My early years in pictures
1929 - 1936

AMSTERDAM 1929 - 1936

Rogge voor zijn huis in Buitenzorg

My father IJsbrand Rogge Sr. stayed for thirty years in Indonesia. He was born in 1875 and moved to Java in 1991. His father was a minister there. He is seen here in front of his house in Bogor around 1920.

Exploring Borneo, Kalimantan now

He worked his way up from assistant-supervisor on plantations. He learnt practical soil science from a German professor and followed him in his travels. Later on my father explored Indonesia for mineral and oil sites himself.

Uncle IJsbrand, the publisher

Early nineteen twenties he learnt that his rich uncle IJsbrand was gravely ill. As he had been the apple in his eye and promised a considerable share in the inheritance he returned to Holland. Great was his disappointment that by the time he arrived his uncle had died and his estate turned over to his housekeeper.

My grandmother Geertje Steenstra - de Jong

Rogge stayed in the hostel of my grandmother in the Gasthuismolensteeg in Amsterdam.

The Gasthuismolensteeg in the center of Amsterdam


A merry crowd at the hostel. My father standing in tuxedo.

My grandmother had married the shipper of a barge. Disaster struck the family when the vessel was wrecked at the French coast near Etretat. On technical grounds the insurance did not compensate the for the damage.

The four daughters

The only capital left to my grandmother were her four daughters most of whom married the guests in the hostel.

My mother Thea

My mother Thea married Rogge, specially so as she was expecting a baby: me.

Father and son look each other over.

I was born on 27th May 1929 and christened IJsbrand, Cornelius (for non-Dutchmen I have adopted the alias Michael!). This implied that my father was grounded. A few months later he lost all his money in the stock market crash and could not even return to Indonesia to safeguard his concessions

Mother and child 27-6-29

On the balcony of Admiralengracht, Amsterdam

Airship Graf Zeppelin floats over Amsterdam as mother and child watch ice sports on the canal in front of their house.
First birthday

Meanwhile my father was trying frantically to make a living in the time of depression, placing ads offering his own blend Sempoerna tea. No one was interested and our house full of tea dust.

The astounding invention of the milk pot that couldn't boil over.

When my mother always let milk boil over my father hit upon the idea of constructing a pot that couldn't boil over. Nobody was interested!

Mother and her two sons in het Vondelpark, Amsterdam 1933.

Another calamity happened when another son was born in spite of precautions. Father saw hardly any means of supporting them except renting rooms.

Moving to yet another location: 2de Helmersstraat, Amsterdam. Note: No automobiles to be seen!

Near the Stadium where five years before the Olympic Games were held.
At the Zoo meeting ancestors.

My father's sister at the Riviera.

Meanwhile my father's sister Mien was enjoying herself and strolling along boulevards at Southern France.

A car has appeared in front of our house. Garbage cans wait to be collected.

Holiday in the villa of uncle Frits and aunt Riet Drijver.

The villa of uncle Thom and aunt Mieb Thomassen in Epse.

The sons in law of father's sister have done well in the upcoming can industry. IJsbrand is invited to spend is holidays there. He is in raptures.

Sometimes father accompanies son IJsbrand.

Return to Amsterdam is a bitter deception.

..and the streets do not look so bright either......

On the web since 4 December 2006. Revised 24 March 2008

© Michael Rogge 2008

Sequel: Amsterdam 1937

Recapitulation of following pages with photos and clips

The above photos also appear in my autobiography in Dutch: