Willem Arondéus A gay World War II hero

If anyone in this list is to be called a hero, it is Willem Arondéus (Wikipedia). In 1943, he took part in one of the most spectacular attacks against the German (Nazi) occupiers. Together with some other resistance fighters, Willem plotted a bomb attack on the Amsterdam Register of Births. This official register listed all Amsterdammers, including information about their religion. This made it easy for the authorities to find out where Jews lived, so…

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Frieda Belinfante

Frieda Belinfante

Frieda Belinfante (Amsterdam, 1904 – Santa Fe, 1995) was a cellist, conductor, prominent lesbian and a member of the Dutch Resistance during World War II. In 1943 Frieda Belinfante, Willem Arondeus (an openly gay man and a leading member of the Dutch resistance) and others destroyed thousands of records from the population registry in Amsterdam. The Nazis used the register to identify and trace Jewish people and to verify identity cards. Shortly after the attack…

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Marjan Sax

Marjan Sax

Marjan Sax (Amsterdam, 1947) is a Dutch lesbian, feminist, activist and co-founder of Mama Cash. In 1983 Sax inherited a significant amount of money. She used it to set up Mama Cash. The foundation supports initiatives by women in the Netherlands and abroad. Mama Cash started small and over the years it has grown into an international organization, supporting initiatives in many countries. A great overview of the success of Mama Cash can be found…

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Bob van Schijndel

Bob van Schijndel (Amsterdam, 1945) was involved in many initiatives. He for instance launched an action to have openly gay men elected for the Amsterdam City Council in 1974. In 1982 he was the first to write a ‘homonota’ (gay policy document). In this document he describes the strategy and view on homosexuality and sets the agenda for the Amsterdam Council. His initiative was replicated by other cities and later by the Dutch government. He…

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Janherman Veenker inspired, dedicated and visionary

Janherman Veenker inspired, dedicated and visionary

Janherman Veenker (1950-2005) had a long career as a gay rights and AIDS activist. In 1967 at the age of 17 he became involved with his local gay community (COC). Legally seen this was forbidden since Dutch law had an article known as clause 248Bis, limiting the rights of young gay and lesbian people. The article was similar to clause 28 in the UK. Janherman joined the fight against clause 248Bis. It would take until…

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