I ATTACK, FOLLOW ME
It is regrettable that many English speakers, who claim to be educated, and should know better, consider that man to be a hero and the greatest Dutchman ever.
I would instead offer that a nation which has produced so many great artists may easily be seen as a source of greatness far greater than a petty pompadoured loudmouthed dishrag.
Even if, for most people outside the country, the literature and history of the Netherlands remain unintelligible.
There are innumerable Dutchmen who have far greater claim to accolade.
Here are a few examples.
HUGO DE GROOT (GROTIUS)
One of the founders of international law, philosopher, jurist, and religious dissident. Unquestionably one of the greatest Europeans of his time.
JOHAN DE WITT
Leader of the Republic at a time when the very idea of national survival seemed a hopeless fantasy, Johan De Witt was the paradigm of statesmen. Without Jan De Witt, there would be no Netherlands.
He was murdered with his brother Cornelis by the Orangist mob.
CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS & CONSTANTIJN HUYGENS
Scientists, statesmen, philosophers, and literary men.
Giants of their age.
1629 - 1695; 1628 - 1697.
ADMIRAL MICHIEL DE RUYTER
Without a doubt the young nation's most valuable asset, at a time when it seemed like the entire world was out to destroy the Netherlands. The time period was the Dutch Golden Age, when, largely due to the brilliance of her commanders and statesmen, the Republic survived French, Spanish, and English enmity.
Dutch endurance and success may be taken for granted now, but it wasn't then. And had they failed, the Western World would be a different place, likely far less democratic, almost certainly less tolerant, and most assuredly more divided by religious animosity.
1607 - 1676.
JOHAN RUDOLPH THORBECKE
Pretty much the guiding light of constitutional monarchism and a giant of modern parliamentary democracy.
1798 - 1892.
ADMIRAL KAREL DOORMAN
Born to a military family in 1889, Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman was killed in action leading the last stand of the Dutch Navy against Japanese forces on February 28, 1942. He and his men were well aware of the naval superiority of the enemy, and knew that their orders were a futile attempt by the allies to stop the Japanese advance. Despite the certainty of death they sailed into action. Doorman and his flagship HNLMS De Ruyter went down during the Battle of the Java Sea.
The title of this post comes from a popular misquote ("ik val aan, volg mij") of an order to the ships in the fleet.
1889 - 1942.
A more than cursory overview of Dutch history during the past five centuries will show that there are many more candidates for 'greatest Dutchman' than Geert Wilders, and, indeed, many far greater ones in every category; he does not even rank, and once he has mercifully passed-on or been expunged, he will be forgotten.
Though he does compare with Anton Adriaan Mussert.
To name just one of his philosophical equals.
1894 - 1946.
Zoals ik eens lang geleden hier schreef kan het mij geen moer schelen wat de gemiddelde Engels-talige hufter over Wilders denkt, dan wel te denken heeft over Nederland.
Indien u dit niet lezen kunt is het mischien een persoonlijke faling.
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