The stay of the German Crown Prince on the island of Wieringen and the two mayors Kolff is an interesting item on which a lot can be written, about the prince but also on the Kolff Family. For the time being: here at this first page an excerpt from the Genealogy (B, last generation), at the second page an article from ‘Het Leven’, 1927, and at that and following pages text taken from the historical site of Wieringen (link to that site at those pages) and a remark from the webmaster.
Marius (CBCD XVIIw4), webmaster, and at that time Secretary (now President) of the Association, went to the funeral ceremony of Louis Charles ’the 3rd’ (here at B XVIf3), wants to add this personal note (being a dog lover himself, and recognizing similarities):
At his funeral in 2005 at Bloemendaal Louis was remembered by Bloemendaal people as the man known there for many years as ’the man and his dog’; a man always together with his dog, where ever he went: some of that was remembered as Louis and his dog walking every day for hours in the dunes of Bloemendaal. This was before he left Bloemendaal and moved to Curaçao, where he got married. But his last wish was to be buried in the dunes of Bloemendaal, because of the good times he spent there, with his dog…
Veel bekijks als de Prins op het eiland wandelt; met hem wandelen de heer en mevrouw Kolff
After his return to Germany the prince never played the prominent part he had in mind for himself. Up to his death in 1951 he lived a rather quiet life, a representative of a time that was over and which would never return. During World War II he is said to have tried to use his influence with the German authorities to free his old friend mayor Kolff from imprisonment. Kolff was held in detention at Haren (Brabant), together with other mayors from the province of North-Holland. Even if the crown prince has spoken to Seyss-Inquart, Rauter, or other highly ranked Germans, it did not lead to the desired result. Kolff was not released any earlier.
Almost 80 years after his sudden departure from Wieringen the crown prince is once again in the (local) news: the municipality is investigating wether the stay of the crown prince on the island can be used for promotional activities to boost tourism at Wieringen. Ideas are to create a permanent exposition and to set up a touristic route along points of interest regarding the prince’s stay at Wieringen. Once more is known it will be mentioned at the site of Wieringen (see the link below).
Kolff was interned by German authorities in 1942; he returned to Wieringen after the liberation in 1945 and remained mayor until 1958. At the website History of Wieringen (WWII) is recorded about this:
On July 13th 1942 the mayor of Wieringen, Louis Charles Kolff Jnr. was requested to come to Haarlem for a meeting with the governor for the North-Holland province. When he arrived there he was arrested, along with 9 other mayors from North-Holland. He was taken hostage in the Major Seminary of Haaren (where more prominent Dutch citizens were held hostage, just as in the better-known St. Michielsgestel, which wasn’t far from Haaren). Members of the NSB, the Dutch National Socialist Movement, were appointed in their place.
Mayor Kolffs wife tried to use their friendship with the German ex-crownprince, dating from the latter’s exile on Wieringen, to get her husband out of prison. The personal secretary of the prince wrote a letter stating that the crownprince was very sad to learn that the Kolff family hadn’t been spared from the rages of war. He promised to use his influence, but it is unknown if he ever did, or still had the influence he claimed.
Mayor Kolff was released before the end of the war, but was the only hostage who wasn’t allowed to return to his home. The Germans wouldn’t even let him enter the province. Why he was treated in this way is unknown.
March 31, 2012, on the island of Wieringen the visitors’ centre of the Wieringer Island Museum Jan Lont. was openend. On the occasion of this opening Cees van der Sluis donated a walking stick with silver handle of the late Louis C. Kolff jr. (B XVIf). At this opening Van der Sluijs, who is executeur-testementair of Coby Kolff, see below here, was surprised happily to find out that the museum has a special show-case about the two Mayors Kolff on the island. He remarks: “Day before yesterday I was present at the opening of the Wieringer Island Museum and and that occasion a donated the walking stick with silver handle of Mayor L.C. Kolff jr. following earlier donations of items of the Kolff Family with a clear Wieringen connection to the museum. Much to my surprise one had already on display a show-case on the Kolff Family which exhibited amongst other things our donated items. (..) A true memorial to this branch B of the Kolff Family which ended with the death of the last born child of this branch, Coby Kolff (B XVIf2) (..)”
Download (Adobe document, and available in Dutch language only) here the speech of Van der Sluijs he gave when he donated the walking stick in March 2012. Some newspaper (internet) articles about the opening of the Museum are mentioned here (Dutch): the pages of Noordkop Nieuwsnd Wieringer Nieuws. In Wieringer Nieuws it says that the Family Kolff died out, which is of course a mistaker, given from the fact that there was the mentioning of the dying out of the branch B of the Kolff Family, of which the mayor’s family were the last remaining members. This branch is remembered well in recent years: the year 2011 when the branch died out the Kolff Family Association presented the biography of Dirk Hendrik Kolff (check for the description of this biography this page: ‘Driftig van Spraak, levendig van gang‘) which can be obtained through the web shop of the Kolff Family Association.
Remark from the webmaster:
Louis Charles Kolff Sr. was mayor from 1896 to 1902 and from 1920 to 1922. It has been said that he was asked back to this post in 1920 because of the stay of the German crown prince on the island (November 1918 – November 1923, short visits after that such as in 1927). Louis Charles Sr. died in 1922 and his son Louis Charles Jr. was appointed mayor of Wieringen to succeed his father (he was mayor of Wieringen: 1922-1942 and 1945-1958).
See also: 15 Mayors