Jacob Israel de Haan
- Category : Writers-Fiction
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (43,56)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 4
Dutch teacher, lawyer, literary writer and poet who came to Palestine in 1919 as a correspondent for the Algemeen Handelsblad.
He was the son of the orthodox Jewish hazzan Izak de Haan (25 September 1839, Edam - 1 May 1924, Amsterdam), merchant, grocer and religious teacher and his second wife Betje Rubens (20 December 1852, Zutphen - 6 October 1912, Zaandam). The rebbe got 16 children, of whom nine died before age one. His one year minus a day elder sister, was the writer Carry van Bruggen (1-1-1881), who described their youth in Zaandam (1885) in "Het huisje aan de sloot" (1921). About her brother's struggle with religion she wrote the novel "De verlatene" (1909, the deserted one). Jacob was the favourite of his mother Betje (Elisabeth), was fond of children, but often struggled with his father Isaac. The relation improved when he settled in Amsterdam.
He studied for teacher in Haarlem (-1900). While still living in his father house, he broke with the Jewish religion and became a SDAP member and socialistic activist. In 1899 he became a school master in Amsterdam. In 1900 he published his first poetry in De Gids and became friends with Frederik van Eeden and Albert Verwey. His first letter to Van Eeden was written March 1899. He also studied in the evening hours for the Gymnasium (1903) and after that he studied Law. In 1909 he became a jurist and on 1 February 1916 he dissertated in Law.
In June 1904, he published his controversial novel "Pijpelijntjes" (Lines from De Pijp), which pretends to be a thinly veiled version of his own gay life as the main character "Joop" with the physician and writer "Sam" (Aletrino) in Amsterdam's "Pijp" working-class district. The homo-eroticism of the book, shocking in the early 20th century, led to his dismissal from his teaching job and social-democratic political circles. The lector in criminal anthropology and writer of "Hermaphrodisie en uranisme" (1908), Arnold Aletrino (1 April 1858, A'dam - 16 Jan 1916, Montreux) and his fiancée Johanna van Maarseveen, bought almost the entire print run of the book, to keep a lid on the scandal.
De Haan recognised his homosexual affinity - then called Uranism, after the in 1903 published book of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, "Ursachen und Wesen des Uranismus" - but felt guilty about it, as he saw homosexuality as a born with sin. In Augustus 1904 he published an anonymised version of the book, which was not explicitly dedicated to Aletrino. The first version became a wanted collectors item. Meanwhile, he struggled for rehabilitation in de SDAP party and the paper Zondagsblad, for which De Haan wrote the children's column since April 1903. In 1904, he wrote a defence and appealed on artistic liberty, that in February 1905 was published.
On 28 March 1907 he married in Amsterdam the Protestant Johanna Belia Cornelia Jacoba van Maarseveen (15 December 1872 - 25 March 1946), a female physician since 2 July 1898. The relation was said to be a platonic "mariage de raison". Johanna was a municipal physician of Amsterdam, who did medical examinations on female employees. They got no children.
Around 1910, he returned to Jewish faith and started to publish Jewish poetry. In 1912 he became a member of the Zionist Mizrachi movement. His conversion resulted in the poetry bundle "Het joodsche lied" (The Jewish song, Amsterdam, 1915).
January 1919 he emigrated to Palestine. He became a member of the orthodox Jewish Baal teshuva movement, which according to the Wiki means "master of return" i.e., one who has "returned" to God. He became a lecturer in law at the Government Law school in Jerusalem in 1920. Faced with the impact of Zionism on the Palestinians, he became an anti-Zionist, publishing articles and sending memoranda to the British government. (His views were also influenced by his ultra-Orthodox belief that the Return to Zion must wait for the advent of the messiah.)
For the chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine, he went as a diplomat for peace with a proposal for Abdullah I of Jordan (February 1882, Mecca – 20 July 1951, who was like De Haan assassinated in Jerusalem).
De Haan's position became increasingly difficult and he was dismissed from his teaching position. He was murdered by a member of Haganah on 30 June 1924. This was the first political assassination among the Jews in modern Palestine.
On 1 June 1952 the Dutch literary critic Garmt Stuiveling and others founded the "Genootschap Jacob Israël de Haan". On 23 September 2008 the "Stichting Jacob Israël de Haan" was erected to honour his work. Their first Jacob Israël de Haan Lecture was held on 22 October 2009 in Amsterdam. Evelien Gans published about his biographer Jaap Meijer the lecture: "Ik ben een Mensch: niets is mij vreemd gebleven. Het spiegelgevecht van Jaap Meijer met Jacob Israël de Haan" (I am a human being, nothing of me is strange. The shadow fight of his biographer Jaap Meijer with Jacob Israël de Haan). Arvo Part would call this "Spiegel in Spiegel".
Outside the Rembrandt's house on the Amsterdam Jodenbreestraat stands since 1986 a memorial to him, made by Hans 't Mannetje, that honoured him as the "Poet of the Jewish Song". It is now a "Grenspaal" (Jacobean boundary stone) marking the start of the now disappeared Amsterdam Jewish Area of which the romantic "nowhere at home" poet De Haan wrote: "Die te Amsterdam vaak zei: 'Jeruzalem' en naar Jeruzalem gedreven kwam. Hij zegt met mijmerende stem, 'Amsterdam, Amsterdam…' ". He was shot down shortly before his intended return to Amsterdam.