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Wouter Ritter

Wouter Ritter in 1970

Wouter Ritter (5 March 1908 - 23 July 1973) was a Brunanter politician and former Minister of Internal Affairs, assassinated by Barzona Libre in 1973. Ritter joined the White Party in 1934, then helping found the Christian Democratic Union in 1948. Ritter, as IA minister, led the fight against Barzona Libre. On 23 July 1973, he and his driver were shot to death by armed men. As they drove through the Arabian Quarter, snipers fired shots at their car and both men were killed.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Ritter was born on 5 March 1908 in Gessel, Helmond Parish. Ritter was the son of poor farmers and both his father and older brother fought with the Royal Guard in Belgium in 1916, with his father being killed in the Battle of the Lys.

Ritter worked at a variety of jobs from 1922 or 1923 to support his family and moved to Roodstad to work at a shoe factory. He was eventually conscripted into the Royal Navy in 1929.

Political careerEdit

Ritter became a member of the White Party in 1934, disillusioned with Maarten Dolmatoff and the Communist Front's polarization of the country.

In 1948, he became one of the founders of the Christian Democratic Union, wanting to reform the White Party to a more modern line and seeing the old leadership unwilling. He was chosen interim party secretary in 1948-49, and became party secretary from 1954 to 1959.

In governmentEdit

After a slow but steady rise in the party, he eventually was chosen leader in 1961 for the election and the CDU was able to join the Centre Democrats in a governing coalition. He was appointed Minister of Finance. Despite this, he resigned as leader in 1962 and was replaced by Pieter Stenman.

The CDU went into opposition in 1965 and he again came to the forefront of the party by the end of the decade, in particular his concerns over the rise of Barzona Libre and the government's inability to handle the situation.

On 2 March 1973, the CDU was voted into power with a majority and Ritter was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs in order to tackle Barzona Libre. He had the National Police work to arrest BL members and ramp up their presence and security operations.

DeathEdit

Ritter was increasingly in the forefront of the war on Barzona Libre, as the leading government member confronting them. As such, he became the target of BL and they planned on killing him. According to captured member Genevieve, BL was planning an assassination as far back as 1971, but his appointment as minister elevated the plan to the forefront.

On 23 July 1973, as he was driven through Koningstad, both he and his driver were shot at by a sniper or snipers from an apartment building. Ritter was killed instantly, while his driver died in hospital.

Public outcry was significant and a large vigil was held for him in Koningstad. The police and military looked for his assassins, but nobody was ever found. Genevieve, while at Fontana Prison in 1978, did state BL had the murder a while in the planning, but said she did not know who carried it out.

Sometime in 1996, Sebastian Encines told police that he authorized the plan but had no knowledge of the details.

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