Will Gay Artist, Willem Arondéus, Get The Attention He Deserves?
Two members of the Provincial Council of North Holland, Klaas Breunissen and Meino Schraal, have proposed to honor gay artist and resistance fighter, Willem Arondéus, with a yearly lecture about current social issues. They also want an exhibition about Arondéus in 2005, when the Netherlands will celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the German occupation, because Arondéus was killed in the fight for freedom.
Willem Arondéus (1894-1943) was an extraordinary and wilful man. Already around 1914 he didn’t make a secret of his homosexuality. And as and artist and a writer he became involved with the resistance fight in 1941. A few years later he was one of the leaders of an important assault on the municipal register of Amsterdam. He was arrested shortly afterwards and executed. The day before he was killed he asked the attorney, Lau Mazirel, to promise that “after the war she would tell people that gay men aren’t less brave than other people.”
Although Arondéus received some attention the last few years, he’s still unknown with the general public. Breunissen and Schraal think this obscurity is undeserved and they feel the Provincial Council has a responsibility in ending this, because Arondéus lived most of his life in North Holland. And moreover, he also designed the carpets which adorn the walls of the room where the council meets.
The initiators think that Arondéus can be an inspiration for people living today: “Arondéus’s wilfulness should be the keyword.
He was not only a wilful artist, but also in his personal life as an openly gay man he didn’t avoid the confrontation with the prevailing spirit of his age which repudiated homosexuality.
His wilfulness culminated when he joined the resistance fight against the German invaders. We think it is advisable to increase Arondéus’s fame and we also think the Provincial Council should play a role in keeping his memory alive and in reviving the knowledge about this historically important resident of North Holland.”