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Frijda (1887-1944) was professor of State Economics and Statistics at the University of Amsterdam. He also served as rector magnificus for a period. Together with Professor Nicolaas Posthumus and Professor Théodore Limperg, he played a crucial role in the founding of UvA EB in 1922.

Special date

The tribute was organised exactly 102 years after Frijda's inaugural address on ' De vorming van den wisselprijs’ (The formation of the exchange prize). He was the second professor of the new faculty. The initiative committee chose this special date to honour his legacy.

Speeches, unveiling and special music

The meeting was ushered in by Dean Roel Beetsma. Among other things, he explained how this initiative had come about. This was followed by a speech by Johan Joor, historian and one of the initiators of the tribute. He spoke at length about Frijda's extraordinary life. As one of the 'founding fathers', he was a great organiser and scientific driver of UvA EB. In addition, as an economist, he was socially very involved and, above all, an extremely gifted lecturer. He lectured with great enthusiasm, not shying away from topical issues and constantly challenging students to engage in discussion.

After the German invasion in May 1940, the professor quickly faced anti-Jewish measures. In the same year, he was forced to stop working and his official resignation followed in 1941. Herman Frijda went into hiding in 1942, but was arrested and deported after being betrayed, and murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. After the war, the faculty - badly hit by the losses - picked up day-to-day practice again and focused on the future. Soon Herman Frijda's name disappeared from faculty consciousness. The plaque now hangs in the stairwell of REC-M as a fitting token of gratitude by the UvA Economics and Business.

Michael Frijda (l), Miranda Frijda, David Frijda

Head of the Executive Board (CVB) Geert ten Dam talked about the importance of this tribute and made a link to the present. The plaque can also serve as a reminder of the importance of academic freedom and freedom of speech and the place the university provides for this.  Together with Frijda’s  granddaughter, Miranda, she then unveiled the plaque made in the professor's honour.

The afternoon ended with a speech by grandson Michael Frijda and a piece of music. The piece performed was extra special because the violin of Herman Frijda's son Leo was played again for the first time after restoration. Leo Frijda was shot during World War II because he was a member of the resistance.