Edo Fimmen

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Edo Fimmen actually Eduard Carl Fimmen (born June 18, 1882 in Nieuwer-Amstel , † December 14, 1942 in Cuernavaca / Mexico ) was a Dutch and international trade union official.


Edo Fimmen was a son of the German businessman Eduard Hermann Johann Fimmen. From 1894 to 1899 he attended the Openbare Commercial School in Amsterdam . In addition to Dutch , Fimmen also spoke German , English and French and also had a special talent for numbers. At the beginning of the 20th century he organized a Christian-social anarchist youth movement together with Lodewijk van Mierop , Menno Huizinga and Felix Ortt and wrote for the magazine Vrede (Peace). Using the pseudonym Nel Jaccard , Fimmen was one of the founding members of the International Anti-Militarist Association (IAMV) in 1904 .

As an office worker for the American Petroleum Company , he became chairman of the Amsterdam Branch of the Trade Union of Commercial Workers during the 1903 petroleum strike . On October 22, 1905, he was one of the founders of the Algemeene Nederlandsche Bond van Handels- en Kantoorbedienden . From 1905 to 1907 he was treasurer (penningmeester) and then the first exempt secretary of this union. In 1910 he became a member of the International Clerks Secretariat (IHS), which later became the Fédération Internationale des Employés et Techniciens (FIET).

In 1915 he became secretary of the Dutch Confederation of Trade Unions (NVV), which he led until April 1919 together with Jan Oudegeest (1870-1950). Because of the emergency situation during the First World War , he also took over the secretariat of the Centrale Commissie voor de Levensmiddelenvoorziening of the Dutch government of Prime Minister Pieter Cort van der Linden in 1917 and became an advisor to the Minister of Agriculture Folkert Posthuma (1874-1973).

Fimmen was already a delegate at the international trade union congress in Bern in 1917 . At the Amsterdam Congress in August 1919, Fimmen succeeded Carl Legien and served as General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (IGB) until 1923 .

At the first congress of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in April 1919 in Amsterdam, Edo Fimmen was elected Secretary General, which he remained until his death in 1942. Edo Fimmen provided extensive assistance in supporting the anti-fascist resistance struggle in Germany from 1933 onwards, and also after the beginning of the Second World War with the transmission of militarily relevant messages to the states of the anti-Hitler coalition . He helped set up and finance the underground organizations of the German railway workers and was in fact also the "first functionary" of the underground union of railway workers in Germany from 1933 to 1942 . Fimmen supported various resistance groups in the German Reich. The illegal railway group around Hans Jahn in particular benefited from extensive financial services that Fimmen made available.

Fimmen was a member of the International Workers Aid (IAH) and through his friendship with Willi Munzenberg also an important supporter of the International Red Aid (IRH) and the League against Imperialism and Colonial Oppression . After the Falangist coup in Spain in 1936 , he campaigned for the support of the Republican government and helped organize arms deliveries.

In August 1939 he moved to London with the ITF office . Due to a serious illness, he retired to Mexico in 1941, where he died in late 1942.

Fonts (selection)

  • 1917: De crisis en het overheidspersoneel
  • 1922: The International Federation of Trade Unions
  • 1923: war after war
  • 1923: The trade unions and the international workers' aid
  • 1924: United States of Europe, or, Europa A.-G. : an international outlook
    • 1924: Labor Alternative. The United States of Europe or Europe Limited. Foreword by AA Purcell. Translated by Eden & Cedar Paul . London, Labor Pub. Co
  • 1925: world situation and proletariat.
  • 1930: World peace and the labor movement.


  • ITF (Ed.): In Memoriam Edo Fimmen ; Special editions of the association magazine 1942 & 1952
  • Willy Buschak : Edo Fimmen. The beautiful dream of Europe and globalization. A biography , Essen 2002, ISBN 978-3-89861-027-8
  • Helmut Esters, Hans Pelger: Trade unionists in the resistance. Hanover 1967, ISBN 978-38783-1376-2
  • Siegfried Mielke , Stefan Heinz : Railway trade unionists in the Nazi state. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration (1933–1945) (= trade unionists under National Socialism. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration. Volume 7). Metropol, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86331-353-1
  • Willi Eichler: Socialists , Bonn 1972
  • H. Schoots: Edo Fimmen. De wereld as a worker. Amsterdam 1997
  • B. Reinalda: The international transportworkers federation 1914-1945. The Edo Fimmen era. Amsterdam 1997
  • G. Voerman: De meridiaan van Moskou. De CPN en de Communist International (1919-1930). Amsterdam / Antwerp 2001
  • Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten: Espionage for codetermination. The cooperation of the International Transport Workers' Federation with allied secret services in the Second World War as a corporatist exchange arrangement, in: IWK vol. 33 (1997), no . 3, p. 361
  • Dieter Nelles: Unequal partners. The cooperation of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) with the Western Allied intelligence services 1938 - 1945, in: IWK Jg. 30 (1994), no. 4, p. 534
  • Dieter Nelles: Resistance and International Solidarity. The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in the resistance against National Socialism with special consideration of seafarers. Klartext Verlag . Essen 2001, ISBN 3-88474-956-0 ( Diss. 2000)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wolfgang Zell: Transnet union GdED: The future has a past: 110 years of union at the railways; 1896-2006 . Frankfurt am Main: Zukunft-Verl., 2010, p. 65