Introducing: Willem Arondeus

Dutch citizen, Willem Arondeus was gay man, painter, novelist and art historian, who did all he could to impede the Nazis in their occupation of Holland. He authored periodicals calling upon fellow artists and workers to commit acts of civil disobedience and to resist the occupiers wherever possible. Alongside others, including the lesbian musician Frieda Belinfante and Stedelijk Museum curator Willem Sandberg, Arondeus began to prepare false documents for Dutch Jews, allowing them to conceal their true identity. When the Nazis started closing in on the plot, Arondeus duped guards on duty at the Amsterdam Public Records Office and bombed the building, destroying countless files. He was among a dozen resistance fighters shot within a week of the attack, and in his last known words (a letter from prison as he awaited execution) he implored: ‘Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.’

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