University of Leiden appoint General Roméo Dallaire as Cleveringa Professor

24/11/2020 | Leiden Cleveringa

Roméo Dallaire was appointed this years Cleveringa Professor at Leiden University. The retired Lieutenant-General (Canadien Forces) was the chief of the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda in 1994. He talks about the Genocide in Rwanda and the traumatic experiences. General Dellaire will hold his Cleveringa lecture on November 26th at 4pm.

The Cleveringa chair was installed by Leiden University in memory of Professor Rudolph Pabus Cleveringa and the courage he demonstrated in November 1940 during the German occupation (1940-1945) it also commemorates the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.

The Cleveringa chair is held by a different person every academic year. The holder can be Dutch or international. This rotating professorship has been in existence since 1970.

Cleveringa lecture by the Cleveringa professor

On or around 26 November, the Cleveringa professor delivers the Cleveringa lecture in the Great Auditorium of the Academy Building. The lecture is open to anyone who wishes to attend, particularly students and lecturers at Leiden University, but also other interested parties. The Cleveringa professor is appointed on the advice of a committee made up of the Council of Deans.

Cleveringa chair 2020-2021

The Cleveringa Chair 2020 will be Roméo Dallaire, a retired Canadian Lieutnant General who oversaw the UNAMIR mission in Rwanda. Dallaire wrote the book “Shake Hands with the devil” about the Rwandan Genocide and his experiences as the commanding general. He disobeyed the order to withdraw from the peacekeeping mission and decided to stay. Some of the soldiers decided to stay with him. They were able to at least save some Rwandans.

In 1997 General Dallaire was one of the first commanders to openly talk about his very own PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorders) problems, this was very rare at the time, as this was not a very common behaviour, especially as a high-ranking commander.

The Cleveringa lecture on November 26th at 4pm will be held online. To be part of it and to listen to General Roméo Dallaires Cleveringa speech please go to the Website of the University of Leiden:


Photo Credit: Monique Shaw / Universiteit Leiden