Jan de Vries (linguist)

Dutch linguist (1890-1964)

Jan Pieter Marie Laurens de Vries (11 February 1890 – 23 July 1964) was a Dutch scholar of Germanic linguistics and Germanic mythology, from 1926 to 1945 ordinarius at Leiden University and author of reference works still in use today.

Jan de Vries (1932)

Quotes about Jan de Vries

  • The association of racist doctrines with the term “Aryan”, introduced in Western languages as a synonym of “Indo-European”, had as one of its side-effects that after the collapse of Nazi Germany, the entire field of IE studies came under a shadow. Specialists of IE culture were ipso facto suspected of Nazi sympathies. Sometimes this was not altogether baseless, e.g. the Dutch scholar Jan de Vries, whose studies on Germanic and Celtic culture are still standard works, was chairman of the Kulturkammer, the collaborationist institution which controlled the purse strings for all cultural activities under the German occupation of the Netherlands. Under his supervision, Nazi themes were cunningly interwoven with legitimate Dutch or Germanic folklore. Though arguably not a full-blooded Nazi by conviction, he could hardly be considered innocent.
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