Het Vrije Volk

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Front page of Het Vrije Volk on a metro pillar in Rotterdam

Het Vrije Volk ( German: The Free People, until 1945 Het Volk ) was a Dutch daily newspaper (until 1971 supra-regional) with an editorial office in Amsterdam .


Forerunner Het Volk 1900–1945

The forerunner of the newspaper was Het Volk , which appeared as an organ of the SDAP since April 2, 1900 . The first editor-in-chief was Pieter Jelles Troelstra , who had to vacate his place in 1903. In 1928 the newspaper became part of the new “De Arbeiderspers” publishing house, which was created by merging various social democratic newspapers and printing houses.

In 1940, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II , “De Arbeiderspers” and with it the newspaper came under the control of the Dutch National Socialists NSB . In March 1942 a special edition for Germany was created to reach the Dutch workers there. It was published until the end of 1944. From May 1943 on there was also a corresponding edition for France , which was published until July 1944. In September of that year there was even an "Eastern" edition for the areas occupied by the Germans in the eastern theater of war, which was discontinued in the same month as the French edition.

Het Vrije Volk 1945–1991

After the war, it would not have been possible to continue the newspaper under the old name at first, as the Dutch government in exile had issued a provisional publication ban for all newspapers that had appeared after 1942 for the period after the liberation The Netherlands were actually exempted, then this was implemented for the newspapers concerned. In March 1945, the successor appeared for the first time under the expanded name Het Vrije Volk from the city of Eindhoven , which at that time belonged to the already liberated part of the Netherlands. Further editions for Enschede and Groningen followed in April, and one for Amsterdam in May. In 1946 the editorial staff of the latter became the main location, the other editorial offices were responsible for local editions from then on. The publisher “De Arbeiderspers”, which was now part of the SDAP successor party PvdA , was again the publisher .

For 25 years, during the entire period in which Het Vrije Volk appeared as a national newspaper, it was, apart from a brief period in the post-war period, when De Waarheid was ahead, it was the highest-circulation quality newspaper in the Netherlands. After the Amsterdam location had already been given up in March 1970, the supra-regional character was completely given up on October 1, 1971 and the newspaper was converted into a Rotterdam regional newspaper . An additional weekly edition was also published in 1983–1990. In 1991 the newspaper merged with Rotterdams Nieuwsblad to form the new newspaper Rotterdams Dagblad , with which the previous name also disappeared. In 2005, Rotterdams Dagblad was integrated together with several other local newspapers as a local edition in Algemeen Dagblad , this edition is now called AD Rotterdams Dagblad .


Klaas Voskuil 1945–1961
Thijs van Veen 1961-1968
Eduard Messer 1968-1970
Herman Wigbold 1970-1987
Gerard Krul 1987-1990
Leo Pronk 1990-1991

Edition development

Het people

year 1906/
1937 Dec
Copy. 7,000 28,000 35,000 44,878 51,950 19,053 114,871

Het Vrije Volk

From 1945 to 1970, despite the losses that began around 1960, Het Vrije Volk was almost without exception the highest-circulation national quality newspaper in the Netherlands. The figures from 1975 to 1990 refer to the subsequent character as a Rotterdam regional newspaper.

year 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 (*) 1990 (*)
Copy. 362,500 280,000 279,636 315.064 306.915 272,500 167,400 160,530 197.130 115.730

(*) Together with the Rotterdam Nieuwsblad


The name of the newspaper lives on in two weblogs . One of these is run by Frank van Dijl, a former journalist for the newspaper.


  • Jan van de Plasse: Kroniek van de Nederlandse dagblad- en opiniepers / seed gesteld by Jan van de Plasse. Red. Wim Verbei , Otto Cramwinckel Uitgever, Amsterdam 2005, ISBN 90-75727-77-1 . (Dutch; earlier edition: Jan van de Plasse, Kroniek van de Nederlandse dagbladpers , Cramwinckel, Amsterdam 1999, ISBN 90-75727-25-9 )

Web links

Commons : Het Vrije Volk  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. hetvrijevolk.web-log.nl

See also