In Memoriam: Edy Korthals Altes (1924-2021)
On Christmas morning 2021, Edy Korthals Altes passed away, age 97. A former Ambassador of the Netherlands and former President of The World Conference on Religion and Peace, Edy Korthals Altes was a formidable inspiration, in so many respects. He had strong and considered opinions on matters of life and death, which informed his world view and his basic sense of justice, peace and spiritual reawakening. His global perspective was nurtured by having served in many stations in the world and by his encounters with many people. His heartfelt responsibility for future generations was clearly expressed throughout his life, not least in his critical stanza during the 1980s on the ongoing arms race, which made him resign in 1986 from his post as Dutch Ambassador in Madrid.
Edy Korthals Altes pleaded for a fundamental awareness of the foundations of human existence, accepting as guiding principle the basic law in life: love for humankind and nature. He contributed to this forum with an article on the Challenges to humanity. An excerpt of his autobiography Van havik tot vredesduif, Diplomaat tijdens de Koude Oorlog (ASPEKT, 2017) can be found here.
Edy Korthals Altes was a warm friend to so many. His inspiration will live on.
Godelieve van Heteren
Ernst John Kaars Sijpesteijn