The Margaret Sanger Papers


Dutch Neo-Malthusian League (Dutch Nieuw Malthusiaansche Bond) (1881-1946)

Founded in 1881 by Carl Gerritsen, H. B. Heldt, and J. M. Smit after lecture by Charles Robert Drysdale, founder of the British Malthusian League. Published pamphlets providing instructions on use of diaphragms in 1884, and provided personal instruction through the private practices of a number of doctors in different sections of Holland. Marie Rutgers-Hoitsema, president of the League 1899-1912, and her husband Dr. Johannes Rutgers introduced the idea of working with Dutch socialists to broaden the membership base. The League sponsored the Third International Neo-Malthusian Conference at the Hague in 1910. In 1940, when Germany invaded the Netherlands, the League was closed and its leaders arrested. Though members continued to work clandestinely during the war, the League was replaced in 1946 by the Netherlands Society for Sexual Reform (Nederlands Vereniging Voor Sexuele Hervorning).
References: Rosanna Ledbetter, A History of the Malthusian League, 1877-1924 (1976); Beryl Suitters, Be Brave and Angry (1973).