Constantijn Marinus Bohtlingk
- Category : 1883-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (11,43)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Separation 2
Dutch notary, who refused to resell stolen Jewish property during WW2.
In the process of spoliation of Jewish property in the Netherlands during WW II, a considerable number of Dutch civil law notaries cooperated willingly by facilitating the resale of confiscated Jewish property. This behind closed doors white board criminality received little attention until historian Raymund Schütz published about it in 2010.
Constant Böhtlingk studied law in Leiden. He became a notary in Arnhem. He loved books, music and played the cello. He enjoyed life: "Hij voelt dat een mens zo intens mogelijk moet leven" (he felt that a man had to lead the life as intense as possible) wrote his son Frits.
With his neighbour, PGEM director Herman Lohr (14 July 1871, Semarang - 1948), he exchanged classical music records. He became befriended with the German Jewish antique bookseller Hans Ludwig (Halu) Gumbert (1 July 1903, Hannover - 13 October 1994, Utrecht) in Nijmegen, who in 1935 had fled to the Netherlands.
Being of German descent, he was awarded the honorary job of German consul. But soon after the Gleichschaltung of May 1933, he resigned for political reasons: "Naar wij vernemen heeft de heer Böhtlingk ontslag gevraagd omdat hij zich niet kan vereenigen met de wijze waarop de Duitsche regeering tegen de Joden optreedt" wrote the Arnhemsche Courant at the frontpage. Other newspapers would follow this discussion.
During the German occupation, he went into non-violent resistance. He took Jewish family members of his friend and bookseller Salomon Israël (d. Auschwitz) in his house. He also refused to resell confiscated Jewish property and asked colleagues to do the same. On 23 April 1943 he was arrested. He was brought to SS Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch in Vught were he had to do forced labour in the Philips Kommando. On 7 May 1944 he wrote his family his last letter, in which he mentions the arrival of the artist Chris Lebeau. Thereafter, both were sent to Dachau, where he died on 8 February 1945.
His family history seems to go back to King Clodius III de Franks (200, Ville - 298, Germany), Saint Arnoul, bishop of Metz (ca. 13 August 582, Lay-Saint-Christophe - 18 July 640, Metz) and his son Saint Chlodulf, bishop of Metz (ca 596, Metz - 8 June 697, Metz), resp. some 60 and 40 generations back. More recent generations were jurists and military officers in Lübeck and St Petersburg. Because of his noble background he became Dutch consul for Germany in Arnheim.
His father Constantijn Frederik Pieter Bohtlingk (14 June 1848, Arnhem - 13 July 1923, Arnhem) was a notary. His mother Johanne Marie Julie Proells (12 June 1882, Dresden - 29 January 1941, Arnhem) was born in Germany. Mother and son spoke fluent German and enjoyed the German music and literature. His siblings were Madeleine Agnes Bohtlink (29 October 1885, Arnhem - 14 December 1944, Zeist) and Fredrik Robert Bohtlingk (18 May 1883, Arnhem - 21 January 1922, Kota Semarang).
He was married to Augustine Juliette Louis Couvreur (13 December 1901, Celebes, IND - 1999, Oegstgeest) and got several children. Maria Henriëtte Böhtlingk (1921) became a fashion designer. His son Frederik Robert Böhtlingk (23 September 1925, Arnhem - 2 January 1959, Lachen CH, fatal car accident) became a noted professor of constitutional law.