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Drs. P
Drs. P in 1969
Born Heinz Hermann Polzer
(1919-08-24)24 August 1919
Thun, Switzerland
Died 13 June 2015(2015-06-13) (aged 95)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nationality Swiss[1]
Occupation Writer

Heinz Hermann Polzer (German pronunciation: [haɪnts ˈhɛrman ˈpɔltsər]; 24 August 1919 – 13 June 2015), better known under his pseudonym Drs. P (Dutch pronunciation: [dɔktoːˈrɑndɵs peː]), was a Swiss singer-songwriter, poet, and prose writer in the Dutch language.[2] Other pseudonyms were Geo Staad, Coos Neetebeem (a variant of the name of Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom)[3] and drandus P.[4] He had a distinctive, cracking, voice.[2]

Life and career

Heinz Hermann Polzer was born on 24 August 1919 in Thun in Switzerland.[2] He had a Dutch mother and an Austrian father who had been naturalized into a Dutchman. However, being born in Switzerland, Polzer was of Swiss nationality, which he never changed.[5]

After his parents divorced, when he was 3 years old, he and his mother moved to the Netherlands, where he grew up.[1] His mother tongue was Dutch. He obtained a master's degree in economics at the Economische Hogeschool Rotterdam (currently Erasmus University Rotterdam). Thus, he was entitled to use the academic title of doctorandus (drs.).[2]

In 1942, during the German occupation of the Netherlands, he wrote a children's story about Dolf & Ben (Hitler & Mussolini) who were punished by Uncle Sam (the USA). He was imprisoned in the Oranjehotel for four months, which were extended by two months after he had drawn a card game featuring Hitler and Mussolini as jokers.[5] Upon his release from prison, he fled to Switzerland, where he served in the military from 1942–44. In 1945, he went to Paris to serve the Red Cross. After the German capitulation, he returned to the Netherlands.[6]

In 1954, Polzer went to Indonesia, where he worked for an advertising company.[7] He started to write songs. From 1965, he became known to a wide audience after a TV appearance in Willem Duys' programme. Duys styled him Drs. P, which he continued to use as his pseudonym.[5] He wrote texts for cabarets by Hetty Blok, Gerard Cox, and Albert Mol.[8]

Drs. P in 2011

He also wrote the scripts for the comic strip Dan Teal by Johnn Bakker under the pseudonym "Geo Staad".[9]

In 1998, he gave his last concert. A book with the texts of all his songs appeared on that day. During his lifetime he wrote hundreds of songs, thousands of poems, and a lot of prose under the pseudonym Drs. P.[2] "Veerpont", "Dodenrit", and "De Zusters Karamazov" rank among his better-known humorous songs.[1] He wrote a collection of poems in double dactyls (Template:Proper name in Dutch).[10] Other poetry forms he invented were the balladet and the triolet.[7]

Drs. P wrote and sang a series of songs about vegetables, such as broccoli, and about typical Dutch vegetables, called "Knolraap en lof, schorseneren en prei",[3] which were collected in a songbook for gardeners (Tuindersliedboek, in Dutch).[11]


His discography consist of (at least) 40 titles of LP's, EP's and singles.[12]


Drs. P. died of old age on 13 June 2015, aged 95, in Amsterdam.[2] He wrote his own obituary, in the form of a double dactyl poem.[13]


  • De Nieuwe Clercke-Pico Bello-prijs (1979)[14]
  • Cestoda-prijs (1986)[15]
  • Kees Stip-prijs (1986)[16]
  • Golden Harp (1991)[17]
  • Edison Award (1992)[18]
  • Tollens Prize (2000)[19]
  • Special charter of the Dutch Language Union (2009)[20]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (in Dutch) "Drs. P overleden", De Telegraaf; retrieved 14 June 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 (in Dutch) "Zanger en plezierdichter Drs. P op 95-jarige leeftijd overleden", NRC Handelsblad; retrieved 14 June 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Heinz Polzer". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  4. Beek, Mats. "Drs. P – Bi(bli)ografie". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Muziekencyclopedie – Drs. P". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  6. "BIOGRAFIE". Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Zanger en tekstschrijver Drs. P (95) overleden". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  8. Beek, Mats. "Drs. P – Bi(bli)ografie". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  9. "Johnn Bakker". 
  10. " | Zeslettergrepigheid, Drs. P | 9789038891026 | Boeken". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  11. "BIOGRAFIE" (in nl). Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  12. "Drs. P". Retrieved 16 November 2019. 
  13. "Drs. P neemt afscheid met een 'ollekebolleke' | NOS". Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  14. (in Dutch) De Nieuwe Clercke-Pico Bello-prijs[dead link], Letterkundig Museum. Retrieved on 14 June 2015.
  15. (in Dutch) Cestoda-prijs, Letterkundig Museum. Retrieved on 14 June 2015.
  16. (in Dutch) Kees Stip-prijs[dead link], Letterkundig Museum. Retrieved on 14 June 2015.
  17. (in Dutch) "Gouden Harpen 1991 voor Margriet Eshuijs en Drs. P.", NRC Handelsblad, 1991. Retrieved on 14 June 2015.
  18. (in Dutch) "Zeist, 3 april 1992 Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.", ANP Archive. Retrieved on 14 June 2015.
  19. (in Dutch) "Tollens-prijs[dead link], Letterkundig Museum. Retrieved on 14 June 2015.
  20. (in Dutch) Drs. P gehuldigd door Nederlandse Taalunie en VRT, Dutch Language Union, 2009; retrieved 14 June 2015.

External links