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In the Netherlands several places remind of Wilhelmina Drucker. Most concretely, there is the Lensing family grave at Zorgvlied Cemetery in Amsterdam where Drucker’s mother Constantia Lensing and Wilhelmina and her sister Louise were buried and tombed. Then there is Drucker’s archive, which was scattered after her passing, but has in part been reconstructed recently from the stray material found in the IAV-collection at Atria and has now been published as an open digital source.

Furthermore, there is Drucker’s book collection, which she bequeathed to the University Library of the city of Amsterdam, but has long gone unnoticed. This important legacy will be digitally retrieved here. The apartment building for working women in The Hague, which was to be called ‘Wilhelmina Huis’ (Wilhelmina House) to honour Drucker’s advanced ideas on household cooperation, never materialized, but the surviving plans and blueprints (1925-1931) will enable us to resurrect this lieu de mémoire, if only virtually. The memorial statue by Gerrit Jan van der Veen called ‘Woman as a free human being’, unveiled in Amsterdam on the 50th anniversary of the VVV (1939) in remembrance of Wilhelmina Drucker, still stands today. It was at the foot of this statue that on January 23rd 1970 the notorious feminist action group that had decided to adopt Drucker’s presumed nickname ‘Dolle Mina’ (‘Mad Mina’) shortly before, made one of its first public statements by ritually burning a corset. Actually, both the nickname and Drucker’s supposed opposition to corsets were mere projections.

The renewed interest in a former generation of feminists sparked off further initiatives to commemorate Drucker specifically. Thus, in the year of Dolle Mina’s street protests, the mainstream women’s weekly Libelle initiated a Wilhelmina Drucker Prize to be awarded on a five-year basis to an individual or a group of outstanding significance for women’s emancipation. In 1973 the Nederlandse Vrouwen Raad (Dutch Council of Women) set up a travel fund to enable its affiliates to attend international congresses and named it the Wilhelmina Drucker Fonds. Also, Drucker’s name was often included whenever a newly built housing estate was in need of female celebrity street names and as a result we find ‘Wilhelmina (or Mina) Drucker’ streets, avenues, yards, lanes, squares and courts all across the Netherlands. Finally, as of 2009, we have the Wilhelmina Drucker Chair at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam, dedicated to the Political History of Gender in the Netherlands and granted by the Wilhelmina Drucker Foundation since 2014.

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  • Published: 07 July 2016
Last modified on 07 July 2016
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