Is your surname Kohnstamm?

Research the Kohnstamm family

Max Kohnstamm's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Max Kohnstamm

Also Known As: "Pappie", "Oom Max"
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
Death: Died in Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
Immediate Family:

Son of Philipp Abraham Kohnstamm and Johanna Hermana Kessler
Husband of <private> Kohnstamm (Sillem)
Father of <private> Kohnstamm; <private> Kohnstamm; <private> Kohnstamm and <private>
Brother of Margaretha Jacoba Johanna Kohnstamm; Dinah Elisabeth Kohnstamm; Geldolph Adriaan Kohnstamm; Sarah Carla Kohnstamm and Johanna Augusta Kohnstamm

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Max Kohnstamm

Max Kohnstamm was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the son of Philip Kohnstamm, a physicist, philosopher and pedagogue of Jewish-German origin. His father was married to one of the daughters of Jean Baptiste August Kessler, who helped create the company now known as Royal Dutch Shell; one of his uncles was Geldolph Adriaan Kessler, who helped create the Dutch steel industry. During World War II, Kohnstamm and Kessler were both held hostage by the Germans along with other prominent Dutchmen at camp Beekvliet in Sint-Michielsgestel; they became quite close there despite the difference in age.[1]

He was educated at Amsterdam University, where he studied Modern History, before taking up a fellowship at American University, Washington, D.C.. During 1938 and 1939 he travelled through the United States as part of his studies. His correspondence with his father during this period discussed his impressions of the United States and his concerns with the looming war.[2]

He was private secretary to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands from 1945 to 1948, then served with the Netherland Foreign Office from 1948 to 1952. During this time he was head of its German Bureau and Director of European Affairs. He was Vice President of the Netherlands' Schuman Plan delegation in 1950, serving as Secretary to the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community from 1952 to 1956. He was Vice President of the Action Committee for the United States of Europe from 1956. He was President of the European University Institute in Florence. He was Chairman of the Trilateral Commission in Europe.

He was a member of the Club of Rome global think-tank, being one of the six member "inner group" at the time its influential work the Limits to Growth was published.[3]

In 2004, Kohnstamm was awarded the 'Freedom from Fear' Four Freedoms Award by the Roosevelt Stichting.

He died in Amsterdam, aged 96.

view all

Max Kohnstamm's Timeline

May 22, 1914
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
October 20, 2010
Age 96
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands