Herman van Roijen 1905-1991: Een diplomaat van klasse (A diplomat's diplomat)

Rimko van der Maar, Hans Meijer

    Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


    Dutch possession, a dispute which was threatening to escalate into a major military conflict. This biography partly based on unique familiy archives never researched before is about his personal and Herman van Roijen is counted among the greats of 20th century Dutch diplomacy. His reputation as an gifted diplomat he mainly thanked to his performance in the final phase of the Indonesian decolonisation process, where he forged in preliminary talks an agreement with the Indonesians (the Van Roijen-Roem Agreement of 7 May 1949) which was the prolongue to the transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia. In 1962 he was again called upon as trouble shooter in the quarrel with Indonesia about Dutch New Guinea, the last remnant of the former Dutch-East indies still inprofessional life as a man who was born into a diplomatic family - his father was also a diplomat, lastly envoy to the United States, while his mother belonged to the American Winthrop family, one of the richest in the country. His Dutch-American descent and cosmopolitan life in an international enviroment since childhood resulted in an exceptional diplomatic carreer: after having been Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1945-1946, he became ambassador in Canada (1946-1950), the USA (1950-1964) and Great Britain (1964-1970). As a diplomat Van Roijen moved in political circles and operated at the interface of domestic and international politics, both in the countries where he was stationed and in the Netherlands. His partly American roots in combination with his special talents as a diplomat made him one of the most influential and respected ambassadors in Washington, and later in London. His time spent in the USA and Great Britain adress his work as ambassador and shed light on his outstanding diplomatic craftsmanship.His influence on post-1945 Dutch foreign politics was beyond what was usual for a prominent diplomat. His activities in the resistance duing the German occuppation 1940-1945 where he worked together with all persons who would dominate post World War politics in the Netherlands made him very respected and influential. All in all this biography contributes to the diplomatic, political and colonial history of the Netherlands as well as the bilateral relationship with especially the USA and Great Britain in the years he was stationed there.
    Original languageDutch
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Number of pages696
    ISBN (Print)9789461055149
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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