- Captain Albert's Website and Blog -

Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

Scriwanek, L.M.J.

Captain L. M.J Sciwanek.

Captain L. M.J Sciwanek. (d)

Captain Scriwanek (First names Leonardus, Marinus, Johannes) was born in Rotterdam on 10 July 1891. His father, Charles Pieere Jean Scriwanek, worked as an administrator for an Import Company called: H.HL Hartog & Fesel. (a) his mother was Mrs. Barbera Biesta. (e)

The name Scriwanek is not Dutch but originates from Bohemia an area located near the South East German border. His Forefather Johann Baptist Scriwanek came from there and was a musician who played the Oboe. Around 1790 he arrived in the Netherlands and stayed. Most of the family has been Musicians or Military since that date. Most remained in the Netherlands but some went to France and Switzerland. (b)

However Capt. Scriwanek decided to go to sea and sailed one year as a Sailor O.S (Ordinary Sailor, which means not yet skilled) with the Holland America Line and then went to the Navigation School in Rotterdam for his 3rd mates license. He passed  his exam for 3rd Mate on 29 March 1911. For reasons unknown, he did not return directly to the Holland America Line but first sailed between Aug. 1911 to Mar. 1913 for the Kon. West. Indische Mail as 4th and 3rd officer. The KWIM was a company which sailed from Amsterdam to the Caribbean Sea. (a)

He was then called for his national service for six months and served with the Dutch Royal Navy until 25 Oct.  1913. After discharge he applied with Holland America and was accepted as 3rd officer on 8 Dec. 1913. (a)

This photo was taken in July 1919

This photo was taken in July 1919 (c)

This photo was taken in july 1919 just before he married to Adele Johanna Senna on 21 aug. 1919. she was at that time 25 years old and daughter of Willem Johannes Seen and Henela Johanna Dijxhoorn (e)

Three childeren were born, Bep, Adele, and a son Wim. (Mr. Edwin van Willigen, mentioned under credits, who provided most of the personal information, was the 2nd son of Adele)

The time line of his career (not yet complete) is listed below. His first appointed as Captain, as a fill in was on 19 Jan. 1927.

Due to the deteriorating world’s economy, the company had to lay up many ships and as a result he was not promoted until the late 1930’s.

Information to be added when the voyages of the 1930’s are transcribed.

chief officer blueAs a result he spent a very long time as a chief officer on the various ships of the company.

This is the winter uniform for ships officers. (c)  The position of chief Officer is denoted by the 4 pips on the lapels and the 3 strips on the arms. The stripes are all around denoting having spent time in the Royal Navy. I have not been able to find any evidence yet of him having had a commission there.

The captain become known to the outside world when he was in command of the cargoship Burgerdyk (see ship section for details) and it was torpedoed.

ss Burgerdijk. One of the 10 B class ships built between 1920 and 1923.

ss Burgerdijk. One of the 10 B class ships built between 1920 and 1923.

The Burgerdyk had left Rotterdam on 09 Jan. 1940 for a voyage to New York carrying a quantity of gold (approx. worth 5 mln. Guilders) from the Dutch National Bank. With the threat of a war with Germany the DNB had embarked on a program of transferring step by step all the Dutch Gold Reserves to New York and did so mainly on the ships of the Holland America Line.

The U48 as seen from the Burgerdijk

The U48 as seen from the Burgerdijk (b) (c)

On the way back the ship was stopped on 10 February by the German submarine U 48 (Ltz 1klasse Herbert Schultze). The ship was about 15 miles south of Bishops Rock on the South English coast.

The ss Burgerdijk was stopped just after 5 pm. ships time for an inspection of the sailing papers and cargo manifests. The Chief Officer was rowed to the Submarine by four sailors. Obviously the commander of the UB 48 did not like what he saw or was not interested and ordered the Burgerdijk to be abandoned in 30 minutes before he would torpedo the ship.

Lowering the Boats (c)

Another view from the Boat deck showing the submarine bouncing on the waves. (b) (c)

The captain advised all on board to grab one bag with belongings and then ordered everybody into the boats.

Using the accomodation ladder to disembark (c)

Using the accommodation ladder to embark the Edam from the lifeboats.  (b) (c)

At 18.40 hrs. the Burgerdijk was torpedoed. This was a flagrant violation of the neutrality laws as the Kingdom of the Netherlands was not involved in the war.

Three boats had been lowered and while tied together they drifted on the water of the North Atlantic Ocean during a cold winters night. The next morning around 07.30 a ship appeared on the horizon which turned out to be the Edam (IV) of the Holland America Line. All made it safely on board.

Lifeboats coming alongside the ss Edam (IV)

Lifeboats coming alongside the ss Edam (IV) (b) (c)

This ship has left Boston in the USA at the same time but the Burgerdijk had made the faster passage causing the Edam to arrive at the scene only the next morning.

The Edam (IV) continued the voyage towards the British Inspection area at the Downs. Here the whole Burgerdijk crew could transfer to a Passenger Cargo ship of the KNSM (Royal Dutch Boat) the ss Boskoop who landed everybody in Amsterdam on 15 feb. 1940 (c

Captain Scriwanek coming ashore in Amsterdam.

Coming ashore in Amsterdam. (e) From Left to Right: Chief Officer Dijk, the Nautical Inspector of the Hal Mr. Henken and Capt. Scriwanek.

He was awarded the Dutch “Cross of Merit” on 16 January 1946, with the quotation: ” Master Merchant Marine, who as captain with the Dutch Merchant Marine provided valuable services in supporting the war effort by, for more than two years, commanding his ship in a heroic way and good management, while sailing areas which, due to circumstances of war being exposed to great dangers caused by enemy activities.

during the war he was away from the Netherlands but was able to sent an allotment of US $ 300,- each month home. which reached his wife via the undergrond banking system called “De Zeemanspot” (See the biography of Captain Filippo)

Captains Reception during the voyageAs Captain on board the ss Volendam

Company regulations required (until recently) that captains retired when reaching their 60th. Birthday.Captain Scriwanek reached that age on 10 July 1951.

After his retirement he moved house from Rotterdam to Driebergen (small hamlet, east of Utrecht) in the centre of the Netherlands. He continued to live there until shortly before his death. He passed away in a nearby hospital in Zeist on 11 Oct. 1982. (b)

Later in retirement

Later in retirement

Sailing Dates: (a,e)

Date:               Function:                     Ship:                            Wages and/or remarks.

xx xxx 1910     Sailor OS                      ??                                 HAL

29 Mar. 1911   Passed exam for 3rd Mate

xx Mar. 1911    4th. Officer                  ??                                 KWIM (Royal Dutch West Indies Mail)

xx xxx 1912      3rd. Officer                  ??                                 KWIM

xx xxx xxxx        Assigned to Dutch Royal Navy, non officer status until 25 Oct. 1913

08 Dec. 1913    3rd officer                    Zijldijk                        60,–

03 Aug. 1914    temporary dismissed for national service due to the mobilization

08 Sep. 1914     wage increase                                                  70,–

08 Sep. 1914     3rd officer                    Zijldijk                        70,–

25 Mar.1915     wage increase                                                  85,–

08 May. 1915   temp. ashore

21 May. 1915   3rd officer                    Maartensdijk               85,–

13 Sep. 1915     wage increase                                                    90,–

05 May. 1916   wage increase                                                  100,–

05 May. 1916   2nd officer                    Maartensdijk             100,-

24 Nov. 1916    wage increase                                                   110,–

06 Apr. 1917     Temp.  dismissed to go to school for 2nd mates license

15 May. 1917   Rejected for 4 months

08 May. 1917   Made available for the military authorities. Rank and function inknown.

23 May. 1917   2nd officer                    Rotterdam                   110,–

25 May. 1917   2nd officer                    Gorredijk                     110,–

01 Aug. 1917    Wage increase                                                     120,-

Due to the confiscation of the ss Gorredijk (I) returned to Holland with the ss Nieuw Amsterdam and from:

12 Apr. 1918     Temporary ashore to study for 2nd mates license (on standby money) passed exam on 13 Dec. 1918.

16 Dec. 1918    2nd officer                    Maasdijk                     120,–

10 Jan. 1919     2nd officer                    Rotterdam                   120,–

01 Feb. 1919     2nd officer                    Noordam                     120,–

01 May. 1919   put on standby obtains first mate license on 16 Jul. 1919

17 Jul. 1919      2nd officer                    Rotterdam                   120,-    administration

12 Nov. 1919    2ND officer                   Maasdijk                     210,–

03 Dec. 1919    2nd Officer                   Waaldijk                      210,–     Java – New York

01 Jan. 1920     Wage increase                                                  220,–

25 Mar. 1920    Act. Chief officer         Waaldijk                      280,–

07 Jun. 1920     2nd officer                    Warszawa                    220,–

09 Jul. 1920      Ashore                                                         12 days leave

21 jul. 1920      2nd officer                    Rijndam                      220,–

01 Aug. 1920    2nd officer                    Noorderdijk                220,–

01 Jan. 1920     Wage increase                                                 260,–

16 Aug. 1921    Temporary ashore ill    with leave until 24 Aug. 1921

29 Aug. 1921    2nd officer                    Nieuw Amsterdam      260,–

01 Sep. 1921     Wage decrease                                                 248,–

16 Oct. 1921     Wage decrease                                                 236,–

05 Nov. 1921    Act. Chief officer         Moerdijk                     288,–

04 Apr. 1922     Wage decrease                                                 285,–

21 Sep. 1921     2nd officer                    Ashore                          230,–

16 Oct. 1921     2nd officer                    Boschdijk                    230,–               at Belfast

23 Oct. 1921     2nd officer                    Rijndam                      230,–

08 Jan. 1922     temporary ashore

01 Mar. 1923    2nd officer                    Nieuw Amsterdam      230,–

19 Jan. 1924     Act. Chief officer         Zijldijk                        285,–

31 Jan. 1924     Act. Chief officer         Grootendijk                 285,–

01 May. 1924   Act Chief officer          Blijdendijk                  285,–

23 Jun. 1924     2nd officer                    Blijdendijk                  285,–

10 Aug. 1924    Ashore                                                              230,–

03 Sep. 1924     Act. Chief officer         Burgerdijk                   285,–

05 Sep. 1924     Act. Chief officer         Blijdendijk                  285,–

26 Sep. 1924     Act. Chief officer         Vechtdijk                    285,–   at New York

25 Mar. 1925    Act. Chief officer         Stadsdijk                     285,–   at New York

10 Sep. 1925     Act. Chief officer         Rijndam                      285,–   (as passenger to New York)

23 Sep. 1925     Temporary ashore                                            285,–

05 Mar. 1925     Promoted to Chief Officer

17 Oct. 1925    Act. Chief Officer        Boschdijk                    285,-

01 Mar. 1926    Chief Officer              Boschdijk                    285,–

22 Mar. 1926    Chief Officer              Warszawa                    285,–

13 May. 1926   Chief Officer              Volendam                   285,–   (as passenger to New York)

26 May. 1926   Chief Officer              Bilderdijk                    285,–

19 Jan. 1927     Act. Captain              Bilderdijk                    285,–               4,– premium a day

01 Feb. 1927     temporary ashore                                         Train from Antwerp

09 Feb. 1927     Chief Officer              Bilderdijk                    285,–

01 Apr. 1927     wage increase                                               295,–

11 Aug. 1927    Chief officer               Ashore                          295,–   Regular leave

19 Aug. 1927    Chief Officer              Bilderdijk                        295,–

02 Jan. 1928     Chief Officer              Moerdijk                       295,–

16 Sep. 1928     Chief officer               Ashore                          295,–   Regular leave

24 Sep. 1928     Chief officer               Moerdijk                     295,–  (Joined in London)

01 Jan. 1929     Wage increase                                                 305,–

27 Nov. 1929    Chief officer               Leerdam                      305,–

01 Jan. 1930     Wage increase                                                 315,–

03 Nov. 1930    Temporary ashore                                            315,–

03 Jan. 1931     Chief Officer              Breedijk                      315,–

20 Jan. 1931     Temporary ashore                                            315,–

26 Jan. 1931     Chief Officer              Blommersdijk              315,–

29 Jan. 1931     Chief Officer              Delftdijk                     315,–

19 Dec 1931    Wage decreased                                              262,50

02 Apr.  1933    Temporary ashore                                            262,50

In charge of the laid up ships.

28 Jun. 1933     Wage reduced with 5% in acc. with circulaire no 929 dated 27 jun. 1933

02 Aug. 1933    Chief Officer              Boschdijk                    262,50 with the ship to sea

28 Dec. 1933    Wage reduced with 5% in acc. with circulaire no 929 dated 27 jun. 1936

04 Feb. 1934     Temporary ashore                                            236.50 regular leave

07 Feb. 1934     Chief Officer              Leerdam                      236,50

01 Apr. 1934     Temporary ashore                                            236,25

17 Apr. 1934     Chief Officer              Boschdijk                    236.50

01 Oct. 1934     Wage decreased                                              226,75

05 Oct. 1934     Chief Officer              Delftdijk                     226,75

19 May. 1935   Temporary ashore                                            226,75 regular leave

12 Jul. 1935      Chief Officer              Maasdam                     226.75

30 Aug. 1935    Chief Officer              Delftdijk                     226,75

25 Nov. 1935    Temporary ashore                                            227,75

03 Dec. 1936    Chief Officer              Statendam                   226,75

12 May. 1937   Temporary ashore                                            226,75 regular leave

24 May. 1937   Chief Officer              Rotterdam                   226,75

01 Oct. 1937    According to new regulation                          255,25

xx Feb. 1939     Chief Officer               Statendam

To be completed when information becomes available.

06 Jan. 1940    Captain                        Burgerdyk              Torpedoed 09 Jan. 1940

25 Jan. 1940     Captain                       Breedyk

05 May. 1940    Captain                       Breedyk                  until 01 Mar. 1941, on Leave

01 Mar. 1941     Captain                       Breedyk                 until 01 Apr. 1941

01 Apr. 1941      Captain                      Blommersdyk         until 15 Febr. 193

15 Feb. 1943     Captain                      Sommelsdyk           until 26 Oct. 1943

XX xxx   xxxxx     Captain                     Blommersdyk        until 25 Febr. 1945

18 May. 1945     Captain                   Sloterdyk                until 17 Aug. 1945

23 Aug. 1945     Captain                    Delftdyk                  until 09 Sep. 1945

21 Jan. 1946      Captain                   Fort Orange               until 13 Apr. 1946

10 Oct. 1946      Captain                    Eemdyk                    until 02 Apr. 1947 (ship sold)

19 Jun. 1947      Captain                   Westerdam              until 18 Jul. 1947

18 Jul. 1947       Captain                      Arnedyk                 First captain of the ship. Sailed with the ms Westerdam as passenger to collect the ship

01 Jan. 1949      Captain                    Duivendyk                  until 25 Aug. 1949

29 Sep. 1949    Captain                      Dalerdyk                    until 31 Dec. 1950 End date to be verified conflict with take over by Capt. Leendert v.d Graaf.

29 Sep. 1950     Captain                     Volendam               until 12 Nov. 1951

01 Jan. 1952    Captain                        Veendam                until 03 Mar. 1952

18 Feb. 1952    Captain                        Arkeldyk                 until 28 Mar. 1952 fill in for one voyage

02 Aug. 1952    Captain                      Diemerdyk              until 13 Aug. 1952 fill in during one voyage

11 Dec. 1952    Captain                      Averdyk                   until 01 Feb. 1953  one voyage

08 Jun. 1953     Captain                     Alblasserdyk             until 18 Jun. 1953 fill in during coastal voyage

22 Aug. 1953     Captain                    Duivendyk                 until 19 Sep. 1953 fill in during one voyage

09 Oct. 1953      Captain                   Appingedyk               until 21 Oct. 1953 fill in during coastal voyage

06 Dec. 1953  Captain                       Abbedyk                  until 10 Dec. 1953 fill in during coastal voyage

10 Jan. 1954   Captain                        Diemerdyk               until 28 Jan. 1954 fill in during one voyage

17 Mar. 1954   Captain                      Axeldyk                  until 14 Apr. 1954 fill in for one voyage

13 Jun. 1954     Captain                      Averdyk                until 24 Jul. 1954 fill in for one voyage

06 Oct. 1954      Captain                   Dongedyk               until 21 Oct. fill in during one voyage

19 Nov. 1954    Captain                    Dalerdyk                 until 06 Dec. 1954 fill in during coastal voyage

19 Jan. 1955      Captain                   Aalsdyk                    until 29 Jan. 1955 fill in during one voyage

23 Mar. 1955      Captain                   Dalerdyk                 until 08 Apr. 1955 fill in during coastal voyage

11 Aug. 1956       Captain                   Dalerdyk                 until 23 Aug. 1956 fill in during coastal voyage

04 Oct. 1956       Captain                   Schiedyk                 until 12 Oct. 1956 fill in during one voyage

23 Jan. 1957      Captain                    Sloterdyk                  until 28 Jan. 1957 fill in during one voyage

06 Feb. 1957    Captain                      Duivendyk                until 14 Feb. 1957 fill in during coastal voyage

03 Apr. 1957      Captain                      Dalerdyk                 until 14 Apr. 1957 fill in during coastal voyage

19 Apr. 1957      Captain                      Arendsdyk               until 30 Apr. 1957 fill in during coastal voyage.

26 Jul. 1957        Captain                      Dongedyk               until 04 Aug. 1957 fill in during one voyage

07 Aug. 1957     Captain                      Amsteldyk              until  15 Aug. 1957 fill in during coastal voyage

27 Sep. 1957      Captain                      Aardyk                     until 29 Sep. 1957 fill in during one voyage

20 Oct. 1957      Captain                     Arendsdyk               until 29 Oct. 1957 fill in during coastal voyage

14 Nov. 1957     Captain                      Aagtedyk               until 17 Nov. 1957 fill in during coastal voyage

10 Mar. 1958      Captain                     Dalerdyk                until 19 Mar. 1958 fill in during one voyage

06 Jun. 1958       Captain                      Dongedyk           until 18 Jun. 1958 fill in during one voyage

09 Aug. 1958       Captain                    Dinteldyk              until 21 Aug. 1959 fill in during one voyage

22 Aug. 1958      Captain                      Amsteldyk             until 02 Sep. 1958 fill in during coastal voyage

08 Nov. 1958      Captain                      Aardyk                   until 17 Nov. 1958 fill in during one voyage

12 Jan. 1959         Captain                      Dalerdyk              until 20 Jan. 1959 fill in during one voyage

10 Jun. 1959        Captain                     Andyk                   until 15 Jun. 1959 fill in during coastal voyage

08 Jul. 1959          Captain                    Dinteldyk               until  18 Jul. 1959 fill in during coastal voyage

23 Jul. 1959        Captain                         Amsteldyk           until 29 July 1959 fill in during coastal voyage


(a)    Hal Archives. Officers Stamboek

(b)   Mr. Edwin van Willigen (Grandson)

(c)    Mr. C. de Neef Asst. Engineer on the ss Burgerdijk

(d)    Via Mr. D.P.G van der Horst.

(e)  Via Mr. Bert Kruidhof

Other:  Collection Capt. Albert.

Last Updated: 18 January 2023


  1. Edwin van Willigen

    December 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I’m a grandson of captain L.M.J. Scriwanek and have photographs of my grandfather and the meeting of the Burgerdijk with the German U-boot U-48 that torpedoed it.

  2. Photo ‘Using the accomodation ladder to disembark’.
    According the maker of this picture it was the embarkation of the Edam, leaving the lifeboats.
    NB: My father was 3rd officer on the Burgerdyk.

    Best regards, Bert Reedijk

    • Good sorry about that, I will change it, thank you for spotting the error

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain Albert

      ps. You are not by any chance related to Captain Reedijk ??

  3. John van Kuijk (archiefcom "de Lijn")

    November 11, 2018 at 2:44 am

    Small addition:

    23 april 1940 Captain Breedyk

    (Bron: List or manifest of aliens employed on the vessel as members of crew.

    Breedyk arriving at New York august 13th from Glasgow


    • Hallo John
      Please check if the year is correct. Could it be 1941 or maybe the Manifest is wrong

      The hal archives give voyage 89 Scriwanek, Dep. Rdam on 25 jan. Sailed for Antwerp, then Downs (29 jan -1 feb) – arrived NY on 17 feb.
      Coastal to Chester – Norf – Balti – Boston – Norfolk
      Back in New York between 28 feb and 07 march)
      Crossing to Europe – Downs (23 mar – 16 apr) – BSM (16 – 17 apr) –
      Arriving Rotterdam on 20 april.
      Departed Rotterdam again on 26 april, sailed via Dunkirk to New York arrival 02 May.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.