Queer Places:
Bloemendaal Erebegraafplaats Overveen, Bloemendaal Municipality, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Karel August Pekelharing (Hoorn, 6 Augustus 1909 – Overveen, 10 June 1944) was a Dutch dancer and choreographer[1] who, when World War II broke out, joined the Dutch resistance, and was executed by the German occupying forces in 1944.

A gay man,[2] in 1940 Pekelharing was a dancer with the Nederlandsch Ballet. Wanted in 1941 on charges of antifascism and communism, he fled to Kassel, Germany, and found work as a translator at the electrical company Siemens and later as a streetcar conductor. When it was discovered he had engaged in sabotage, in 1942, he returned to the Netherlands, performing privately as a dancer and orator. He wrote poetry (a poem written before the war, "Harlekynade van den dood. Een oud lied op nieuwe wijs", was published under the pseudonym Karel de Hoogh in 1943[3]) and a novel, and in 1943 he became a member of the armed resistance, by joining the group called Raad van Verzet group.

Pekelharing became involved in the publication of the illegal magazine De Vrije Kunstenaar and the assistance to Jewish people in hiding. As a member of the Council of Resistance (RvV) - an umbrella organisation of the resistance - from May 1943 he participated in raids on distribution offices, attacks on collaborators and various liberation actions of prisoners.

One of his feats was participating in a raid that liberated Truus van Everdingen, the wife of resistance man Jan Hendrik van Gilse (1912-1944). He was arrested on 6 April 1944 by the Sicherheitspolizei und SD (abbreviated Sipo in Dutch) at the Hotel Americain on the Leidseplein, Amsterdam, and then jailed at the nearby jailhouse on the Weteringschans. He was sentenced to death on 10 June 1944 and executed the same day with six other resistance fighters, including members of his resistance group, in the dunes near Overveen and buried there. He was reburied on the Erebegraafplaats Bloemendaal, an honorary cemetery for victims of the Nazis.[4]


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