Willem Arondeus was a Dutch resistance fighter who gave his life trying to protect his Jewish countrymen from the Nazis.
Born in Amsterdam in 1895, Willem was one of six children. From a young age, he was a talented artist and his parents encouraged his creativity, until he came out as homosexual at age 17.
In a time when nearly all gay people were in the closet, Willem’s parents could not accept his choice to live openly. Their rejection led Willem to run away from home.
On his own, Willem took odd jobs and eventually became a successful visual artist and writer. He was commissioned to paint a mural for Rotterdam’s town hall, in a style that combined modern abstract painting with a traditional Dutch motif. Willem was a well-respected author who published a popular biography of Dutch painter and political activist Matthijs Maris.
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.
so i was fact-checking this just to make double sure i was comfortable reblogging it and you guys
HE WAS PART OF A TEAM
A concerted operation was underway to hide Jews among the local population, with various underground organizations preparing forged documents for Jews. Arondeus was a member of one such group, Raad van Verzet (Resistance Council), which also included openly lesbian cellist and conductor Frieda Belinfante and typographer Willem Sandberg, then curator at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. (x)
“openly lesbian cellist and conductor frieda belinfante”, huh wonder if she was as rad as that sounds
PLOT TWIST: SHE WAS
she actively forged documents, helped organize the bombing effort mentioned above, dodged arrest by disguising herself as a man for three months, and ultimately had to cross the alps on foot in order to escape across the swiss border.
after the war, she founded the orange county philharmonic orchestra (the second-ever orchestra ensemble in the world to be longterm conducted and managed by a woman) which funded itself through donations so it could give free public concerts. (x)
(not to take away from willem’s story, because that is also badass. but they were BADASSES WHO FOUGHT THE POWER TOGETHER, what is better than that.)
I’ve been on Tumblr for about a year now and I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything regarding Sesame Street.
So, I figured I would shed a little light on it for all of you.
I watched this show religiously as a kid, and I’ve been looking into it again recently (a lot) just out of the sake of curiosity. There’s a lot of great stuff going on with this show.
To start, eight of its ten regular human cast members are people of color.
There’s Susan and Gordon, played by Dr. Loretta Long and Roscoe Orman…
Maria and Luis, played by Sonia Manzano and Emilio Delgado…
Alan, played by Alan Muraoka…
Chris played by Christopher Knowings…
Leela, played by Nitya Vidyasagar…
Finally, Mando, played by Ismael Cruz Cordova.
The show also has a single mom named Gina (played by Allison Bartlett-O’Reilly) who adopted a child named Marco from Guatemala and is raising him on her own.
There’s also a bilingual Muppet named Rosita, played by Mexican-born puppeteer Carmen Osbahr.
The diversity on the show has allowed storylines like Leela celebrating the Indian holiday of Rakhi…
and Rosita having to deal with Mexican stereotypes in one of her story books.
The show also introduced a Muppet named Segi (named after the adopted daughter of the show’s head writer) who was introduced to sing a song about loving her natural hair.
Segi also had to deal with a story book saying that a teddy bear in a toy store is “too brown,” and therefore not good enough. This leads to a great song sung to her by Leela, Chris, and Mando.
The show also touches on subjects normally not covered on children’s television, like when Big Bird was being bullied for being too big and too yellow…
and Rosita having to deal with her father becoming wheelchair-bound after getting wounded in battle.
So, in short, this is a show that does more than any other children’s show I know, so I figured I would draw your attention to it so it can be properly appreciated.
>tfw sesame street has more racial representation than 90% of the multi-million dollar movies being made today
I didn’t know about the episodes addressing hurtful stereotypes in media! Sesame Street, you’re the best.
The really awesome thing about Sesame Street is that it’s been around since 1969 and it’s constantly evolving. No Latino representation at all at first, so within the first two years of the show they hired actors and researchers and Sonia Manzano has been a huge developmental voice on the show ever since – she’s only just retiring this year. They hired more female Muppeteers and tried to create stronger female characters over time – the Muppets otherwise are still sadly sort of a boy’s club – and they consult with educators all the time on how to handle special topics: veterans returning to their families, natural disasters, death of a loved one, they even had this really awesome special episode about economic downturn back when the economy was at its worst.
CTW does incredible work, I hope they never stop.
sesamestreet has a Tumblr….
I adore the fact that I could sit down and talk to kids today about Susan & Gordon or Maria & Luis, who where on the show when I was a kid, in the 80′s. Like besides having Muppets that we can bond over, the human actors are like family too.
I might have very strong Sesame Street feelings.
I was a kid when Sesame Street started. Pretty cool to see how much it had changed from the start to when my kids were watching in the 90s and 00s.
Here it is! The first teaser trailer for “Severus Snape and the Marauders”
Justin was on my “Fantastic Fans & Where to Find Them” panel at SDCC on Sunday, and I’m now so excited to see this film!