Eduard Douwes Dekker has become known under the pen name Multatuli (from the Latin as: " I have endured many things " ), ( born March 2, 1820 Amsterdam, † February 19, 1887 in Ingelheim am Rhein) was a Dutch writer. Around 1900, around his books were very popular in Germany. Meanwhile he is there but largely forgotten, while counting in the Netherlands to the canon of literature textbook and the Society for Dutch Literature has declared the book " Max Havelaar " in 2002, the most important written in the Dutch language work.


Eduard Douwes Dekker was born in 1820 as the son of a captain in Amsterdam. After an unsuccessful visit to a Latin school, he completed a textile dealer apprenticeship and then went with his father to sea. As a 18- year-old he had come with his father to Java in the Dutch East Indies colony and found in the colonial administration employment. He married in 1846 the impoverished Dutch baroness Everdina Huberta van Wijnbergen ( Tine ), with whom he had two children, son Edu ( * 1854) and daughter Nonni (* 1857), and led a life together with her between Europe and Southeast Asia. Beginning in 1866, his family saw him no more. Tine died on 13 September 1874 in Venice.

In Java it was their fate, he described to a lawyer of disenfranchised and oppressed, in novels. Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company became a bestseller, which found a number of enthusiastic readers in Germany. These include Sigmund Freud, Hermann Hesse, Thomas and Heinrich Mann. His career as a colonial administrator ( he was in 1856 appointed Assistant-Resident of Lebak in Java ) ended when he denounced corrupt machinations, into Regent Karta Negara Nata was involved. The carried out at his request dismissal from the employment relationship moved Dekker to return to Europe.

His life in Europe was characterized by a number of women's stories. To the circle of women who surrounded him, his niece included, among others, a ransomed from a brothel Frenchwoman, a rebellious minister's daughter and the Dutch writer Marie Anderson. The actress Mina Kruseman made ​​in 1875 for the success of his play " Prince's School ".

The last twenty years of his life were spent almost exclusively in Germany. From 1870 to 1879 he lived in Wiesbaden. Here he wrote some two -fifths of the yet unpublished in his lifetime works, including the millions of studies in which he recorded his experiences in the casino and describes a seemingly sure win method for the roulette.

Under the pseudonym Multatuli he published books critical of the colonial policy, but also to - very sarcastic in the form of parables in part - apart sat with authority, religion and the Church. He published under this pseudonym because he feared reprisals due to its very critical descriptions of the conditions in the Dutch colonies. His most famous work is the 1860 published in Brussels novel Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company.

In 1881 he bought a villa on the road from Mainz to Ingelheim, which he with his second, twenty years younger wife Maria Hamminck - Schepelmann ( 1839-1930 ), which he had in 1862 met, and his adopted son Wouter ( Eduard ( Wouter ) Bernhold; 1876-1945) involved. He suffered from asthma and lived the last years of his life withdrawn. Dekker was one of the first Dutch who were cremated, which in Gotha was only possible in that time only German crematorium.