Vondelstraat 24, 1054 GD Amsterdam, Netherlands
Eerebegraafplaats Bloemendaal, 2051 EC Overveen, Netherlands
Sjoerd Bakker (June 10, 1915 - July 1, 1943), together with painter and writer Willem Arondeus, took part in the attack on the Amsterdam population registry. Initially Bakker would work alone, facilitating food ration cards and identity cards to people in hiding. Then he met a group of resistance artists and he ended up participating in the attack on the Amsterdam Population Registry in 1943. Dancer and poet Karel Pekelharing was a member of the Artists Resistance. The best known person from this group is the sculptor Gerrit van der Veen. Together Willem Arondéus he led the attack on the so called Identity Cards Registry IPBC). Other members of the artists resistance and also gay, were Frieda Belinfante and Sjoerd Bakker. By destroying the map file, the artists wanted to eliminate the possibility of checking the circulating false identity cards of Jewish and other people in hiding. Two of the executed, the medical student Rudolf Bloemgarten (no. 2) and the warehouse clerk Henri Halberstadt (no. 7), were themselves Jewish and helped people in hiding. The lesbian conductor Frida Belinfante was also a Jewish member of the resistance group. The architect Koen Limperg (no. 9) had drawn up floor plans of the building. The Catholic Hispanist Dr. Johan Brouwer (no. 8) provided Arondéus, who was acting as a police captain, with a revolver. Police officer Cornelis Roos (no. 12), like Sjoerd Bakker, helped with the necessary police uniforms. The poet Martinus Nijhoff, former engineer officer, indicated where explosives should be placed. Like curator Willem Sandberg and Frida Belinfante, he would escape; so was Gerrit van der Veen, but he would be arrested and shot more than a year later.
Sjoerd Bakker was born in Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands, the son of Miente Bakker and Trijntje van der Schaaf.
Bakker was a tailor, a cutter and a designer. His part in the attack was making the fake uniforms the group members were going to use to plant the bombs inside the Registry. At least three of the people in the group – Willem Arondeus himself, the writer Johan Brouwer and the tailor Sjoerd Bakker – were homosexual. Bakker’s last request was to be provided with a pink shirt, and he instructed his lawyer to reveal his homosexuality after the war. The intention was to disprove the myth that pansies were cowards.
The name of Sjoerd Bakker is tenth on the plaque for the twelve men who were executed on the first of July 1943 following the attack on the Population Registry in Amsterdam (see below). After the war all were buried at the Honorary Cemetery in Bloemendaal. On the grave of Sjoerd Bakker there is the following text: "but the greatest of these is love" (New Testament, 1st letter to the Corinthians, 13)
Sjoerd Bakker worked where he lived: at the Vondelstraat 24 in Amsterdam. Vondelstraat 24 is now part of Hotel Vondel. From 1942, when forced labour, raids and deportations started, he helped Jewish and other people in hiding. Bakker provides forged or stolen stamps for food and identity cards. This way people in hiding could manage to get food and were more ore less safe to move around. He also helped Jewish people in hiding to illegally house their movables. Initially he worked on his own. Later on he came into contact with the Persoonsbewijzencentrale (Identity Card Registry) and Gerrit-Jan van der Veen, through Willem Arondeus who was a friend of Sjoerd. In February and March 1943 Bakker made the police uniform coats which were necessary for the planned attack on the Amsterdam Population Registry. Two for the officers: 'captain of the State Police Arondeus, 'lieutenant' Van der Veen, and four for the 'constables' Rudolf Bloemgarten, Karl Gröger, Coos Hartogh and Sam van Musschenbroek. He received the necessary materials from interior designer Elmar Berkovich - an acquaintance of Van der Veen - through relations at the Hollandia Confection Factory in Kattenburg.
Under the direction of Van der Veen and together with Willem Arondeus, Johan Brouwer, Karl Gröger, Coos Hartogh, Henri Halberstadt, Rudi Bloemgarten, Sam van Musschenbroek, Koen Limperg, Auguste Chrétie Reitsma, Cornelis Leende Barentsen and Cornelis Roos, Bakker entered the building disguised as a police officer on 27 March 1943 and blew up the building with explosives. After the attack he went into hiding, but he was arrested by the Germans and executed in the dunes of Overveen after a trial in The Hague. His paternal uncle Stephanus Johannes Paulus (born 1900) and his brother Popke Sjoerd (born 1912) also did resistance work and also did not survive the war. Paul was executed on February 9, 1945 and Popke was one of the victims of the shooting on Dam Square on May 7, 1945. Popke's son Sjoerd Bakker, a graphic artist, is named after his executed uncle.
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