- Category : Writers-Detective-Mystery
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (48)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 3
- Birth Year: 1902
- Birthday: 15. August
- Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Category: Writers-Detective-Mystery
- Profile: 3-5
- Type: Emotional Generator
- Inc.Cross: Explanation 3
- Definition: Double Split - Small (48)
- Variables: BLL-MLL
- 1949 Synthesis
- 0360 Mutation
- 2750 Preservation
- 1762 Acceptance
- 2343 Structuring
- 2461 Awareness
Dutch journalist, poet, writer and resistance member in Word War 2.
Campert was the son of Petrus Remco Campert (b. 15 June 1874, Leiden - 8 October 1921, West Kapelle), a family doctor in Spijkenisse and Johanna Maria Anna van Hall (b. 1871). He followed the Higher Civic School (HBS) in Vlissingen (1915-1918) and the two year school for Trade and Commerce. From 1919 to 1926 he worked for an commercial bank, but in 1926 he changed to journalism working for local newspapers around Den Haag. In the twenties he also started to publish poetry, and in the thirties fiction. He co-authored detectives.
During the second world war he was active in the Dutch resistance, both in words (remarkable war poetry) and in deeds. He smuggled around 20 Jews via Belgium to the Vichy route, but he was caught on 21 July 1942 near Baarle-Nassau when smuggling the 21 year old Jew Frans van Raalte to Belgium. Both of them and his companion Martien Nijkamp were taken prison. Van Raalte committed suicide the same day. Campert was send successively to the prison of Breda, concentration camps in Haaren, Amersfoort, Buchenwald/Dachau and at last (nov-jan 1943) to Neuengamme.
According to the official Neuengamme concentration camp record he died 12 January 1943 13h30 in Neuengamme as a result of pleurisy. Other sources (Gerrit Kleinveld citing Jan van Bork in the NRC of 19 Febr 2005) stated that he was murdered by Dutch prisoners, because they accused him of betrayal of others in exchange for a better personal treatment. An investigation of the city of Den Haag refuted this accusation and concluded that the cause of death was tuberculosis that in turn was the result of the bad treatment and malnourishment in the German concentration camps.
His most famous and after the war by the Dutch people iconified Song of the Eighteen Dead was first published in the illegal paper Vrij Nederland. It was written after the execution of fifteen resistance fighters and three February strike participants on 13 March 1941 at the now for the Dutch sacred Dead Remembrance place Waalsdorpervlakte. An illustrated version of it was illegally distributed in the spring of 1943 by Geert Lubberhuizen for 5 guilders a piece. 15,000 of them were sold by the illegal press and the money was used to hide and support Jewish children.
The poem De achttien dooden is still often read on the Fourth Day of May, the day the Dutch people remember their second world war victims by hanging their flags half-mast high (Remembrance of the Dead). On the following Fifth Day of May (10/1), they celebrate their liberation by the Allied Forces.
The poem of The Eighteen Dead starts with: "A cell is but six feet long and hardly six feet wide, yet smaller is the patch of ground, that I now do not yet know, but where I nameless come to lie, my comrades all and one, we eighteen were in number then, none shall the evening see come."
In 1948 the Jan Campert price for poetry was named after him.
Jan Campert had the reputation of being a womaniser and a drinker. He had high ideals and problems with his work as a clerk. He was married twice and tried without success to play the role of an honourable family man. But he had a careless bohème style of living, that he called "slordig" and irresponsible sometimes. He married twice but had much more relations.
From 8 Feb 1928 (The Hague) till their divorce on 19 Dec 1932 (The Haque) he was married to the actress Wilhelmina (Joeki) Broedelet (The Haque, 4 Oct 1903 — Amsterdam, 3 July 1996), from whom he got a son, the poet and writer Remco Campert (1929). From 16 Sept 1936 till 16 Jan 1939 he was married to writer Clara Eggink (no children). He also lived and worked together with writer Willy Corsari. But he had not a good feeling about it.
In one of his last poems, Journaal XVI in "Huis en herberg" (House and shelter, 1941) he referred to the died poet Hendrik Marsman who wished a great poetical life: "Te erkennen te hebben gefaald, niet eens meeslepend en groot, is alle winst die ik heb behaald. Wie weet slaag ik in de dood." (To acknowledge of having failed [in this life], was all the gain I met. Maybe I succeed in death).