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Groep(en) van Internationale Communisten (1928-1944)


Overview


Introduction

The g.i.c. was founded shortly after Herman Gorter’s death in september 1927 by Piet Coerman, Henk Canne Meijer and Jan Appel.

It did not adopt a platform or statutes, just an “aim” (doelstelling). It started publishing regularly in 1928 in both Dutch and German, while from 1934 onwards some English translations were published in the Council Correspondence. By 1930 there were some ten participants, mostly former k.a.p.n.-members, growing to some fourty, mostly younger with little political background. With Amsterdam as its centre, there were also small “sections” – or rather contacts or correspondents – in The Hague, Leiden, Enschede and Groningen; which tended to have dynamics of their own and reproaching the Amsterdam’ g.i.c. to be too “theoretical”; thus “groups” became “group” as early as February 1934. Within Amsterdam, the same tendency appeared in 1934 with the publication of “Discussie”, later “Proletenstemmen” and also “Actie!” which remained however linked to the g.i.c., with g.i.c. and other participants.

In the beginning, the g.i.c. defined itself as “international”, as opposed to Stalinist “national” communists (with proletarian internationalism as key question); gradually the focus went to “council” communists as opposed to “party” (or “state”) communists (thus rather stressing the form of struggle).

Although publication, by lack of means and preparation, was discontinued with the German occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940, the personal ties persisted; just like participation in “illegal” activities.

Faced with the inevitability of a new world war (which the g.i.c. pronounced as early as 1932), there was an accordance with a part of the very “partyist” m.l.l.-front: in 1941 support for the Soviet-Union was given up by several of the latter (including Henk Sneevliet and Ab Menist) which led to the need of retrospective clarification and the late “discovery of council communism” (Wim Bot) against those who joined the “trotskyists” of the “IVth International” of Ernest Mandel joining the Allied camp as “lesser evil” against Naziism after the death of Leon Trotsky, who himself had remained an internationalist.

The strange situation evolved in which what remained of the internationalist “partyists” of the m.l.l.-front started to work together with the “council communists” of the former g.i.c. invited to contribute to the discussion within the Communistenbond “Spartacus”, many of the members of the g.i.c. gradually joined the Bond by the end of 1944 and the beginning of 1945, thus before the end of the war.

Foreseeable organisational tensions and disagreements made most former g.i.c.-members to leave “Spartacus” in 1947, some twenty of them still active; an effort to produce a new magazine Radencommunisme soon failed; the members were dispersed and most gave up political activities. Of the former g.i.c. members only Jan Appel (who soon after had to give up political activities), Theo Maassen and Theo van de Heuvel remained within “Spartacus”, which left the political heritage of the g.i.c. in the hands of Spartacus, without much capacity to elaborate it further.

The g.i.c. presented its publications as the products of common discussion; as a matter of principles, articles were published without a signature. Anton Pannekoek however marked the texts he had written in his copy of the publication, and of several texts the writers can be identified. Still, most member-names remain obscure, particularly when they did not contribute much by writing, and an effort remains to be made to identify them so that those who cared about the other very “material” organisational tasks will not remain anonymous.

The following list of members was composed of names found in the g.i.c.-press, literature on the g.i.c., from Daad en Gedachte, and completed with a list of names provided by Jan and Lea Appel in ±1983, and some other sources, like personal communications of family members; civil records (WieWasWie), genealogical sites and sites on victims of the “final solution”.

A provisional conclusion can be that the group certainly was not composed of highly educated “intellectuals”; in fact there were few; it was rather a mixture of formally uneducated but well self-instructed (“auto-didactic”) workers with few “academics”, with in between some over-representation of teachers with a working class background.

More information, like personal memories, and references to printed and other sources, is highly appreciated.


G.I.C. Members

 – Agen, Age van (1896-1973); Amsterdam, merchant, worker; member of the k.a.p.n., agitator among the unemployed, most of all inspirator of the seperate Proletenstemmen; co-author of the Roodboek on Marinus van der Lubbe (1); married 1920 in Lonneker (Overijssel) to Luutske Nijdam, assistent druggist (apothekersassistente); divorced Enschede 1936, they had a daughter Ann van Agen (born 1923); remarried 1938 to Fie Zegerius (2); son of Jan van Agen, merchant, and Annigje Steenbergen.

 – Albada, Gale Bruno (Bruun) van (1912-1972); son of a medical army docter and a lady (jonkvrouw), astronomer, pupil of Anton Pannekoek in Amsterdam, married to Lea Berreklauw until 1948, in 1950 to Elsa van Dien (3), also astronomer and a pupil of Anton Pannekoek; he moved to Indonesia 1949-1958 were he was director of the Bosscha Observatory; brother of Piet van Albada.

Bruun van Albada ca. 1955; source: http://tri.astraatmadja.org.

 – Albada, Lucie van, sister of Bruun en Piet van Albada, later member of the redaction of Spartacus.

 – Albada, Piet van (1905-1997); son of a medical army docter and a lady (jonkvrouw), studied Leiden mathematics, physics and astronomy, pupil of the marxist mathematician Dirk Struik; was also in contact with the l.a.o. and Marinus van der Lubbe; married Lucia Joustra in 1933 and moved to Groningen, were he left the g.i.c. after divergencies; 1939-1951 teacher mathematics in Rotterdam, 1951-1958 professor of mathematics at the University of Padjajaran (Bandung, Indonesia), 1958-1970 head scientific civil servant at Eindhoven, 1964-1966 and after being pensioned professor at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka; brother of Bruun van Albada (4); later member of the Comité Van der Lubbe; mentioned on a police-list of left-extremists in 1939.

Piet van Albada ca. 1930; source: Wiskrant.

 – Appel, Jan (ps. Max Hempel, Jan Arndt, Jan Vos, 1890-1985); worker, Amsterdam, founding member of the g.i.c., since 1947 partner of Lea Berreklauw, also see: Jan Appel; inspirator of the Grondbeginselen van de communistische productie en distributie.

Jan Appel 1978; source: a.a.a.p.

 – Beer, Herman de (1870/1871-1936); Amsterdam; travelling salesman (handelsreiziger), real estate agent (makelaar), main author of De beweging van het kapitalistisch bedrijfsleven, 1932; son of Abraham Mozes de Beer, shopkeeper (winkelier) and Judik Heertjes, married 1896 to Sara de Vries (1868-Auschwitz 1943), two daughters: Lea (1899-Auschwitz 1943) and Judith (1902-)

 – Berreklauw, Lea (1914-1997); teacher, writer, Amsterdam, member since 1936, married Bruun van Albada, since 1947 partner of Jan Appel (5).

 – Bianchetti, Bernardo Antonio (Broer, 1906-±1980); Amsterdam, machine bencher (machinebankwerker), son of Bernardo Antonio Bianchetti and Antonia Johanna Maassen, married 1929 Sylva Castleton (from New York), brother of Ans, Theo Maassen was his uncle (6).

 – Bianchetti, Maria Antonia Johanna (Ans, 1909-); Amsterdam; daughter of Bernardo Antonio Bianchetti and Antonia Johanna Maassen, married 1930 to Friedrich Wilhelm Ströecker, book keeper, divorced 1956, sister of Broer, Theo Maassen was her uncle.

 – Bom, Arie J.; worker, The Hague, member of the k.a.p.n.; published 1932-1933 De Radencommunist seperately and from 1936 onwards Proletarische Beschouwingen.

 – Brendel, Cajo (1915-2007); journalist, The Hague, member or rather a contact of the g.i.c. in 1934-1935 (7); wrote for an anarchist paper 1938-1939; mobilised in the army in 1940, war-prisoner; joined the Communistenbond “Spartacus” in 1952 after contacts with Theo Maassen, member of Daad en Gedachte in 1965.

Cajo Brendel Source: libcom.org, Marcel van der Linden.

 – Canne Meijer, Henk (1890-1962); Amsterdam; first benchman travelling through Europe, since 1914 teacher, member of the s.d.a.p., s.d.p., k.a.p.n. (left in 1923); founding member of the g.i.c., see Henk Canne Meijer.

Henk Canne Meijer 1948, with Marco in his arms; source: a.a.a.p., Clara Geoffroy.

 – Coerman, Piet (1890-1962); teacher, Bussum, member of s.d.a.p., s.d.p., k.a.p.n., founding member of the g.i.c.; close friend of Herman Gorter.

 – Faber, Greet; emigrated to Australia after 1945.

 – Gelder, Elly van (8)

 – Gotjé, Henri (Han, 1885-1962), Amsterdam; Fire maker (vuurstoker), driver (chauffeur), married 1907 to Maria Jacoba Zegerius (1889-1976, a sister of Fie Zegerius), divorced 1927; remarried 1930 Trijntje Bos; son of Ludovicus Josephus Gotjé and Henrietta Christina Everdina Burger (9).

 – Haagen, Wim

 – Hagen, Leo

 – Hellingman, Maria Engelina (Mien) (1895-1954), speech therapist at a music-school, Amsterdam, married 1923 to the writer Maurits Dekker  (1896-1962); befriended to Henk Canne Meijer and his wive Gé; they lived for a while in the same house.

 – Heuvel, Theo van den (1891/1892-1976); Amsterdam, member of the k.a.p.n., later Spartacus, in 1964 founding member of Daad en Gedachte (10), cousin of Theo Maassen.

 – Hobijn, Jan L.

 – Holtwijk, Wim

 – Joustra, Lucia (1903-1985); studied Leiden, medical doctor, married Piet van Albada in 1933; left the g.i.c. with her husband in 1936 after divergencies; mentioned on a police-list of left-extremists in 1939.

 – Krans, Jan J.; Amsterdam.

 – Leereveld, Han; brother of Marcel Leereveld.

 – Leereveld, Marcel (1918-); Blaricum, language teacher, emigrated to Indonesia and then Australia after 1947, translated in 1978 Pannekoek’s Anthropogeneses towards Esperanto (11); brother of Han Leereveld

 – Maassen, Theo (1891-1974); teacher, Amsterdam, excluded from the s.d.a.p., the s.d.p., the k.a.p.n., the g.i.c. and “Spartacus”, he was not however a founding member of the g.i.c.; during the Second World War confined in Kamp Amersfoort, in 1944 he first collaborated with “Spartacus”, then became a member; in 1964 he was a founding member of Daad en Gedachte; its “master and exemple” (12); cousin of Theo van den Heuvel.

 – Meijer, Jan, mentioned in 1937.

 – Nottrot, Evert (13)

 – Prins, K., Bussum, mentioned in 1929.

 – Sijes, Ben Aäron (1908-1981); metal-worker, after 1945 historian, Amsterdam, member of the g.i.c. since 1934 (14).

Ben Sijes 1965; source: Wikipedia (nl).

 – Smole, Leo

 – Spierenburg, Wim (Willem, 1914-1985); Amsterdam, in 1934 office employee (kantoorbediende) in 1943 doorkeeper (portier), worked after the Second World War as correspondent and stenographer for the Arbeiderspers, later as corrector at Het Vrije Volk; initially member of the social-democrat “Arbeiders Jeugd Centrale” and studied h.b.s. (higher secondary school); member of the o.s.p. 1932-1935, drafted in the Dutch army in 1934-1935; in 1937-1938 he fought on the Aragon-Front during the Spanisch Civil-war; then member of the g.i.c.; in 1945 member of Spartacus, and with Henk Canne Meijer member of the “Buro voor Internationale Kontakten”, as such present at an International Conference in Brussels; he spoke and wrote at least Esperanto, French and Spanish; he was the only child of the bookseller Willem Spierenburg and Geertruida Schuilenburg and married 1940 to Hendrika Johanna van Beek; they had four children.

Willem Spierenburg Source: Maarten Horn, private communication.

 – Stokvis, Henk (ps. H. Pasman)

 – Verduin, Bernard (Ben) (1900-1972), journalist; member of the k.a.p.n., co-author of the Roodboek on Marinus van der Lubbe (15), son of Isaac Verduin, diamond cutter (diamantslijper) and Rachel Bernadina Stijsel.

 – Vink, Jacques de, Leiden, brother of Izaäk en Toni.

 – Vink, Izaäk de (ps. Koos, 1902-); Leiden, brother of Jacques and Toni.

 – Vink, Toni de, Leiden, sister van Jacques en Izaäk.

 – Zegerius, Sophia Martina (Fie, 1904-1977); Amsterdam; married 1923 to Pieter Nicolaas Snijders, bookkeeper (boekhouder), divorced 1926; remarried 1938 to Age van Agen, they had a daughter Anne van Agen; in the 1960’s and 1970’s translator of literature and history-books, daughter of Izaak Zegerius and Saartje Turfkruijer (16).

 – Duitse Hans [?]


Related others

 – Eiting, Henk (1895/1896-1969); worker, Rotterdam; member of “Spartacus”; in 1964 founding member of Daad en Gedachte (17); he is not mentioned as former g.i.c.-member and the g.i.c. did not have a section in Rotterdam.

 – Hornstra, Lieuwe (1908-1990), studied in Leiden, poet, medical docter, psychoanalyst, Frisian nationalist, referred in the 1970’s to the g.i.c., but was not a member.

 – Pannekoek, Anton (1873-1960), contributed with texts, certainly was a “mentor” to, but not a member of the g.i.c.

 – Wiemer, Coen (1890/1891-1967); worker, Rotterdam; member of “Spartacus”; in 1964 founding member of Daad en Gedachte (18); he is not mentioned as former g.i.c.-member and the g.i.c. did not have a section in Rotterdam.


B.I.K./L.C.I.; a sister-group in Belgium

The g.i.c. had some influence in Belgium; there were small groups in Brussels, Mechlin, Gendt and Antwerps, of which very litte is known.

They formed the Bond der Internationaal-Kommunisten van België (also Bond der Internationale Kommunisten), which also published in French as the Ligue des Communistes Internationalistes.

Four institutions in Belgium conserve publicly available collections:

Known representatives:

 – Hennaut, Adhémar (1899-1977); Elsene (suburb of Brussels); bilingual house painter, until 1928 member of the p.c.b.; then intermediary between the German-Dutch and the Italian Left, paticularly since 1936.

 – Dooren, F. van (-); Gendt (Gent).

 – Smets, Leo (-); Mechlin (Mechelen).

 – Benders, Anton (-); Antwerps (Antwerpen).


Notes

1. Main authors of the Roodboek were: Maurits Dekker, Age van Agen (g.i.c.), Lo Lopes Cardozo, Bernard Verduin (g.i.c.) en Greet van Amstel (g.i.c.), see:  Roodboek ; also see: Marinus van der Lubbe en de Rijksdagbrand . The divergencies in relation to Van der Lubbe certainly enforced the centrifugal tendencies within the g.i.c.; while all agreed to defend his person, some also defended his deed.

2. Age van Agen and Fie Zegerius, see: BremerMisjpoge ; the parents of the saved child were Elias Bremer and Veronica Zegerius; the deportation of the children took place 5 March 1943, see: Opnieuw tranen! Bij een kleine vondst uit het Nederlandsch Israëlitisch Jongensweeshuis Megadlé Jethomin in Amsterdam. – In: Misjpoge , Jrg. 13, 2000, nr. 1. – p. 12-15.

3. Elsa van Dien (1914-2007), see: Joods Monument Zaanstreek  (with photo’s of her, her husband and their son).

4. Piet van Albada, see: Het kistje van Albada  / Ed de Moor. – In: Nieuwe Wiskrant, Jrg. 21, 2001, nr. 2, december. – p. 32-43. With photo.

5. Lea Appel, also author of the radio-plays De trooster en de witte bloem (1979, published as book Amstelveen : Amphora, 1980) and: Het brood der doden: Geschiedenis en ondergang van een joods meisjes-weeshuis, radio-play 28 januari 1982 (published as book: Baarn : Bosch & Keuning, cop. 1982 – 112 p.)

6. On the Bianchetti-family some information in: Vele Woningen, maar nergens een thuis / Dennis Bos; the members were related to the Korper’s and Maassen’s by marriages.

7. Cajo Brendel, see a.o.: Radencommunisme en zelfstandige strijd / Cajo Brendel (interview). – Amsterdam : Rode Emma, 1998. – p. 20-27; also see: Cajo Brendel 1915-2007  / Henny Buiting; and: Cajo Brendel (1915-2007)  / Marcel van der Linden, and also: Cajo Brendel (1915-2007)  / Internationale Kommunistische Stroming [Vico].

8. An Elly van Gelder (1906-1945) died External Commando Malchow.

9. See: bremermisjpoge .

10. Theo van den Heuvel, see: Daad en Gedachte, nr. 8, september 1976.

11. Marcel Leereveld, see: YouTube .

12. Theo Maassen, see: Daad en Gedachte, nr. 6, June 1974, p. 15-17; and: Vele woningen, maar nergens een huis / Dennis Bos. – Amsterdam : Het spinhuis, 1996. – p. 53-55.

13. An Evert Hendrik Nottrot (1897-1968), Amsterdam, married 1923 Margaretha Wilhelmina Harke (1897-1968).

14. Wikipedia (nl) ; Jaarboek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde , 1987; Ben Sijes ; Een biografie / Dr. Richter Roegholt, met een voorwoord van L. de Jong. – ’s-Gravenhage : s.d.u., 1988. – 256 p. – With bibliography.

15. Bernard Verduin, married to Betje Hillesum (1901-1924); she wrote a diary which was continued after her death by Bernard Verduin (see: Joods Historisch Museum , Amsterdam); he remarried Nelly Knikker (1890-1971); his son Frits (in hiding with the council-communist Rinus Pelgrom) died in Auschwitz in 1944 and his son Bernard (Bob) in Buchenwald in 1945.

16. Fie Zegerius, see: bremermisjpoge ; three sisters of hers died in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

17. Henk Eiting, see: Daad en Gedachte, nr. 7, juli 1969.

18. Coen Wiemer, see: Daad en Gedachte, nr. 9, september 1967.


Compiled by Vico, 12 October 2015, latest additions 28 November 2016