Ambassador of Suriname Rajendre Kargi unveiled a monument to Paramaribo-born writer, activist and member of the World War II resistance movement Anton de Kom during a ceremony at the New Church in Amsterdam. was joined by De Kom’s daughter, Minister of Legal Protection Franc Weerwind, and Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema.
Born in 1898, De Kom wrote a book in 1934 called The Slaves of Suriname. The book is seen as a key indictment against racism, exploitation and colonial rule. This book has been reissued in his 2020. During World War II, De Kom was still considered a hero, especially by the people of Suriname, but he joined the Dutch resistance against the Nazis. He was captured and in April 1945 Sandbostel he died in the Neuengamme concentration camp.
For the last two years, De Kom has included in the Dutch canon, a list of important events, persons and objects in Dutch history. There is also a statue of him in his Zaidoost in Amsterdam.
Halsema said on Thursday that along with the commemorative stone, she also received the honors bestowed on prominent authors by De Kom. Told. “Anton de Kom never thought this day would come? Michiel de Ruyter, the Dutch ‘hero of the sea’, from whom Anton had to learn a lot at school Did you expect a monument to him to be placed in the same church as his tomb? Halsema said that when he was a schoolboy, “the colonial government gave the Surinamese the impression that the Dutch were supposedly superior.”
In his work, De Kom opposed the notion of superiority. Halsema said Suriname continues to inherit a huge spiritual legacy. “Amsterdam cannot privatize Anton de Kom’s legacy, but it can embrace it passionately. By continuing to fight all forms of superior thinking.”
Famous writers such as Joost van den Vondel, PC Hooft, Hella S. Haasse, Johan Huizinga, Multatuli and Willem Frederik Hermans are buried at De Newe Kerk or have similar memorial stones.