Whoever Treats the Sickness Rules the Emperor
I am pleased to respond to your article on J. Giebels’ book: De Greet Hofmans-affaire. This lady has always had my closest attention and, while still a child, I had to listen to a great deal about her at the dinner table. Yes indeed: my father was the well-known Dutchman. (Ed: Joseph Luns, former Dutch Foreign Minister, later Secretary-General of NATO). Many years later I also experienced keenly what had been going on at the time inside the royal household. I’ll explain. On 7th September 1998 my father was ‘kidnapped’ to The Hague in what the Telegraaf national daily called a palace revolution. My personal integrity was severely called into question in the newspaper articles, but intervention by the courts put everything straight once again (it was a question of granting powers of attorney). The kidnapping ended with my father having a stroke and coincidentally being treated in the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague (where all the members of the royal family are treated). Unbelievable but true: at first I was not allowed to visit him there! Such was the smear campaign against me. What was the background to all of this? It is a wide-ranging story, but I will limit my account to the parallels with the Greet Hofmans affair. In the wings, a certain Berend Udink was busy stirring up trouble. In the 1970s his functions included that of Minister of Housing. Later he became a director at Ogem, something that under his regime led to the greatest bankruptcy in the history of the Netherlands. At the time, attempts were made to make him personally responsible, but they failed. Under the influence of the Press he was rejected by the Dutch public and subsequently chose to take up residence in Brussels, where he was able to convince my father of the unjust treatment he had been put through. He was an adept of Greet Hofmans. In his book Tekst en Uitleg (Chapter and Verse) he tells how he would visit her every week in the train carriage in which she lived, in the back garden of a rich family in Baarn. “Never has there been anyone who made such an impression on me” he writes. And further: “After her burial the following day’s issue of the Telegraaf carried a large photo. If you looked closely you would have been able to distinguish me among those present at the grave. And then perhaps the caption would have been: First the Queen and now one of the country’s ministers in the grip of Greet Hofmans.” I know exactly what went on within the royal family. It was precisely the same in the Luns family. Udink was able to gather together the existing conflicts to make an dangerous mixture that exploded. In conflicts everyone has dirty hands. Which does not mean that I am holding out for my own innocence. If an outsider gets mixed in, who is then in the wrong? What came to my attention is that Mr. Udink had the gift of the gab: bewitching, fascinating. And he knew how to use it to set people against one another. Just as when he was at the top in Ogem, a construction conglomerate, where they were always fighting at the top.


Greet Hofmans was, incidentally, not the first to worm her way into the royal family. There was also a certain Felix Kersten. In an interview in 1995 with the director of the Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie (Dutch Institute for War Documentation – RIOD) Lou de Jong, we read the following (I no longer recall the journalist’s name): «« One of the most remarkable historical events set to right by De Jong is the affair surrounding Felix Kersten, that mysterious layer-on of hands who in the 1920s drew Prince Hendrik and Queen Wilhelmina to himself and became the personal surgeon of SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who called him 'my only friend, my Buddha'. After the war, Kersten was able to rehabilitate himself completely thanks to his story that it was only because of his whisperings in Himmler’s ears that the entire Dutch population was not deported to Poland by way of punishment, as the Nazi top had decided. For his programme of self-rehabilitation Kersten was able to enlist the services of such people as journalist Joop den Uyl and De Jong’s predecessor as director of the RIOD, N.W. Posthumus. Den Uyl (who was to become prime minister in 1973), translated his memoirs and wrote an inspiring introduction to them. Posthumus even went as far as to propose Kersten for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1950 Kersten received from Prince Bernhard the decorations belonging to the rank of Grand Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau, and at his death in 1960 the collective Dutch Press was of the opinion that “in Dr. Felix Kersten the Netherlands has lost a great friend of our country.” Some years later, however, it turned out that Kersten had been playing a double game all the time. A collection of Kersten’s letters dated after the war and written to all kinds of prominent Nazis came into the possession of Amsterdam collector Freek van Rijsinge and since then have been made public. The letters show that Kersten was still singing loud the praises of anti-Semitism, had corresponded with the notorious SS Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger and such types as Leo Hausleiter, one time members of the virulent anti-Jewish Thule Society. Kersten used his excellent relations with the Dutch court to mediate in favour of condemned war criminals such as Christiansen and the infamous Dutch camp doctor Nieuwenhuysen. In 1972 it was De Jong who took the initiative to expose the myth surrounding Kersten. With his article entitled Heeft Felix Kersten het Nederlandse volk gered? (Did Felix Kersten save the people of the Netherlands?) he was the first to untangle the web of lies around the layeron of hands. “What you can, in any case, say about Kersten is that he mainly thought of himself”, wrote De Jong. “For this reason he went to Sweden in 1943 in an attempt to get into people’s good books with his so-called action to save the Dutch population. Nonsense! It would have been possible at the time to see through it if people had taken the trouble to compare carefully the two reports he himself wrote about the saving of the Dutch people. The committee investigating the affair had the two reports on the table but failed to make the comparison. Actually an incomprehensible failure, that eventually led to the decision to


grant Kersten a high Dutch honour. Unfortunately he was already dead when I started my investigation. Kersten tricked the Dutch people. The only consolation is that after I had published my findings, nobody stood up to say that Kersten was still good. It was generally accepted that he was mainly a dreamer.” »» Just like Greet Hofmans, Kersten was a healer. Count Michael Maier van Rindsbourg, another of the same kind, became the confidant and manipulator of Archduke and Emperor Rodolph II. In his Themis Aurea (1618) he put it in a striking manner: “A doctor who treats the sickness rules the emperor.” Hubert Luns See also “The Greet Hofmans Affair”

Published in the satirical Email magazine «'t Scheldt » No. 816 dated Tuesday 10th July 2007. www.tscheldt.be

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