Nieuwenhuis, Ferdinand Domela

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nieuwenhuis, Ferdinand Domela


Born in 1846, in Amsterdam; died in 1919, in The Hague. Figure in the Dutch labor movement.

Nieuwenhuis was a Lutheran pastor but broke with the church in the early 1870’s and began to study social questions. He founded a Social Democratic association in Amsterdam in 1878; this marked the beginning of the organized socialist movement in the Netherlands. He also published the first Dutch socialist newspaper, Recht voor Allen. Nieuwenhuis corresponded with K. Marx and F. Engels. In 1882 he published Karl Marx: Capital and Labor, a brief, popularized exposition of the first volume of Marx’ Kapital, written in Dutch.

Nieuwenhuis was a parliamentary deputy from 1888 to 1891 and headed the Dutch delegations to the congresses of the Second International from 1889 to 1896. He adopted anarchist views during the 1890’s, and at the 1891 and 1893 congresses of the Second International proposed a general strike in response to any declaration of war by the bourgeois governments, rather than a day-to-day struggle against militarism. He came out against the proletariat’s use of parliament and against party discipline. In 1896 the London congress expelled Nieuwenhuis from the Second International. He took a pacifist stance during World War I (1914–18) and welcomed the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.