The Hague - The Hague conscript Rinus Wehrmann was sentenced to two years in prison, because he refuses to cut his hair. His family was taken aback by the verdict.

The court martial in The Hague sentenced Wehrmann to two years in prison for "refusing a service command '. Two years in prison is the maximum sentence.

The lawyer Wehrmann has already appealed against the sentence. The 20-year-old remains in juvenile provisional "The Schwartz" in Scheveningen.

Wehrmann reported in March as a conscript in Bergen op Zoom. From the first day he refused to go to the hairdresser to trim them.


The mother of Wehrmann has been hit hard by the decision of the Court Martial, she tells the Free People.

"You brought up well for twenty years for a boy. He's never been in trouble with the police, was going to fulfill his service normal. But they do it the very first day he came already thrown in the bin. "

(mother of Rinus Wehrmann, Het Vrije Volk, 29-05-1971)

Wehrmann was according to his mother, very enthusiastic about his time as a conscript. He wanted to draw the Marines, or fulfill his service in Suriname.

The father of Wehrmann called a blow. The 64-year-old former resistance fighter wanted to protest they maintained even when the cause of his son, but was then removed from the hall.

"The gentlemen behind the green table have not listened to my son", he told the Free People. .

"They have not looked at what kind of guy he is. He has been very alone at her, our Rinus. He calls his only freedom, something they should stay away from. "

(father of Rinus Wehrmann, Het Vrije Volk, 29-05-1971)

Her free choice

The military union VVDM is not in favor of ruling the court martial. They also call the sentence "disproportionate".

The union has been struggling for months to collect signatures against the mandatory short hairstyle. In addition, the association points to West Germany, Sweden and Denmark, where there is a free choice of its.

Wieldraaijer MP from the Labor Party also noted in parliamentary questions to Minister Den Toom Defense on the situation in other countries. Since the possibility to wear hairnets.

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Not the first

Wehrmann is not the first conscript to the cell disappears because of her pregnancy. Four years ago, a soldier from Haarlem was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for not following the service order to have his hair cut.

These soldier appealed. A day before the hearing by the Higher Military Court he still cut his hair.

He was then sentenced to three months in jail, exactly the time he had been in custody.

Hoe ging het verder?

In the days following the conviction complete protest movement got underway with actions, demonstrations, protest.

When the family were Wehrmann 4.500 worried endorsements. Other soldiers took part in the action, sometimes actively, but often only by signing a letter of protest.

A week after the sentencing volgdeeen first demonstration. A week later there was another one.

Minister Den Toom refused to take the signatures received from the punishment. Instead, he referred the matter to the standing committee of the House. Who decided to 16 juni 1971 that soldiers are now free to let their hair grow.

A week Wehrmann was later sentenced to 12 days cell. So he was immediately set free. But a genuine service it did not really. Wehrmann two months later reinspected and discharged from military service.

And that long hair?

That is until authorized today, but it is almost never. Germany was to allowing long hair reversed hygienic reasons.

Other countries looked down on the Dutch 'hippy army'. But from reports showed that our army did not include soldiers from other countries.

But as the '70s were over, also disappeared long hair (largely) from the streets. Especially after setting the professional army in the 90s, comes the long hair under the helmet for practical reasons barely more.

The pictures of Rinus Wehrmann in uniform are not 28 mei 1971, but a few weeks later. Then dealt with his case on appeal. That's the day he to 12 days in jail sentenced. Photos of Wehrmann at the meeting to which he 2 year convicted unavailable.


Het Vrije Volk – 29-05-1971 – Long-haired soldier two years in jail

Het Vrije Volk – 29-05-1971 – Mother convicted Rinus Wehrmann: “Two years! And that for that hair…”

Telegraph – 29-05-1971 – Protest against prison for long-haired soldier

Het Vrije Volk – 03-06-1971 – VVDM protest against verdict

De Tijd – 07-06-1971 – Action to release long-haired soldier

Author: Dave Datema

published: 28-05-2018

story number: 206

The story of Rinus Wehrmann published in May 2018, but belongs to the series of stories History Month 2018. The year's theme Uprising. This story is about a Hague young man who rebels against the rules and (short period of time) with his freedom has to pay.

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