Ruys, Willem

BORN 25 Aug 1894, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland - DIED 15 Aug 1942, Goirle, Noord-Brabant
CAUSE OF DEATH executed by firing squad
GRAVE LOCATION Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland: Protestantse Begraafplaats Hillegersberg, Kerkstraat 43 (ZW-pad 006)

Willem Ruis was the son of the shipowner Bernard Ewoud Ruijs. He studied at the School of Trade in in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 1917 he left for the Dutch East Indies. He also worked in the sipping business in Australia, Japan and the USA. He succeeded his father and uncle as director of Rottterdamsche Lloyd in 1940. But he was arrested in December 1940 on suspicion of supporting the resistance and against the Germans and imprisoned until May 1941. After contacts with an English agent he was imprisoned again from Octboer 1941 to January 1942. His third arrest was on 13 July 1942 and this time he was a hostage against the assassination of Germans by the Dutch resistance.

After a failed attack on a train with Germans he was executed together with several others on 15 August 1942 at the Gorp and Roovert Estate in Goirle. The passenger shi pWillem Ruys was named after him. Later is was renamed Achille Lauro.


The grave of Willem Ruys at the Protestant Cemetery in Hillegersberg, Rotterdam.
Picture by Androom (22 Jul 2022)


Rysanek, Leonie

Published: 22 Jul 2022
Last update: 22 Jul 2022