Herman Bernard Wiardi Beckman
- Category : 1904-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 1
Dutch politician and resistance fighter during the Second World.
Wiardi Beckman came from a patrician family. His great-grandfather Meindert Wiardi Beckman was Minister for Reformed Worship from 1857 to 1858 and member of the Council of State (1858-1863), his father Jacob Wiardi Beckman (7 February 1869, Amsterdam) was a neurologist and psychiatrist and his mother Everdina Suzanna Kuenen came from a line of scientists. They married 13 September 1866 in Amsterdam.
On 3 December 1927 he married Maria Petronella Margaretha Wackie Eysten, with whom he had three daughters.
Influenced by his mother, Wiardi fell under the spell of socialism. The later party chairman of the Labor Party Marinus van der Goes of Naters encouraged Wiardi Beckman to become a member of the SDAP as an eighteen-year-old . At that time, Wiardi Beckman studied history at Leiden University with the renowned historian Johan Huizinga and was an active member of the Leiden student corps. Later he was recruited by the party board of the SDAP to help Pieter Jelles Troelstra complete his memoirs . After the death of Troelstra in 1930, Wiardi Beckman wrote the last part of it.
He then joined the Social-democratic newspaper Het Volk, first as assistant editor-in-chief and later (1937-1940) as general political editor-in-chief. In 1937 he also became a member of the Senate. In the mobilization in September 1939, Wiardi Beckman volunteered to the army. In May 1940 he was seconded to the General Staff and he was one of the authors of the proclamation in which General Winkelman communicated the capitulation to the Dutch people.
During the occupation, Wiardi was a member of the editorial staff of the illegal newspaper Het Parool (today, still the most important newspaper of Amsterdam).
In the night of 17 to 18 January 1942 he was arrested with Frans Goedhart on the beach near Scheveningen in an attempt to escape from England at the request of 'London'. He was summoned by Queen Wilhelmina to become a member of the war cabinet. He stayed at the Natzweiler "Nacht und Nebel" and Dachau concentration camps. In Dachau he met Nico Rost on 2 October 1944. Rost and Beckman held discussions about journalism and the desirable political situation in the Netherlands after the war.
Wiardi Beckman died of typhoid fever at the age of 41 on the night of March 14 to 15, 1945 in Dachau . One of his fellow prisoners, the poet Ed. Hoornik , later wrote in an in memoriam:
"Toen schoof hij zacht zijn arm onder de mijne door. / Zeg mij – zijn stem werd warm – aan wien ik toebehoor." (Then he gently slid his arm under mine. / Tell me - his voice became warm - to whom I belong.)
The scientific bureau of the Dutch Labor Party PvdA is named after him: the Wiardi Beckman Foundation (WBS, WB Stichting). The foundation published the magazine Socialisme & Democratie (Socialism & Democracy) since 1970. It became a breeding place for promising left wing Dutch politicians.