Lizia was so kind to send me this beautiful photo of a great crested grebe with chicks; photo taken from the Houtrustbrug bridge in the Hague. On 19 July 2014, cloudy weather.
Now, that painting and other famous paintings are back at the Mauritshuis. Which is reopening: twice the size it used to be.
This video from the Netherlands is called Mauritshuis museum to reopen in June  after revonation.
This is a Dutch video of today, about the Mauritshuis reopening.
This video is called How a Dutch Master Made ‘The Goldfinch‘ Come Alive.
The painting recently got in the news because of the novel of the same name by Donna Tartt.
This video is called BBC Culture: Donna Tartt shares The Goldfinch’s secret history.
Pearl of a museum: Vermeer shines among Dutch icons in new Mauritshuis: here.
The mother goose in the picture has been ringed, with two rings, one blue, one white, with the letter V and the number 3. The letter V is on the white ring, righthand side and the number 3 is on the blue ring, lefthand side. She was known to Egyptian goose researchers as V3.
The photo is from 6 May 2014. Then, V3 had to care for the youngsters on her own. On 12 or 13 May, a car killed her. An animal rescue center took care of the goslings.
For several years V3 had her nest at the section of the brook across the President Kennedylaan, opposite the Museon museum.
The two couples met often (in 2013 and earlier) when the Canada Geese and their goslings crossed the busy President Kennedylaan to graze and to swim in this section of the brook.
Here is Lizia’s map of the surroundings of the two nests.
This video is about catching Egyptian geese in the Zuiderpark in The Hague for ringing them.
And this photo of a feral red-eared slider turtle there, feeding.
- World Sea Turtle Day: FL Plays Major Role (publicnewsservice.org)
- Austria: Baby frogs in Haus de Meeres aquarium (greenfudge.org)
- Don’t Look Down! You’re Probably Swimming With a Dinosaur (oceansspirit.wordpress.com)
- Frog’s Tongues Can Lift Three Times Their Own Weight (designntrend.com)
- Spend World Turtle Day with Common Map Turtles (michpics.wordpress.com)
- Little Visitor – Painted Turtle (sercadia.wordpress.com)
This is a video about German anti-war artist Käthe Kollwitz.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
World War I in art
Thursday, May 29th 2014, 07:25 (Update: 29-05-14, 08:01)
By our reporter Jeroen Wielaert
The craters, soldiers with gas masks, a clenched fist with the caption No More War. They are moving drawings about the First World War. Historical documents by Otto Dix and Käthe Kollwitz, part of the collection of the Gemeentemuseum, along with lesser-known Dutch work. Hell opens on Ascension Day, in the Berlage Cabinet of the The Hague museum. The exhibition is called simply “The Great War in pictures”.
Otto Dix was a German soldier; still optimistically, he entered the war and came out of it full of grim specters. He made numerous striking drawings about it. In The Hague there are only a few to see, but they all impress strongly, as critical hits full of commentary on the war.
Käthe Kollwitz lost a son already early in the war. He was killed in Flemish Diksmuide. On her posters she protested vehemently against the violence and its consequences. She drew widows, begging children. [Museum director] Tempel: “She campaigned against war, as if she sensed there would be another one.”
The First World War in the Netherlands was very palpable, despite the neutral stance of the government. The artist Jan Toorop, who lived in Domburg in Zeeland, saw refugees from Belgium there and heard their stories. In pastel, he made an impressive picture of people in disaster, in a bombed city: Belgique Sanglante, Bleeding Belgium .
The Hague contemporary artist Harald [sic; Harold] de Bree leaves a little more to the imagination. A collage of him in the exhibition shows the barrel of a gun, a photograph of an internment barracks, a noose for strangling and a few strips of barbed wire.
One wall is covered with front pages of the magazine De Nieuwe Amsterdammer. Piet van de [sic; der] Hem drew in April 1915 a skull with a long nose from which a gas stream descends into a trench full of soldiers.
Tempel also points to the hourglass on the cover of the magazine’s New Year edition. Skulls start to roll again, with the caption: “We start again from scratch.”
PVV expels Louis Bontes from its parliamentary caucus
Update: Tuesday 29 Oct 2013, 16:21
Member of Parliament Louis Bontes is no longer a member of the PVV fraction. According to party leader Geert Wilders there is a breach of trust. The group took the decision unanimously, Wilders said after a meeting of the caucus.
Bontes said last week that Wilders has too much power, that colleagues do not dare to say what they think and that there is too little transparency. Bontes also said that the PVV had used money that was intended for the parliamentary group for a demonstration instead.
Bontes will form a one person parliamentary caucus of his own. Now that Bontes is no longer in the PVV, Wilders’ party loses its position as biggest opposition party in parliament to the Socialist Party.
Ter Linden resigned Wednesday from the PVV party caucus in the The Hague city council and will continue as a one person fraction. “The PVV buys voters with false promises and really does nothing to realize those promises” he writes.
In his letter Ter Linden writes about a sickening atmosphere in the group. ‘Quarrel, intrigue and suspicion are the order of the day. Those three words (quarrels, intrigue and suspicion) make it impossible to trust one’s own party. Criticism is nipped in the bud immediately and negated. I recognize cult-like characteristics. The outside world is locked out and internal criticism is impossible. There is also a morbid exaltation of the Great Blonde Leader.”
Wilders is not really blonde. He uses peroxide.
Cooperation with Vlaams Belang hurts
“He’s a notorious gay people hater, racist and anti-Semite.”
Vlaams Belang, formerly Vlaams Blok, until Vlaams Blok was banned because of racism, is an extreme Right party in Belgium.
On Wednesday 13 November, French National Front leader Marine Le Pen will come to The Hague, for talks with Wilders about coöperation. Dutch anti-fascists have announced a demonstration against this. See about that demonstration: here. And yet another demonstration: here.
- Wilders’ supporters’ nazi salutes (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- ‘Dutch government helps racism’ (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Dutch lies on ‘North African crime’ (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Former anti-Islamist performs Hajj (worldbulletin.net)
- Row after four MPs wear badges in Dutch parliament featuring neo-Nazi insignia (irishtimes.com)
- ‘Doe eens even normaal man!’ (muchdutchweekly.wordpress.com)
- PVV puts Bontes out of fraction (gtksociety.wordpress.com)
- Le Pen to visit Wilders Tuesday, hold joint press conference (loonwatch.com)
This video is about ring-necked parakeets, at the Hofvijver pond near parliament in The Hague, the Netherlands.
9 October 2013. Plein square, near the Dutch parliament building in The Hague. Herring gulls on a roof. A great tit calls. A jackdaw flies past. Ring-necked parakeets fly overhead, calling. Maybe they have just left the big “parakeet dormitory” on the islet in the pond near parliament. These birds are originally from Africa; and Asia.
There is more about Asia today here. As this blog wrote: a delegation of pro-human rights Indonesians, arrived for the occasion from Indonesia or living in the Netherlands, went to the parliament building. There, they met two MPs: Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party, and Angelien Eijsink of the PvdA party.
After entering the building and a walk through corridors, the two MPs and their twelve guests sat down in one of the rooms in the building. A video camera recorded the meeting for a TV station in Indonesia.
The spokesperson of the delegation, Batara Hutagalung, introduced the people present. He said about himself that he was neither a historian nor a lawyer. He was a human rights activist. For decades, he had lived in Germany, as a refugee from the Suharto military dictatorship. Many of the others here also have records as opponents of that dictatorship.
The aim of the delegation is not revenge. It is reconciliation between Indonesia and the Netherlands. However, that reconciliation should be based on dignity and truth about war crimes. Which, if covered up, would continue to damage the future.
It is important that the Dutch government should recognize the Indonesian 1945 declaration of independence de jure; not only de facto, as they had already done (eg, in the speech by Foreign Minister Bot on 16 August 2005). That would mean recognition that the Dutch government had not waged “police actions“, as they called it euphemistically; but war against a sovereign country.
Recently, the Dutch government had apologized for some war crimes on Sulawesi island. They had agreed to pay compensation to a few widows of civilians killed by Dutch forces in the 1940s. Though positive, this is only a small step when looking at the overall picture. In that part of Sulawesi alone, thousands of civilians had been killed, sometimes complete villages from babies to old age persons. The Dutch 1969 so-called Excessennota‘s figures on this were too low. That had affected not just a few widows, but thousands of people.
There should be reconciliation between Indonesia and the Netherlands. However, that reconciliation should be based on dignity.
Mr Batara Hutagalung asked the Dutch MPs if they could be present at the next commemoration in a few months’ time in Indonesia for civilians killed by Dutch troops in the late 1940s. The Dutch ambassador had been present at an earlier commemoration, but never any MPs yet.
To this Harry van Bommel replied that he was not sure whether this would be possible. Dutch MPs have to obey strict rules about traveling abroad. Also, it is a hectic time in Dutch national politics right now. The government’s position is weakening. Personally, I think the government may collapse any time now because of dissent about austerity policies. My colleague here Angelien Eijsink of the PvdA party, which is part of the government coalition, unlike me, who is an opposition Socialist Party MP, may have different views on that. So, we unfortunately cannot say Yes now to your invitation.
Mr Batara Hutagalung also explained the plan about having a seminar in the Netherlands about the history of Dutch-Indonesian relations.
These seminar plans have the support of the International Institute for Social History, the Wertheim foundation, Indonesian organisations in the Netherlands, the KITLV institute, and the NIOD institute for war documentation. Mr van Bommel and Ms Eijsink said they supported the seminar plan as well, and accepted the invitation to speak at it.
Ms Eijsink said it would be important to have many young people at that seminar. Not only university students. Also, eg, trade school pupils. Being a former teacher, she said, I know that unfortunately many young people in the Netherlands are not taught enough about Dutch colonial history. And about slavery; which existed both in Indonesia and in Suriname until 1863.
This video is called The History of the Dutch Slave Trade 1600-1863.
Angelien Eijsink also mentioned her contacts with Dutch veterans. They, she said, should be invited for the seminar too. Many of those veterans suffer from PTSD as a consequence of the war against Indonesia. Batara Hutagalung agreed. Many of these ex-soldiers still have nightmares now, decades later. The Dutch soldiers, most of them conscripts, he said, were in a sense victims of militarist governmental colonial policy too. The Dutch government should rehabilitate conscripts who refused to fight Indonesians.
Dutch troops were not the only ones to commit war crimes in Indonesia in the late 1940s. In 1945, British armed forces had bombed the big city Surabaya, killing many civilians. In eastern Indonesia, there were two Australian divisions under General Sir Leslie James Morshead; some of their soldiers had killed civilians.
I mentioned another point on veterans, based on a blog post.
This is the quote from that blog post:
Harry Nouwen: “Biff bang bow. Within two minutes they were all dead”.
The veteran, who was a telegrapher, never spoke about the incident because he had sworn an oath to keep army secrets. That he is breaking the silence now, he says, is because of the photos published last year in the Volkskrant.
I think that similar oaths or promises may have kept many more veterans, and may still keep them, from speaking out about (possible) war crimes in Indonesia.
My suggestion: the members of parliament might ask the Dutch government to declare that all “oaths to keep army secrets” are declared to be null and void now. Certainly they should be null and void if concerning (possible) war crimes in Indonesia. The government should declare that Dutch veterans are completely free, indeed, are encouraged to speak about (possible) war crimes in Indonesia on the Internet, to media, to historians, to lawyers, to parliament, etc. etc.
Ms Eijsink and Mr van Bommel thought the main reason why veterans don’t speak out about (possible) war crimes was not military oaths, but veterans’ feelings that they might betray former comrades in arms. They thought the Dutch government would not punish veterans for breaking military oaths by speaking out.
That might indeed be true. However, Mr Batara Hutagalung said, military oaths probably do play a role.
I ask myself: the Dutch government may indeed not intend to punish veterans for speaking out. But do all veterans know and feel that?
After the meeting, delegation people thought that though not everything intended had been reached, the outcome was positive. Agreement had been reached on organizing the seminar, on rehabilitating Dutch soldiers who had refused to fight Indonesians, and on the aim of reconciliation.
Dutch war crimes on Bali: here.
- War crimes in Indonesia, discussion with Dutch MPs (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Indonesian survivors of colonial killing sue Dutch government (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- No proof about Syrian poison gas, Dutch MPs say (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Dutch apology for Indonesia killings (bbc.co.uk)
- Netherlands apologizes to Indonesia for colonial executions (worldbulletin.net)
- Dutch apologise for Indonesian executions (aljazeera.com)
- Dutch apologise for Indonesian executions (sbs.com.au)
- Dutch apologize for colonial killings in Indonesia (miamiherald.com)
- Netherlands Apologizes for Indonesian Colonial Killings (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Indonesians discuss 1945-1949 colonial war and its aftermath (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
This photo, from a Dutch anti-racist blog, is from 21 September in The Hague, the Netherlands.
And like Paul Peters. Peters was convicted for vandalizing a Jewish cemetery, smashing part of the tombstones, and daubing nazi slogans like “Juden raus” [Jews out] and “Wir sind zurück” [We are back] on other graves.
As this photo shows, there were also so-called prince’s flags at Wilders’ meeting. In eighteenth century Dutch history, that was the flag of the political party which wanted to make the then Dutch republic more like a monarchy, under the dynasty of the princes of Orange. Their opponents, the “patriot” party, wanted a republic without any role for that dynasty; and red, white and blue flags, not orange, white and blue.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the prince’s flag was revived by the Dutch nazi party, the NSB. Today, various extreme right groups use it. In 2011, PVV members of parliament hung prince’s flags at their office windows. They removed the flags after media publicized them.
When Geert Wilders started his political career, he was a member of the VVD party (“center Right”; now the biggest party in the Dutch coalition government). Early in this century, Pim Fortuijn (writing his name as the more aristocratic sounding “Fortuyn”) represented political Islamophobia in the Netherlands. VVD MP Wilders and Fortuijn then had a debate on TV. In the debate, Wilders denied Fortuijn’s allegations about Islam being a problem.
After Fortuijn’s death, Wilders thought there were career opportunities as a leader in the Islamophobic political niche market. He founded his own PVV party. With himself as its only member, making it impossible for supporters to ever depose him as party leader.
When the PVV started, Wilders dissociated himself from extreme Right parties like Vlaams Belang in Belgium and National Front in France (as Pim Fortuijn had done before). His members of the European Parliament did not, at least not officially, join up with any parties from other countries. Recently, however, Wilders built fraternal links of his party with Vlaams Belang and with National Front leader Le Pen. So, he definitely is on a slippery slope, further and further towards the extreme Right.
Row after four MPs wear badges in Dutch parliament featuring neo-Nazi insignia: here.
USA: Filmmakers Release Trailer of Documentary About Neo-Nazi’s Plan for Racist Enclave in North Dakota: here.
- Dutch politician Wilders’ anti-Romanian xenophobia (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Le Pen wants to campaign with Dutch far-right: report (dokmz.wordpress.com)
- Wilders seeks to form pan-European alliance of right-wing parties (irishtimes.com)
- What happens when a piece of feminist artwork is turned into anti-Islamic propaganda? (newstatesman.com)
- Eurosceptics Snub Wilders’ Attempt To Form European Far-Right Party (eurasiareview.com)
- Native American Grandmas ‘Capture the Flag’ From Neo-Nazis in North Dakota (politicalblindspot.com)