January 2011

Comming soon: Reunion!

After our last Family meeting in Amsterdam five years ago the Boissevain Foundation is looking forward to have a next reunion. This will take place on Saturday April 16, 2011. Everyone connected to the Boissevain Family is very welcome to celebrate this special event.

Place: the Netherlands, Amsterdam (centre of town)
Time: from 14h till 19h (dinner from 19h till 23h)
Location: Amsterdam City Archive (http://stadsarchief.amsterdam.nl)

14 h - 15 h: coffee/ high tea at the City Archive
15 h - 16 h: guided tour and visit exhibition Private Collection Boissevain Family Archive
16 h - 17 h: drinks
17 h - 17.30 h: taking new 21st century group portraits (see 20th c. pictures)
17.30 h - 18.30 h: architectural boat tour New Amsterdam (guide: Gustaaf Boissevain, chairman Boissevain Foundation and architect)
19 h - 23 h: dinner party at special location

On January 14th an e-mail was sent at approx. hundred addresses. Please contact Aviva Boissevain (secretary) at secretary@boissevain.org if you would like a copy or sign-up for the event.


September 2005

Swindler back at work again!

The same man who annoyed some of our family members in 2001 with his evil product “the line Boissevain” in the name of the so called antiquarian book trade “De Heraut” is back again. We received a letter of the “Foundation Genealogy Netherlands” in The Hague recommending “the chronicle of the old line Boissevain”. You get the same worthless book, the same - however nice - booklet concerning heraldry and our family weapon with two black crows on yellow paper.

Do not buy this book and everyone warn everyone not to do so!


June 2005

Saturday June 18th 2005 on the promenade of the Montessori lyceum Amsterdam a tablet was revealed with the names of all members of the lyceum which has been assassinated in the war of 1940-1945. To this belong also the two sons of Jan Boissevain and Mies Boissevain-van Lennep: Gideon and Janka.

January 2005

Mark wrote the following poem about Gideon Boissevain.

Mark is fifteen years old. He attends Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. He is from the United States and lives in Park Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He learned about Gideon Boissevain from a project he had to complete in English class. They were learning about the Holocaust and we were given a random piece of paper with information about a person who experienced the Holocaust, then they wrote a poem about their character. The information was from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

-Questioning the Wrong Answers-

I had to do it.
I wanted to do it for society.
I had to stop the wrong people.
I questioned the wrong answers.

Those answers were hate.
That hate was for Jews.
Those Jews did not deserve hate.
That made me do it.

Who was behind this?
It was them.
Who are they?
It was the Nazi party.

They came to oppress.
They came to destroy life.
They tried to make us believe it.
They wanted us to hate the Jews.

I couldn't take it.
I had to help.
I did what was illegal.
I hid the oppressed.

Soon, I became a member of a resistance.
Soon, this would all be over.
Soon, there would not be anymore oppression.
Soon, the oppressors will pay.

Then the Nazis found out.
They arrested me and my brother.
Then they put a gun to my head.
They pulled the trigger.

I was only twenty years old.
I thought I made a difference.
I knew the Nazi answers were incorrect.
I questioned the wrong answers.


December 2004

The Court of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Rotterdam in the Netherlands decided to name streets in the new building plan in the Community Prins Alexander after the fashion designers Christian Dior, Mies Boissevain and Pierre Cardin.

Look here at the streetplan.


Mies Boissevain and the "Nationale Feestrok"

An idea based on the experience of unity against a background of female variety was the "Nationale Feestrok" (National Festive Skirt). During her emprisonment she once got a shawl, made out of pieces of cloth, rags, garments of relatives and friends, arousing cherished memories. Hence the idea that every woman should wear a colourful skirt, made from many pieces of cloth connected with strong emotional feelings, embroidered with names and other data. Each woman would have a unique skirt - a typical female garment - yet symbolizing unity in variety. And they should wear the skirt particularly on national commemoration days. Even a festive skirt song was written and composed. To promote the skirt Mies travelled all along the Netherlands and even went to the United States. American papers wrote enthusiastic articles. But the whole idea was soon forgotten.



May 2004

Voyage à Bergerac du 18 au 24 septembre 2004
Fondation Huguenote des Pays-Bas

Cette année l’ objectif de notre voyage est Bergerac, ville sur la rive droite de la Dordogne. Au XVIe siècle, des trois grandes villes du Périgord, Périgueux, Sarlat et Bergerac, la dernière devient un des foyers du Protestantisme. La ville sera pendant un certain temps ‘place de surete’ des Huguenots. Apres la révocation de L’Edit de Nantes beaucoup de ses habitants s’expatrient, surtout vers les Pays-Bas avec lesquels Bergerac entretenait depuis des siècles des contactes commerciaux, notamment pour ce qui est de la vente des vins Bergeracois. Voici un résume du programme provisoire.

February 2004

In the United States a new movie has appeared called "Iron Jawed Angels" in which one of the main characters is Inez Milholland Boissevain, Eugen Boissevains (NP p 69) first wife.

IRON JAWED ANGELS recounts for a contemporary audience a key chapter in U.S. history: in this case, the struggle of suffragists who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment. Focusing on the two defiant women, Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O'Connor), the film shows how these activists broke from the mainstream women's-rights movement and created a more radical wing, daring to push the boundaries of political protest to secure women's voting rights in 1920. Breathing life into the relationships between Paul, Burns and others, the movie makes the women feel like complete characters instead of one-dimensional figures from a distant past.

Although the protagonists have different personalities and backgrounds - Alice is a Quaker and Lucy an Irish Brooklynite - they are united in their fierce devotion to women's suffrage. In a country dominated by chauvinism, this is no easy fight, as the women and their volunteers clash with older, conservative activists, particularly Carrie Chapman Catt (Angelica Huston). They also battle public opinion in a tumultuous time of war, not to mention the most powerful men in the country, including President Woodrow Wilson (Bob Gunton). Along the way, sacrifices are made: Alice gives up a chance for love, and colleague Inez Mulholland (Julia Ormond) gives up her life.

The women are thrown in jail, with an ensuing hunger strike making headline news. The women's resistance to being force-fed earns them the nickname "The Iron Jawed Angels." However, it is truly their wills that are made of iron, and their courage inspires a nation and changes it forever.

"Iron Jawed Angels" has visual verve and the spirited performances of a sharp ensemble cast led by Hilary Swank, Anjelica Huston and Julia Ormond. This rambunctious and intense HBO movie weaves an often stirring chronicle of the women's suffrage movement at a pivotal moment in early 20th-Century American history.

Mike Duffy

Detroit Free Press

December 2003
by Charles Boissevain (NP 88/75)

In het Nederlands Patriciaat staan allerlei ridderordes uitdrukkelijk vermeld. Ik geef hier niets om, maar gun ze graag aan anderen – als ze die tenminste eerlijk hebben verdiend, en niet toevallig aanvoerder zijn van een winnend voetbalteam.

maand, 2 landen, 2 onderscheidingen en 2 Boissevain zusters

Le 1er Janvier 2003 las ik in het Journal Officiel de la République Française het volgende bericht :

(benoemd) au grade de chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur:
Mme Sauvage de Brantes, née Boissevain (Marina, Catharina), presidente d’une association humanitaire ; 36 ans d’ activités professionnelles et associatives.

Kortom, Marina (NP 88/76) kreeg het Légion d’Honneur voor haar werk als presidente van het Franse Care en vice-presidente van Care international; naast vele andere ook internationale activiteiten.

Ik citeer uit haar kerstbrief : ”More seriously, we devoted time to Care International and went for the first time to Peru to meet the Peru teams and discover their great programs for some of the poorest populations of peasants and villagers in the Andes, granting loans for the creation of individual small enterprises that could not have access otherwise to credit. We were back in New York in November for a most important Care International meeting. Finally a trip to Rumania to visit wards for abandoned or handicapped children and young adults. This was a terribly moving experience; there is still so much to do to bring change and some relief.

In dezelfde maand januari werd haar zuster, Kyra Dickinson geboren Boissevain (NP 88/76) benoemd tot O.B.E., Officer in the Order of the British Empire, wegens haar vele werk voor het Rode Kruis in het algemeen en dat van haar streek Northumberland in het bijzonder.

Marina ontving de onderscheiding uit handen van Jacques Chirac; Kyra uit handen van Koningin Elizabeth II – samen met haar man Robert – die CBE werd.

Sinds de tijd dat wij werden vervolgd om onze Boissevain-genen is er dus het nodige ten goede veranderd.