Which Dutch person of history or from now would you proudly show the world?

Those are three women, starting with this:

Johanna ‘ Hans ‘ Westerdijk.

She was a Dutch botanist and fungal expert.

In 1917 she was appointed extraordinary professor of plant disease, and she was the first female professor to be appointed in the Netherlands. [1

She set herself up for female students, and made sure that they were given more opportunities under her guidance.Together with two students from her, Bea Schwartz and Christine Buisman, she first identified correctly how the Iepen disease was spread. (The disease is caused by the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi, and it is in turn spread by the elm Spider beetle).

Schwartz[2 was a PhD candidate under Westerdijk and first identified the fungus (in this picture is Schwartz links and Westerdijk right):

Later, Buisman[3 produced the evidence for Schwartz’s theory, also as a PhD candidate under Westerdijk.

She was also involved in the development of a resistant cultivar, and the first of these was also named Ulmus minor ‘ Christine Buisman ‘ after her.Buisman

The work of these three women is the reason that this disease is still called Dutch Elm disease in English.

To clarify why their work was so important, you should know that the iepen disease is still a danger today.

The Iepen disease Velde in the Netherlands 90% of all iepen. [4 the famous poem by Hendrik Mareland, memory of Holland, mentions two trees which he misses in his homesickness to the Dutch landscape: the Poplar and the Olm (another name for the Elm).By the time he did this kicking in Italy he could not know that this distinctive tree had already disappeared largely from the Holland landscape.

The victims were equally frequent in the rest of Europe, and later also America. [5 75% of the IEPs IN the USA were felled, 90% of the Elm’s in France.Today, Elm Wood still cannot be transported in many places, and must be burnt on the spot. Existing elm can only be pruned in winter, when the beetle is in hibernation, and in many places elm may not be planted.

There are still very, very few old Elm’s, solitary trees in remote places that are out of the reach of the beetle layers.This disease, spread in two steps, changed everything we knew of disease spread and scope. It was at the basis of current policy against the introduction of unknown flora, the quarantine of new species, it is even the reason that you are not allowed to take back seeds or cuttings from holidays. It is also all the more relevant today, now that globalisation is more likely to prevent this type of disease.

By the time Schwartz and Buisman led by Westerdijk identified the disease, European scientists had been looking for a statement for 17 years.Yeah I’m proud of them. Their success paved the way for other women who ventured into the newly opened world of science. They were the pioneers, and they have meant a lot for both women and botanicists.

Buisman died young, on her 3th.Schwartz withdrew from the academic world when she married, but after she had been stuck in a Japanese camp in the then Dutch East Indies and her husband had died here, she returned to the Netherlands and science.

Westerdijk continued her life-long research, and has more than 70 publications in her name.A dozen discovered fungal species is named after her, the last in 2017. The central Office for Fungal Cultures was renamed the Westerdijk Instituut, in its name. [6 She was also the President of the International Federation of University Women for a while.She was, to everyone’s say, really a ‘ fun guy ‘ when I apologise for the word joke. Her parties were legendary, and she had to engrave the entrance of her laboratory in Baarn with her personal motto: working and partying forms schoone spirits. [7

Footnotes

[1 Johanna Westerdijk-Wikipedia

[2 Bea Schwarz-Wikipedia

[3 Christine buisman-Wikipedia

[4 IEP-Wikipedia

[5 Dutch Elm disease-Wikipedia

[6 CBS-KNAW

[7 who was Johanna Westerdijk

Vincent van Gogh, no doubt possible.

Be proud of other people’s achievements only because they carry the same passport as you do have something sweet.You are ashamed for the same reason is just silly.

Dutch people who are worth mentioning:

Aletta Jacobs, the first female physician and advocate for contraception and better living and working conditions.She was a general electoral right for men and women.

Spinoza, the founder of the Enlightenment.Thanks to his philosophy, we live in a liberal society.

Leeghwater, the engineer behind the drying factories.Thanks to him, we have gained a lot of land.

Helena Kuipers-Rietberg (Aunt Riek) Resistance fighter.She was an important organizer of the national organization, an organization that managed to support very many divers with vouchers, money and addresses. She has paid with her life to save many lives.

Walter Ockels

I think the man deserves a place because of his pioneering role in the field of sustainability.

For years he was working on it before we all became clear that something was going on.

A very active guy who wanted to contribute and neglect something.

Wubbo Ockels-Google Search

Documentary saves Wubbo Ockels not

Michiel de Ruijter, Abel Tasman, Piet Hein, etc.

Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Hendrik Lorentz.

The entire Dutch Royal house consists of persons who are pretty good at their minds.No, I would not swap Mr. W. Alexander with someone like Mr. D. Trump. Mr. D. Trump has a very beautiful daughter.

Leave a Reply