David Joseph Wijnkoop (born 11 March 1876 in Amsterdam – died 7 May 1941 in Amsterdam) was a Dutch communist leader in the first half of the twentieth century. He was the eldest son of (upper) rabbi Joseph Wijnkoop and Dientje (Milia) Nijburg.


At the Barlaeus Gymnasium, he was not accepted as a member of the school association Disciplina Scipio Vitae because he was a Jew.[1]

He joined the Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP) in 1898 and broke with it in 1909 by SDAP and was with Jan Cornelis Ceton co-founder of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), predecessor of the Communist Party of Holland (CPH).[2] Wijnkoop was the leader of the Communists in the years around World War I. He agitated fiercely against the Social Democrats and organized demonstrations in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam SDAP-alderman Floor Wibaut. He left the CPH in 1925, but returned to it later.[3]

Wijnkoop interpellated in:

  • 1918, the government's action against general Von Hohenzollern, the action of the mayor of Amsterdam in connection with the movements that took place and the situation in the Netherlands in connection with the foreign state .
  • 1918 Minister Herman van Karnebeek about the presence of the German ex-Emperor in the Netherlands, the transit of German troops through Limburg and the pogroms against the Jews in Poland and Galicia.
  • 1919 Minister Van Karnebeek about the negotiations of the Dutch authorities with various authorities in Germany.
  • 1921 Minister Van Karnebeek to provide support to the starving workers and peasants in Soviet Russia.
  • 1922 Minister Simon de Graaff of the persecution against Communists in Dutch East Indies.
  • 1924 Minister Gerardus Jacobus van Swaaij about the pay cut for railway staff.
  • 1924 Minister De Graaff about the Indian Government announced measures to combat the popular movement of workers and peasants in India.
  • 1929 Minister Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck about the violent clashes between police and workers following the strike in the Zinc oxide factory in Maastricht.
  • 1930 Minister Jan Donner on house searches at communists.
  • 1931 Minister Donner on the banning of The Tribune from public reading rooms and from the station bookshops.
  • 1932 Minister Frans Beelaerts van Blokland on the Dutch attitude towards the situation in Shanghai.
  • 1932 Minister John Paul Reymer on the wages of railway employees and the proposed wage reductions thereto.
  • 1935 Minister Otto Van Lidth de Jeude on the interference of government in the conflict with the private mines.
  • 1938 Minister Jacob Patijn on the recognition of the King of Italy as Emperor of Ethiopia.
  • 1939 Minister Carel Goseling on the cooperation of the Netherlands to supply the needs of Spanish children and other Spanish refugees.
  • 1939 Prime Minister Henry Colijn about the cause of the resignation of the Minister of Finance and the resulting consequences

In 1931, Wijnkoop initiated a proposal to combat the adverse effects of the economic crisis on the workers, the proposal was withdrawn in 1932.

In 1907 Wijnkoop founded, together with Jan Cornelis Ceton and Willem van Ravesteyn, the magazine The Tribune. Together with the rest of the Tribune group, he left the SDAP and founded the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which in 1919 changed its name to Communist Party of Holland (CPH).

In 1925, Wijnkoop left the CPH, together with a number of supporters. The conflict was related to the growing pains of the party, but also with the wish to get a "workers deputy" in parliament instead of Van Ravesteyn. He sided with Van Ravesteyn. Thanks to the support of the Communist International, the minority in this conflict managed to win and Wijnkoop left.

On Prinsjesdag 1932, he and his group member Louis de Visser interrupted the Throne Speech from Queen Wilhelmina by shouting. This was countered by other MPs loudly singing the national anthem. In 1934, Wijnkoop and De Visser did the same, this time they were violently removed from the Ridderzaal where the speech was read.

While in hiding from the Germans during World War II, Wijnkoop suffered a fatal heart attack and died. Many people, including wanted communists, socialists and Jews, showed up at his funeral. Wijnkoop's wife Joosje was angry that Louis de Visser showed up at the funeral while he was a wanted man, but still asked him to do the graveside speech. It was the last public speech of De Visser, who did not survive the war.[4]

Career overview

  • Inspector at Workers Insurance Company De Centrale, from 1904 to 1907 (resigned after conflict with the director FWN Hugenholtz)
  • Editor at De Tribune, from October 1907 to and April 1916 (co-founder)
  • Remunerated propagandist at SDP, from 1909 to 1916
  • Head editor at De Tribune, from 1916 to 1925
  • Member of the House of Representatives from September 1918 to September 1925
  • Member of the City council Amsterdam, from September 1919 to 30 July 1940 (removed from the council by the Germans because of his Jewish ancestry)
  • Editor of the Communistische Gids, from 1926 to 1930
  • Member of States-Provincial North Holland, from July 1927 to July 1939
  • Member of the House of Representatives, from September 1929 to 7 May 1941 (died in office, while in hiding)
  • Interned in Hoorn, from 10 May 1940 to 15 May 1940
  • Hiding in Amsterdam, from July 1940 to 7 May 1941


As a young man, Wijnkoop attended several schools. He started at the Henry Wester School, a primary school located at the Weesperplein in Amsterdam. From there he went to the Barlaeus Gymnasium, where he came across the anti-Jewish incident, described earlier. Later he studied Arts at the Amsterdam Municipal University until April 14, 1899. He never finished this study, due to his social and political activities under the influence of Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis.


There are several addresses known of Wijnkoop. The first was his parental home at the Plantage Kerklaan in Amsterdam. During his marriage with Emma Hess (1907-1910), he lived on the Nieuwe Herengracht 10, also in Amsterdam. After his marriage breakdown he decided to look for new horizons and lived in London for a while. When he married with Joosje van Rees, he lived on Pretoriusplein 3 III.

Further reading

In Dutch:

  • W.H. Vliegen, Die onze kracht ontwaken deed, deel II, 320
  • A.J. Koejemans, David Wijnkoop, een mens in de strijd voor het socialisme (1967)
  • A.A. de Jonge, Wijnkoop, David (1876-1941), in: Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland, deel I, 667
  • A.F. Mellink, Wijnkoop, David Joseph, in: Biografisch Woordenboek van het Socialisme en de Arbeidersbeweging in Nederland, deel I, 155
  • P. Hofland, Leden van de raad. De Amsterdamse gemeenteraad 1814-1941


  1. ^ Koejemans, A.J. (1967). David Wijnkoop, een mens in de strijd voor het socialisme. Amsterdam: Moussault's Uitgeverij NV. p. 37. 
  2. ^ (Dutch) Historici.nl - WIJNKOOP, David (1876-1941)
  3. ^ (Dutch) Historici.nl - WIJNKOOP, David (1876-1941)
  4. ^ Koejemans, A.J. (1967). David Wijnkoop, een mens in de strijd voor het socialisme. Amsterdam: Moussault's Uitgeverij NV. pp. 290–293.