Which Dutchman is known abroad, but unknown in the Netherlands himself?

Hans Brinker is a (fictional) Dutch boy from an American book called Hans Brinker; or, the silverskates: a Story of Life in Holland written by Mary Mapes Dodge, and published in 1865.

This has become a very popular book, and one story from the book is about ‘ the hero of Haarlem ‘ a boy who kept his finger in the dike all night to prevent a leak from getting bigger and breaking the dike.

Just as Frankenstein is not the monster (but actually, depending on how you read it), Hans Brinker is not the boy with his finger in the dike, but the name has become synonymous with it.

Apparently (so I have been told) this is a story that lives on in popular culture IN the US, and many people are assuming that Hans Brinker and the boy with the finger really exist.But of course most Dutch have never heard of it.

In Russia We all know Willem Barentsz because of the Barents Sea.Not very well known in the Netherlands as far as I know.


In France He was a bedende singer:


[1 Dave (singer)-Wikipedia

Wouter Hamel is now reasonably known in the Netherlands,

But it was certainly not years ago.

I noticed this during a stay in South Korea where friends of me were totally lyrical about one Hamel.

At first I didn’t understand it so well, because I did know a Hamel, but I thought Hendrik Hamel was meant to be.


He is also known in South Korea, but unknown in the Netherlands.

Hendrik Hamel was a naval navigator (17th century), suffered a shipwreck from Korea, and reported on the map of Korea in the west.

Wouter Hamel, a descendant of Hendrik, did the same funny years later, but then the other side and put the Netherlands in South Korea on the map.

Wouter-and Hendrik Hamel, two Dutch people who are reasonably unknown in the Netherlands, but enjoy a great popularity in South Korea.

“Colonel” Tom Parker, manager of Elvis Presley was actually the Dutchman Andreas van Kuijk.Parker himself was quite well known, but in time few knew that he was a Dutchman who lived illegally in the US.

Actress Lotte Verbeek

Has actually acted quite little in Dutch films or series, but already in the following American series and films:

  • The Fault in our Stars
  • Agent Carter
  • The Last Witch Hunter
  • The Black List
  • Outlander
  • Division
  • Counterpart

Not unknown in the Netherlands, but still really known to a very small group, and (by a faint Hitje) perhaps by mere name known to a slightly larger:

The man who socially changed Sweden.
(very big words, of course a part/together with others.

But a real awake-shaker/old generations and habits to the questioner [with still ever a big fan base, one (or more?) statue (s), a convincing, almost national funeral, a private (biographical) film about him, his own Art-Stipendium, and a private holiday in some Swedish circles):

Cornelis Vreeswijk

[To compare with the hugely defining role played by Kooten and de Bie/Freek de Jonge in NL.
Definitely very much worth it, but unfortunately the really defining texts (and songs) in Swedish (and very bad/not translated to be found on the Internet).
[His Dutch songs only a flabby/weak reflection of the cutting Swedish.

(and of course, in the beginning, songs were forbidden to be turned on the Swedish national radio:-); what certainly helped)

Swedish Cornelis Vreeswijk Society (Cornelis Vreeswijk Sē›²llskapet)

Singer Floor Jansen

Now best known as the singer of Nightwish, a Finnish symphonic Metal band.

Unfortunately very unknown in their own country, but for a large part of the world a superstar and perhaps 1 of the best singers of the moment.

Known in Germany:

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