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Cynus

Willem Arondeus - Dutch Resistance Fighter

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In 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. Willem immediately joined the resistance movement, and urged his fellow artists to fight against the Nazi occupation. WIllem published illegal anti-Nazi pamphlets calling for mass resistance against the Germans.

Willem was especially committed to saving Amsterdam’s Jewish community. Bringing in others to the cause, Willem arranged for Dutch Jews to be hidden in people's homes. He used his artistic skills to create false identity papers.

In 1943, Willem hatched a brazen plan. Dressed as a German Army captain, and with 15 men behind him, Willem boldly marched into the Public Record Office, where lists identifying people as Jews were kept. Willem drugged the guards and planted a firebomb. The resulting blaze destroyed tens of thousands of documents, and delayed or prevented many Jews from being identified by the Nazis.

Unfortunately, Willem was captured by the Germans and sentenced to death. Willem's last words before being executed in July, 1943 were, "Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.”

In 1986 Yad Vashem recognized Arondeus as Righteous Among the Nations.

Because of his sexual orientation, Willem’s story was omitted from Dutch history books. Only in the last 20 years has his courage become widely known.

For his efforts to save lives at the expense of his own, we honor Willem Arondeus as this week’s Thursday Hero at Accidental Talmudist.

That actually gave me goose-bumps. Thanks Cynus, this was really touching and inspiring :)

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Thanks Cynus, for paying attention to Willem Arondeus. 

 

I can confirm, that no attention to him was given in Dutch history books, but the same applied to anything gay.

When I grew up in the years after WW II it was not a topic of discussion. "When you don't talk about it, it doesn't exist", seemed to be the consensus.

 

Fortunately times have changed.

In Amsterdam, almost next to the Ann Frank house, the Homomonument is situated, also meant to pay tribute to people like Willem Arondeus:

 

https://exploringpublichistories.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/the-homomonument-such-an-endless-desire-for-remembrance/

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A brave man on multiple levels. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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J Hunter Dunn, I found your article interesting too.  So often the gays that were exterminated by the Nazis go unrecognized, but they were part of the holocaust too.  Thanks for sharing that as well.  

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Thanks for sharing this, Cynus! I was familiar with the story, but then I'm a history buff. While his story might have been glossed over in the history books, he was given a posthumous medal in 1945 by the Dutch government after the liberation.

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Very nice story to be shared.  Every LGBT person should know their gay history.  This gives me an idea.  How about we start a LGBT History thread where all these nicely written essays can be archived, so our young visitors can learn about our roots and appreciate what a long journey we have come.

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Very nice story to be shared.  Every LGBT person should know their gay history.  This gives me an idea.  How about we start a LGBT History thread where all these nicely written essays can be archived, so our young visitors can learn about our roots and appreciate what a long journey we have come.

I think that's a very neat idea, though I admit that I am mostly ignorant about my LGBT history. I'd be willing to contribute when I find something, though. :)

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gays aren't cowards... considering how much it takes to come out to people...

and he CERTIANLY wasn't... a very brave man.

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Very nice story to be shared.  Every LGBT person should know their gay history.  This gives me an idea.  How about we start a LGBT History thread where all these nicely written essays can be archived, so our young visitors can learn about our roots and appreciate what a long journey we have come.

I think that's a very neat idea, though I admit that I am mostly ignorant about my LGBT history. I'd be willing to contribute when I find something, though. :)

 

I vaguely recall a short story on GA in which a teacher lectures his class on notable LGBT persons throughout history. It can act as a basis for the thread :)

 

I'll come back and update this when I have found it :)

 

Update: I found the Story! :D BillW's No Way! :)

Edited by Drew Espinosa

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Cole Matthews started a blog series on gay history a while ago.  You may want to check out his blog, too. :)

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the last king of Bavaria was "supposidly" gay, as was one of the Kings of Bulgaria (i think it was), at least one King of England as well...

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King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, and King Edward II of England :)

 

Oh, I'll also add in Philippe I, Duc d'Orleans (brother of Louis XIV) he may not have been a king but he is still important :)

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Thanks for sharing this, Cynus! I was familiar with the story, but then I'm a history buff. While his story might have been glossed over in the history books, he was given a posthumous medal in 1945 by the Dutch government after the liberation.

 

Without wanting to be pedantic I have to point out, that the medal was awarded no sooner than 1984.

The sad reason for the delay (as so often not explicitly stated, but assumed by many): he was gay.

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Without wanting to be pedantic I have to point out, that the medal was awarded no sooner than 1984.

The sad reason for the delay (as so often not explicitly stated, but assumed by many): he was gay.

I agree that he received the Resistance Memorial Cross in 1984. However, the sources I see state that his estranged family received a medal in 1945. That information comes from his biography, not a blog or casual article. That version is also in the U.S. Congressional Record. Despite the fact that he was openly gay, that wasn't widespread knowledge in 1945.  :)

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I agree that he received the Resistance Memorial Cross in 1984. However, the sources I see state that his estranged family received a medal in 1945. That information comes from his biography, not a blog or casual article. That version is also in the U.S. Congressional Record. Despite the fact that he was openly gay, that wasn't widespread knowledge in 1945.  :)

Thanks for putting me straight :worship:

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oh noes! we have turned you straight! :o the horrors! :P

Actually, he was put straight. There's a lot that can be done once you have a man in that position.

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Actually, he was put straight. There's a lot that can be done once you have a man in that position.

that poor man, he must be so confused... :P

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