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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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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Floris Michiels van Kessenich

Floris Michiels van Kessenich

When you look at the short life of Floris Michiels van Kessenich (1957 – 1991) you may wonder how he was able to do all the things he did in such a short time. He was a fighter for gay rights, who had to overcome a privileged back ground to be able to love who he wanted to love. When he was hit by Aids, he kept on fighting until the disease with the little…

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