While rummaging through Dad’s papers for items to archive to picstory.net (yes, there is still much more to discover), I found some pages of “Het Kompas”, a newspaper from August 1945, originally 32 pages long. Unfortunately only the wrap-around pages survive.
It was the peacetime version of a second World War underground news sheet. It’s clear why Dad kept this copy, the front page is all about the famous forger of Vermeer’s paintings, Han van Meegeren, who had recently been arrested.
Why was this of interest to Dad (Jo Coomans)? As the story goes, he found occasional work during the war by copying valuable paintings, so owners could store the original away. The painting below is one of these copies, supposedly returned to him after the war.
Also, immediately after the war, he worked for a short time with an entrepreneur who sold souvenir paintings to the liberating troops, the usual windmill/canal views. So the controversy about van Meegeren and his Vermeer-like paintings would have been of interest to a budding painter like Jo.
Anyway… the remaining pages of the newspaper are just as interesting, read on…
Ons hart is bij Indië [Our heart is with Indië]
Wat het heeft geofferd en… gepresteerd [What it has sacrificed and… achieved]
As WWII is ending, peace comes to Indië (the current Indonesia). The article gives no hint that Indonesians would not feel free if / when the Dutch returned.
Een vrede, die blijvend is [A peace which is permanent]
Wat is en wat wil nu eigenlijk Dumbarton Oaks? [ What is and what wants Dunbarton Oaks?]
An essay by US State Secretary Edward R. Stettinus about the American view regarding the maintenance of peace. [ Dunbarton Oaks was the hotel where a conference was held by the major powers in August-October 1944, resulting in the foundation of the United Nations, succeeding the League of Nations]
De laatste kaars blijft branden [the last candle stays alight]
Leonhard Huizinga’s: zes kaarsen voor Indië [six candles for Indië]
Te Wapen! Te Wapen! [To Arms! To Arms!]
Translation of Introduction:
Here follows a part of the last chapter from a recently published booklet: “Six candles for Indië”.
This booklet was published illegally by “De Bezige Bij” in Amsterdam, it was written by the well known publicist Leonhard Huizinga.
Why did “Het Kompas” publish this chapter?
Because, better than what we’ve read so far, it breaths a spirit which now needs to blow through Holland: The spirit of Holland’s greatness as an empire, the spirit of courage and power, the spirit of love for our overseas empire.
The Netherlands and Indië are one, Both need one another. Both must go forward together. That’s why we publish this chapter.
And secondly, as a salute to “De Bezige Bij”, the publisher which, founded during the war, laboured with risk to life like few others in order to distribute underground publications.
“Six candles for Indië”. Huizinga wrote it in Amsterdam during the last tragic winter, when hunger and cold crept through towns. He gave it six chapters, six candles. The chandelier at “Het Kompas” is lit once more with the last one.
Vergeef! Maar vergeet het niet! [Forgive, but don’t forget!]
Illustration of scene of execution in Rotterdam during 1944.
We took in the German children after ‘14-’18, clothed , fed and cared for them. And this was the German thank you in 1944: The execution in Rotterdam.
Het Geloof gaat boven den passer [ Belief is beyond measure]
Editorial about the future of Dutch Society.
Lees “Het Kompass”… [Read “Het Kompas”. The Dutch independent and current affairs weekly]
Het Kompas appeared during the occupation as an illegal resistance publication and after liberation as a weekly, which aims to promote the general wellbeing and the social and cultural growth of the Dutch people, grounded by christianity.
The paper addresses all burning problems of this time and publishes current and illustrated articles and reports about the state of affairs in town and country, inside and beyond our borders. As well, it contains lots of columns, guided by experts in each area, for man and woman, young and old. In short: a fresh, journalistic weely, a compass in these times, for the whole family and exactly the most suitable general paper for the countryside.
Due to the paper shortage, the number of subscriptions is limited. Subscribe therefore immediately at a bookshop, our agents or deliverers, around the country. Only then can you be certain to regularly receive this interesting paper.
When the edition limit is reached we can, no matter how regretful, no longer accept subscriptions and can only place you on the so called “priority waitlist”, so don’t delay… Do it now!
Continued “the last candle stays alight” from page 31
All in all, an interesting piece of memorabilia, capturing hopes and aspirations, as well as reflecting a mis-reading of the future of colonies…
Indonesia declared independence that month, on 15 August 1945, although it took a few years to become reality.