Het geheugen van de vakbeweging

‘Vergeten’ internationaal vakbondsbestuurder, Adri de Ruijter, teruggevonden

Succesvolle correspondentie

Op 8 september 2017 ontving de redactie van de VHV Nieuwsbrief onderstaand verzoek van de Oostenrijkse vakbondshistoricus Marliese Mendel. Dat verzoek werd uitgezet onder enkele ‘vakbondsinternationals’. Bob Reinalda vond de door Mendel gevraagde informatie. Onder de korte biografie heeft hij enkele noten erbij geplaatst.


My name is Marliese Mendel and I am an Austrian trade union historian. Right now we are working on the history of international relations between the organizations of landworkers. Please, we would need your help. We are looking for a biography of Adri de Rujiter (died in 1971) who was the general secretary of the interational federation for landworkers between 1950 and 1959. Could you help us. Thank you very much,


8 september 2017

Dear all,

Please find attached a short career description of Adri de Ruyter. Unfortunately, I do not know the source, but it probably is an IFPAAW or an ICFTU source, around 1965. As you can see, there are footnotes written into this text. I am pretty sure that these were made by Wim Spiekman, a former ITF Secretary who later also worked at the International Institute of Social History, where he helped with archival work. Since they are in Dutch I will translate most of the footnote texts as far as I can:

  1. i.e. Arbeiders Jeugd Centrale, AJC, the Social-Democratic youth movement
  2. at the age of 18, not 17
  3. not ’simultaneously’; he was treasurer of the Nederlandse Arbeiders Sportbond, NASB, the Dutch Workers’ Sports Union until 1940
  4. i.e. Nederlands Verbond van Vakverenigingen, NVV, Dutch Confederation of Trade Unions
  5. related to Eendracht Maakt Macht, EMM, Unity Produces Power (this Communist-inspired movement of unemployed managed to become a member of the NVV (see under 4) in 1937, but was expelled in 1939)
  6. this happened after the so-called February Strike of 1941 in Amsterdam
  7. Dutch name at the time (later it changed a few times): Algemene Nederlandse Landarbeiders Bond
  8. ILP should be International Landworkers’ Federation
  9. International Federation of Plantation, Agriculture and Allied Workers

De Ruyter became a pensioner in 1967 and passed away in 1971.

Bob Reinalda