De profetieën van Nostradamus - Nederlandsche vertaling, voorafgegaan door een levensschets en een inleiding, en van aanteekeningen voorzien door Mr. Dr. W.L. Vreede 
(mr. dr. H. Houwens Post alias mr. dr. W.L. Vreede, The Hague, 1941)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
Carolus Verhulst (around 1982)
Carolus Verhulst (1982)

Carolus Verhulst, the founder of Servire publishers
In 1921, Carolus Verhulst (1900-1985), at that time 21 years old, founded the bookstore/publishing company Servire in The Hague, NL. The name Servire is an allusion to Verhulst's wish that his publishing company would be subservient to humanity.[1] About 1928, he married Elisabeth Duif (1901-1971). Together with his wife, he  managed the publishing company until her decease.
Verhulst wanted to run a company which published esoteric and philosophic works. The '20's were not suited for such a policy. As a result, the Servire catalogue had a general nature and contained works on various fields such as art, the Dutch East Indies, esotery, history, nature, novels, philosophy and travelling. 
Verhulst was a convinced pacifist. In the early '20's, he was one of the first Dutchmen who resisted draft. This resulted in imprisonment. In the years which preceded World War II, he also published idealistic and pacifistic literature and leaflets. 
The publication shortly before the invasion by the Germans in the Netherlands of A.M. Meerloo's Homo militans - de psychologie van oorlog, ziekte en vrede in de mens, in which national-socialism was forcefully condemned, resulted in a conflict between Verhulst and the Germans. They forbade him to publish; he once was threatened with death. With the help of others, he could lay hand on paper and managed to publish. As a security measure, his authors and translators often used a pseudonym.

Logo NV Servire
Logo NV Servire

After the war, Verhulst resumed his publishing activities. From 1967, Servire publishers was seated in Wassenaar, adjacent to The Hague, at the Zijdeweg 5a. In 1976, Verhulst ended his work at Servire publishers. In November 1976, he founded an esoteric/philosophical publishing company, named Mirananda, a company which since 2004 carries the name Synthese. The name Mirananda, a contraction of Mira and Ananda, means: beatitude in love, and shines light upon Verhulst's ideas and ideals.
For many years, Servire publishers remained an independent company. In 1981, Felix Erkelens became in charge of the company. Under his management, Servire publishers became entirely devoted to the publishing of esoteric literature. In April 1999, Servire publishers became part of Veen publishers, Utrecht, NL.


H. Houwens Post
H. Houwens Post

Dust jacket 1941-Vreede-translation

Hendrik Houwens Post, also known as mr. dr. W.L. Vreede
In 1941, Servire publishers published the first, complete, Dutch edition of the Centuries, entitled De profetieën van Nostradamus; on this website entitled: "the 1941-Vreede-translation". The price was f 2,90. 
The circumstances in which De profetieën van Nostradamus was published, were quite hard. Verhulst had a conflict with the Germans and in the Netherlands, the political situation became aggravated. The translator of the Centuries, mr. dr. Hendrik Houwens Post, used a pseudonym, like other authors and translators whose works were published by Servire. Houwens Post's pseudonym: mr. dr. W.L. Vreede (Vreede = peace). Houwens Post (Surakarta, September 18, 1904 - Utrecht, September 1, 1986) lived and studied in the Netherlands from 1911 to 1934. In summer, he usually went to France. In March 1929, Houwens Post became a doctor in Romanistic (French, Italian, vulgar Latin). Next, he worked a couple of years as a French teacher. In 1932, he wrote his Romanistic dissertation. 
In the beginning of 1934, Houwens Post emigrated to the Dutch East Indies, where he worked as a French teacher in Surabaya for more than a year. In 1936, he returned to the Netherlands to study Dutch East Indian legislation at the Utrecht University. In July 1940, he got his master's degree. 
Because of the war, Houwens Post could not return to the Dutch East Indies. From December 1940 until July 1956, he worked as a French teacher at the Municipal Grammar School in Breda, NL; from 1956 to 1974 he worked as an extraordinary professor in Portuguese language and Portuguese and Brazilian literature at the Utrecht University. His interest in Portuguese dated from 1921. From 1938, he studied the Portuguese language and Portuguese literature.[2]


The 1941-Vreede-translation
The 1941-Vreede-translation consists of 205 pages. Its contents are as follows:

  • Biography (by Houwens Post).

  • Introduction to the Prophecies (by Houwens Post).

  • The Preface to Cesar.

  • The quatrains 01-01 to 06-100.

  • A not-numbered "warning against inapt critics".

  • The quatrains 07-01 to 07-44.

  • The Epistle to Henry II.

  • The quatrains 08-01 to 08-100. 

  • Notes (the French source text of 29 quatrains which Houwens Post could not translate completely).


Schors publishers, Amsterdam, and the 1941-Vreede-translation

Logo Schors publishers
logo Schors publishers

According to former co-workers of Servire publishers, there was no reprint of the 1941-Vreede-translation in the period 1941-1945. After World War II, the 1941-Vreede-translation was not reissued, neither by Servire, nor by another publishing company, until 1979, when Verhulst granted Nico Schors, director of Schors publishers, Amsterdam, permission to publish the 1941-Vreede-translation.


Schors, 1979

Vandervoort 1998

From 1979 to 1997, Schors publishers made many reprints of the 1941-Vreede-translation (for some years cloth-bound, later as a paperback). The title of these reprints was the same as the title which was used back in 1941: De profetieën van Nostradamus. On the cover, a chart was depicted, erected for the Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999, 11:17 GMT. The figure contained the zodiacal longitudes of the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The cusp longitudes were calculated by means of the Placidus system of house division. On the cover of the first edition, the name of the publisher was printed underneath the chart. In later editions, the publisher's name was replaced by Houwens Post's translation of quatrain 10-72, a quatrain which according to some Century-scholars refers to the Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999. In De Profetieën van Nostradamus, the source of this chart is not mentioned. The study upon which this article is based, showed that this chart previously was depicted in Nostradamus - Prophetische Weltgeschichte (dr. N. Alexander Centurio, Bietigheim, 1968, page 55). The horoscope analysis carries the name of dr. Wilhelm Kestranek, Vienna. According to Centgraf, quatrain 10-72 indicated that in France, Henry the Fortunate would be crowned on August 11, 1999, which would mean the restoration of the French monarchy.
In 1998, Schors publishers published Nostradamus - de grootste ziener aller tijden - een introductie tot zijn leven, werk en profetieën, written by Jan Vandervoort. Vandervoort made a linguistic revision of the 1941-Vreede-translation according to modern Dutch grammar rules, he wrote a biography and described predictions which, according to him, were fulfilled, abused or in some cases interpreted in a hilarious way. An investigation of Vandervoort's methods showed that in the chapter Wonderbaarlijke interpretaties en "uitgekomen" voorspellingen, a lot of material is included, previously published in the chapter Verleden, heden en toekomst op wonderbaarlijke wijze voorspeld door den Franschman Michel Nostradamus in zijn "Les vrayes Centuries et Prophéties" in the national-socialist publication Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?...[3]
Nowadays, the 1941-Vreede-translation and its reprints are out of print. Sometimes, they are in the stock of second hand book stores. In the Netherlands, they are also preserved in several university libraries and in the Royal Dutch Library in The Hague. Vandervoort's book is still in circulation.


Source texts and illustrations
In the chapter Inleiding tot de Profetieën (tr.: Introduction to the Prophecies), Houwens Post writes that his translation is a complete, Dutch edition, in the same order, of the 1558-Lyon-edition which contains the Preface to Cesar, the Centuries 01 to 07, the Epistle to Henry II and the Centuries 08 to10. [4] On the back cover of their reprints of the 1941-Vreede-translation, the back cover of Vandervoort's book and its online description, Schors publishers referred to this remark. 
However, a 1558-Lyon-edition of the Centuries never has been brought to light. The research upon which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, showed that Houwens Post used other source texts. The source text of the quatrains is the Xerox-copy of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition of the Centuries, made in 1938 by the Frenchman P.V. Piobb and entitled Texte intégral de Nostradamus - Réproduction agrandie en phototypie de l'édition d'Amsterdam, 1668, précédée de la Lettre à César, son fils, d'après l'édition de Lyon, 1558. From the chapter Inleiding tot de Profetieën, it can be derived that Houwens Post knew this copy. Further, the research showed that for his translation of the Preface and the Epistle, Houwens Post not only used the 1938-Piobb-copy, but also the German translation of the Preface and the Epistle, made by dr. Christian Wöllner and published in Das Mysterium des Nostradamus (Leipzig, 1926).[5]
The 1941-Vreede-translation does not contain a complete, parallel French source text. The source text of six quatrains is given in the chapter Inleiding tot de Profetieën; the chapter Aantekeningen (tr.: notes) contains the French source text of 29 quatrains, which Houwens Post could not translate completely.

The 1941-Vreede-translation contains b/w reproductions of the cover of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition and of one of its pages. This page contains the last two lines of quatrain 01-54, the quatrains 01-55 to 01-61 and the first two lines of quatrain 01-62. Most likely, these pages were copied from the 1938-Piobb-copy. The frame on dust jack cover of De Profetieën van Nostradamus is most probably a copy of the cover of 1938-Piobb-copy; the French title Les vrayes Centuries et Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus is replaced by the Dutch title De Profetieën van Nostradamus

In the 1941-Vreede-translation, an engraving of Nostradamus is depicted, made by Jean Sauvé. Underneath, a four-line verse is printed:

Dieu se sert icy de ma bouche
Pour t'anoncer la verité.
Si ma prediction te touche
Rends grace a sa Divinité.

According to the Levensschets (tr.: biography), this engraving was copied from the 1668-Amsterdam-edition. [6] Actually, the first time this engraving was published, was in Balthasar Guynaud's La Concordance des propheties de Nostradamus avec l’histoire depuis Henry II jusqu’a Louis le GrandLa Vie et l'Apologie de cet Auteur. Ensemble quelques essais d'explications sur plusieurs de ses autres Prédictions, tant sur le present que sur l'avenir (Paris, 1693, 1709 and 1712). In the morning edition of the Hague newspaper Het Vaderland of August 29, 1937, this engravure illustrated the article Toekomst-komkommers - Voorspellen van de toekomst voorziet in een behoefte aan orde, written by Menno ter Braak. In the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, a different engravure was used. 


The purpose of the 1941-Vreede-translation
Houwens Post translated the Centuries in order to counter-react to national-socialist comments on the Centuries which were published in Germany.[7] This remark cannot be connected with the remark on page 11 in the INLEIDING TOT DE PROFETIEËN that many people acquired the photocopy of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition which, because of the presence of the authentic texts of the Centuries as well as the non-authentic texts could lead to wrong conclusions. With this remark, Houwens Post points to the Netherlands, not to Germany. 
In a direct sense, the mentioning of the "photocopy of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition" points to the 1938-Piobb-copy, but indirectly, it might point to Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?, the Dutch version of a national-socialist brochure, written in November - December 1939 by order of Goebbels and published by W.J. Ort, The Hague, in April 1940 with a circulation number of 5000 copies. On page 41 in Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?, it reads that the (French, TvB) quotes originate from de uitgave der "Editions ADYAR - 4. Square Rapp Paris (VIIe)" - ("Texte intégral) de Nostradamus - Reproduction agrandie en phototypie de l'édition d'Amsterdam, 1668", i.e. the 1938-Piobb-copy.
Taking this in consideration, it seems to me quite possible that Houwens Post, by translating the Centuries, wanted to counter-react on Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? and that the design of the cover of the 1941-Vreede-translation was inspired by the cover and the title page of Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?.
Houwens Post's motives to counter-react on national-socialist comments upon the Centuries might have resulted from his interest in the Centuries, in paranormal phenomena and from his pan-European ideals. 
The chapter Inleiding tot de Profetieën shows that Houwens Post was quite familiar with the Centuries. He describes several researches, among which those of Piobb and De Fontbrune. Houwens Post is quite positive about the predictional value of the Centuries, which is shown by his linking of quatrain 01-03 to the French Revolution, quatrain 08-57 to Napoleon Bonaparte and quatrain 08-76 to Oliver Cromwell.[8]
Neither Houwens Post's biography, nor the chapter Inleiding tot de Profetieën shows that he was acquainted with astrology or prophecy. In his biography, it is described that he once had a vision. In the period 1934-1936, while visiting the Borobodur in Yogyakarta, he had a vision in which Buddha ordered him to become an "Eurosattva", a prophet of Europeanism. In 1974, he wrote in a French manuscript: "Être Européen est désormais une religion, une fois religieuse, car tout Européen y aspire sans même s'en rendre compte consciement." The Europe Houwens Post had in mind, was entirely different from the Großdeutschland of the national-socialists. This difference in ideas might have been reason for Houwens Post to translate the Centuries.
According to his biography, Houwens Post also had an experience regarding reincarnation. In 1939, when he first visited Lisboa, he became convinced that in a previous life he was a Portuguese. He recognized churches and palaces, built in the 16th century and knew the way. He had no need to learn Portuguese, he only needed to refresh his memory. His interest in Europe and Portugal blended in an interest for the Kelts, who spread their Druid culture all over Europe in the pre-christian era. For Houwens Post, this all culminated in feeling himself the exegete of Luïs Vaz de Camoes, a Portuguese poet who lived in the 16th century. In Camoes, Houwens Post recognized a twin soul; in 1942-1944 he wrote a book about him. Before this, he translated the Centuries
From a linguistic point of view, the Centuries fit to Houwens Post's study of French and Portuguese. Old geographical names like Pannonia, Illyria and Norica were also used in the Keltic era in which he was so interested.
For the moment, the question if the translation of the Centuries into Dutch was the initiative of Houwens Post or of somebody else, e.g. Verhulst, can not be answered. It is certain that it was Houwens Post who translated the Centuries into Dutch. Since further information is not available, it is assumed on this website that Houwens Post also wrote the introductory chapters (Levensschets and Inleiding tot de Profetieën).


Hidden critics on national-socialist comments on the Centuries
Houwens Post did not comment the predictions in the Centuries. He did not discuss the circumstances in 1940-41 of the Netherlands and/or Europe.
Houwens Post's critics on national-socialist comments on the Centuries are not straight forward. He does not mention the titles of these comments. During the literature study upon which this article is based, it did not became clear which comments he read. His critics can be read between the lines, for example, when he asks "Has it not always been that people do not have the faintest idea about what future will bring?" His answer is hidden in his comment on quatrain 01-47, a quatrain which some Century-scholars have linked to the failure of the League of Nations, founded in 1920:

Nowadays it is generally accepted that Nostradamus had the League of Nations in mind. One is advised to read the translation. Indeed, for us, people of today, it is not such an effort to reach to this conclusion. But how would an author, living in e.g. 1780, get the idea that after 1918, a League of Nations would be founded, become settled in Geneva and would fail in the way Nostradamus described? He does not mention a year and the words "League of Nations" do not occur in this quatrain.  
As for the quatrains which deal with the future, we deal with the same problem. The year 3797 is extremely far away; who knows if by then people only shrug their shoulders for the airplane!

Houwens Post's answer means that talking things over afterwards is quite simple, but that regarding the future, the explanation of the quatrains will lead to nothing, because of the scarce hints. This was not only valid in 1780 regarding 1920, it was also valid for his lifetime, 1940-41, which means that this is also valid for the future, described in national-socialist comments on the Centuries. His remark that in 3797 people would shrug their shoulders for the airplane, might be related to the remark in Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?... that in his visions, Nostradamus saw the Montgolfière (the air balloon), the submarine and the heavy canons, used during World War I, as well as the zeppelin and the airplane.[10]
In the chapter Inleiding tot de Profetieën, Houwens Post discusses three groups of Century-scholars: a group of scholars, to which Piobb belongs, who base themselves upon mathematics and periods of planetary revolutions; a group of scholars, to which De Fontbrune belongs, who base themselves upon linguistics and symbolism, and a group of scholars who base themselves upon the hypothesis of a Latin source text of the quatrains. Piobb not only tries to analyze the quatrains by means of mathematics, but also by means of deriving a Latin source text. According to Houwens Post, the group of scholars who base themselves upon linguistics and symbolism is on the right track. He writes that De Fontbrune had the best result in elaborating the theories about linguistics and symbolism. Still, Houwens Post argues that nobody succeeded in realizing a perfect selection by which it could be determined which quatrains were fulfilled already. He also concludes that people always want to interpret towards their own ideas and that authors often use the same quatrains, convinced as they are that these quatrains contain elements which are present in their lifetime. He warns his readers not to make the same mistake. By this, once again, between the lines, he criticizes national-socialist comments on the Centuries


Quatrain 03-58


Quatrain 03-58

Source text (facsimile-Chomarat-2000)
Aupres du Rin des montaignes Noriques,
Naistra vn grand de gens trop tard venue:
Qui defendra Saurome & Pannoniques,
Qu'on ne sçaura qu'il sera deuenu.

1941-Vreede-translation, p.73
Dicht bij de Rijn in de Norische bergen
Zal een groote geboren worden uit menschen, die te laat gekomen zijn.
Hij zal Saargebied en Pannonië verdedigen,
Zoodat men niet zal weten, wat er van hem zal zijn geworden.

In the 1941-Vreede-translation, there is a remarkable translation mistake in quatrain 03-58. The source text of the third line reads: qui defendra Saurome & Pannonie (tr.: who will defend Sarmatia and Pannonia). According to Winkler, Saurome is a name for the area between the Vistule and the Wolga; according to Leoni, Saurome is an old name for Lithuania.[11] Pannonia is a former name for Hungary. In the 1941-Vreede-translation, the word Saurome is translated in Saargebied (the Saar region).[12] After World War I, the Saar region, an area south-east of Luxembourg, was governed by the League of Nations. In 1935, after a referendum, it was given back to Germany.
Houwens Post translated the fourth line of quatrain 03-58 in Zoodat men niet zal weten, wat er van hem zal zijn geworden (tr.: so that one will not know what will have happened to him). 
It seems that Houwens Post, by his translation of the third and fourth line of quatrain 03-58, wanted to make an allusion to the riseof Hitler as well as to his inevitable fall.


De Meern, the Netherlands, October 16, 2005
T.W.M. van Berkel 
updated on July 9, 2011


The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. The information about Servire publishers and its founder, mr. Verhulst, was given by mr. F. Erkelens and mrs. M. Plettenburg, former co-workers of Servire publishers, and Tony van Verre ontmoet Carolus Verhulst - een radicale bruggenbouwer (Wassenaar, 1982). [text]

  2. See also: Information on prof. dr. mr. H. Houwens Post alias mr. dr. W.L. Vreede. [text]

  3. Van Berkel: Nostradamus - De grootste ziener aller tijden (J. Vandervoort, NL, 1998). [text]

  4. Vreede, p.10. [text]

  5. Vreede, p.11 and 14; Van Berkel: The Dutch 1941-Vreede-translation and the 1558-Lyon-edition. [text]

  6. Vreede, p.7. [text]

  7. Van Dis: Nostradamus, een profeet voor duistere tijden, in NRC Handelsblad, February 19, 1982. [text]

  8. Vreede, p.10-19. [text]

  9. Vreede, p.13-14. [text]

  10. "Pasteur", p.30. [text]

  11. Winkler (1939), p.38; Leoni, p.611. [text]

  12. Vreede, p.73. [text]


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