Biography Jan Schaefer

11 April 2017 - 14:18

You can't live in bullshit! The life of Jan Schaefer of Louis Hoeks is wonderful to read.

It's almost impossible not to like the story of a full-bodied pastry chef from Amsterdam who doesn't care about anything but yet penetrates into higher circles in Government in The Hague.

Many dignitaries at home and abroad found it hard to believe that this guy, always dressed in shabby jeans, was a state secretary, alderman or member of parliament. And yet this was the case: respectively in the Den Uyl cabinet from 1973 to 1977, in Amsterdam from 1978 to 1986, and in The Hague from 1986-1990. The anecdotes about the reactions that Schaefer provoked are therefore plenty.

But tragedy is also present in the book, even if only in the life of Schaefer's wife and children, for whom he barely had any attention. Schaefer worked day and night for residential construction, urban renewal, for the position of the neighborhoods and for the control of their neighborhoods by the local residents.

    IISH Collections | Book Blog | Jan Schaefer

    He did not get a chance to do so for long, because he died at the age of 53 on 30 January 1994. Someone at his grave stated that he had done twice as much in his short life compared to a normal person. Strangely enough, however, there are no Schaefer districts , but there are Vogelaar districts. However, in Amsterdam a bridge was named after him and a street, with his famous quote on the nameplate, that also forms the title of this book.

    Louis Hoeks consulted the archives of Maarten van Traa, Joop den Uyl and Partij van de Arbeid at the IISH. The Jan Schaefer archive itself is located at the Amsterdam City Archive.