A look back in history

A look back in history

In 1983, Freddy Heineken, the owner of Heineken brewery, was kidnapped and held for ransom for weeks. As awful as it was, Heineken never lost his sense of humor. After finally being released, he told a friend. “They tortured me. They made drink Carlsberg.”

Freddy Heineken

Freddy Heineken
Freddy Heineken (1983).jpg

Heineken in 1983
Born4 November 1923

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died3 January 2002 (aged 78)

Noordwijk, Netherlands
Resting placeGeneral Cemetery in Noordwijk
Corporate director
Years active1941–2002
Political partyPeople’s Party for Freedom and Democracy
Board member ofHeineken International
Lucille Cummins


(m. 1948)

ChildrenCharlene de Carvalho-Heineken

Alfred Henry “Freddy” Heineken (4 November 1923 – 3 January 2002) was a Dutch businessman for Heineken International, the brewing company bought in 1864 by his grandfather Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam. He served as chairman of the board of directors and CEO from 1971 until 1989. After his retirement as chairman and CEO, Heineken continued to sit on the board of directors until his death and served as chairman of the supervisory board from 1989 to 1995. At the time of his death, Heineken was one of the richest people in the Netherlands, with a net worth of 9.5 billion guilders.[1]

Early life[edit]

Heineken was born on 4 November 1923 in Amsterdam. He was the grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken, who was the founder of the brewery Heineken International.


On 1 June 1941, he entered the service of the Heineken company, which by then was no longer owned by the family. He bought back stock several years later, to ensure the family controlled the company again. He created the Heineken Holding that owned 50.005% of Heineken International; he personally held a majority stake in Heineken Holding. By the time of his resignation as chairman of the board in 1989 he had transformed Heineken from a brand that was known primarily in the Netherlands into a brand name recognized worldwide.


Freddy Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer were kidnapped in 1983 and released on a ransom of 35 million Dutch guilders (around 15,800,000 euros). The kidnappers – Cor van HoutWillem Holleeder, Jan Boellaard, Frans Meijer, and Martin Erkamps – were eventually caught and served prison terms. Before being extradited, Van Hout and Holleeder stayed for more than three years in France, first on the run, then in prison, and then, awaiting a change of the extradition treaty, under house arrest, and finally in prison again. Meijer escaped and lived in Paraguay for years, until he was discovered by crime reporter Peter R. de Vries and imprisoned there. In 2003, Meijer stopped resisting his extradition to the Netherlands and was transferred to a Dutch prison to serve the last part of his term.

The films The Heineken Kidnapping (2011) and Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015) are based on this incident.



Interesting quote:

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” -Cicero, 55 BC.

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