prof. dr. J.S.A.M. van Koningsbrugge

  • Posted on: 20 January 2015
  • By: nicolaas
About the participant: 

Hans van Koningsbrugge (Oudenbosch, 1959) studied history at Leiden University, where he gained his PhD in 1996. He joined the University of Groningen in 1990 as a university lecturer, and in 2003 he became Reader. Van Koningsbrugge is also a guest lecturer at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the Netherlands Defence College Rijswijk. Van Koningsbrugge is also Director of the Centre for Russian Studies at the University of Groningen and of the Netherlands-Russia Centre.

Title of lecture: 
Autobiography of Willem Oudendijk, Dutch envoy in St. Petersburg during the October revolution

 A Dandy in St. Petersburg: the last Dutch pre-revolutionary diplomatic representative in St. Petersburg Willem Oudendyk

The Russian revolutions of 1917 made a profound impression on the Netherlands. The Romanov dynasty, related to the Dutch House of Orange, fell and made way for a Provisional Government which was later replaced by a revolutionary administration. The Dutch envoy in St. Petersburg, Willem Oudendyk, lived through the First World War and the revolutions of 1917. As one of the few Dutch diplomats of the Interwar period, he published (in this case in 1939) an autobiography. The goal of my lecture is firstly to determine who Willem Oudendyk was and how he functioned in the diplomatic beau monde of St. Petersburg. Secondly I want to compare Oudendyk’s autobiography with the missives he send to his employers in The Hague. Do these two conglomerates of sources coincide, or did Oudendyk, more than 20 years after the facts, exaggerate his experiences?