Amsterdam in Sterrentijd 28 of 1 April 1992 (31-12-1846 4AM)

Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis:BWSA

F. Domela Nieuwenhuis - Parlement & Politiek

Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis · dbnl:

Majesteitsschennis Een onderzoek naar de toepassing van artikel 111, 112 en 113 Wetboek van Strafrecht in relatie tot de vrijheid van meningsuiting (Lese-Majesty. A study into the application of the art. 111, 112 and 113 of the Dutch criminal code in relation to freedom of expression) by Stef Ketelaar, 20 March 2009


  • Traits : Body : Diet unusual (Vegetarian, alcohol abstinent for ethical reasons)
  • Traits : Personality : Charismatic
  • Traits : Personality : Idealist
  • Traits : Personality : Principled strongly
  • Family : Childhood : Family supportive
  • Family : Relationship : Widowed (3 times)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Inheritance
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Atheist
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Rejection/ Leave church
  • Personal : Misc. : Changed name
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ social
  • Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (From Christian to Anarchist, 1910)
  • Vocation : Writers : Biographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator (Marx, Thomas Moore)
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (Socialist)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (1st Socialist in Dutch parliament)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Dutch Socialist Movement)