Talk:Jacob Israël de Haan

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I added a list of publications by De Haan, copied (but edited with the help of the Dutch Central Catalogue of Libraries) from the Dutch wiki. I'm not quite sure about the term 'inaugural address'. The Dutch expression is 'openbare les', literally 'public lesson', the first lecture by a newly graduated doctor.

I could add translations of the Dutch titles, if anybody wants. Soczyczi 16:27, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


About De Haan's sex life, as far as I know nothing definite is known, but that's the case for most people of the first quarter of the 20th century. There's only his writing: there is no hetero-erotism in his work, only homo-erotism. It started with a big explosion in his novel Pijpelijntjes, with its candid descriptions of homosexual erotism in 1904, when no reader was used to this. In the next novel, Pathologieën, even homosexual sado-masochism was present from the first to the last page. In his poetry, especially Libertijnsche liederen and Een nieuw Carthago, both books loosely based on novels by Georges Eekhoud, are really homo-erotic in character, as are many of the quatrains of Kwatrijnen, including that most famous of these all, about 'God or the Moroccan lad'. Also, various of the Palestinian sketches exude a homo-erotic intimacy, or interest for male beauty. There's no explicit sex, only in Pijpelijntjes, shocking for even the least delicate of those Victorian readers. To me, there is no doubt that De Haan had a homosexual orientation. However, nothing is known about any homosexual acts. Soczyczi 16:57, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Various Zionists have accused De Haan of being homosexual. Although no evidence of this has surfaced, for many years they used this as a justification of his murder. Tehomi denied such allegations (...) . That's pretty strong, isn't it. Accused, allegations, justification of his murder... even for the 1900's-1920's it's strong, more than just gay-hate or disgust. Some more details and nuance would be welcome. Which Zionists, when did they accuse De Haan, and in what terms? A source maybe? Soczyczi (talk) 21:47, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

June 30 or July 1?[edit]

This article states in the lead that de Haan lived from 31 December 1881 till 30 June 1924, but states below as the date of the murder: July 1, 1924. So, was it June 30 or July 1, 1924? Who can clear this up? Paul kuiper NL (talk) 01:34, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

It's very simple - it was the first day of Rosh Chodesh July :-) -- Zsero (talk) 06:24, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

So does this mean it was July 1, and the date June 30 is wrong? What is the source for this? Paul kuiper NL (talk) 03:52, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

The first day of a 2-day Rosh Chodesh is the 30th of the previous month. -- Zsero (talk) 14:45, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you can be somewhat more clear for people who are not familiar with the Jewish calendar? Does this mean that the murder happened on June 30, and that the date July 1 is wrong? And again, what exactly is the source for this? Paul kuiper NL (talk) 02:30, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

According to all Dutch sources I could find, including online newspapers of 1924 (the online newspaper collection of the Royal Library in The Hague) De Haan was killed after the evening prayer on June, 30, not on July 1. Soczyczi (talk) 12:20, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way, in the same source (Het Vaderland, July 4, 1924) I found that De Haan's burial occasioned 'a large demonstration (5000 people) against the Zionists, who, as was generally thought, were behind the assassination'. Soczyczi (talk) 12:26, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that would explain it. Someone must have converted the Hebrew date back to Gregorian and got 1 July, but if it was before midnight then it would still be 30 June. -- Zsero (talk) 12:54, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


'In 1904, while living in Amsterdam, he wrote his controversial novel Pijpelijntjes ("Lines from De Pijp"), which appears to have been a thinly veiled version of his own promiscuous gay life with Aletrino in Amsterdam's "Pijp" working-class district.' Pijpelijntjes is a novel. De Haan may or may not have led a promiscuous gay life in De Pijp, but he certainly never lived together with Aletrino. That is fiction. The wording should be 'pretends to be', not 'appears to have been'. Also, the book is not about De Haan and Aletrino; it is about Joop and Sam, and that's where the pain was: Joop was De Haan's own shortened first name, and 'Sam' was a nickname, well-known, of the author Arnold Aletrino. This medical doctor was, in a very careful way, defending homosexuality in writing and in lectures. When word should go out that Aletrino himself was homosexual, nobody would take his work seriously anymore. To prevent that scandal, Aletrino together with De Haan's fiancée bought up all copies of the novel and destroyed them. Only about 10-20 copies are known today (making it one of the most expensive Dutch literature titles in the world of antiquarian books). De Haan then completely rewrote the book. This second edition of Pijpelijntjes, published before the end of 1904, features not 'Sam and Joop' but 'Cor Koning and Felix Deelman', two new, neutral names for the protagonists.

This version is even more outspoken about homosexuality, but it went largely ignored. Not the homosexuality was the problem, but its link with living persons. Soczyczi (talk) 11:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I should add that Pijpelijntjes was dedicated by De Haan in print to 'good A. Aletrino', and pointed even more to Aletrino because of a line about 'Sam': "His name was Arnold, but we always called him 'Sam'". Soczyczi (talk) 21:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The cited source says not just that it "appears to be" but that it "is" exactly such an account. "Appears to be" already softens what the source says. What's your source that this is not true? -- Zsero (talk) 11:26, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Your source is curious, because the very same author Gert Hekma in his article on De Haan in the encyclopedia Who's Who in Gay & Lesbian History, Part I (Routledge, 2001), page 120-121 says: 'It contained a very realistic description of the lives of two students in the new Amsterdam neigbourhood 'De Pijp' '. Two students, not "Aletrino and De Haan", a well-known middle-aged physician and a youthful teacher.
The problem is, that there is no good biography of Jacob Israël de Haan. However, there is a good biography about Aletrino: Kees Joosse, Arnold Aletrino, pessimist met perspectief, 600+ pages. Joosse extensively treats (pp. 150-187) the relationship between De Haan and Aletrino, and the roots of the real story behind Pijpelijntjes. Aletrino and De Haan probably met in 1901 or 1902, when Aletrino was a 43-year old medical doctor and De Haan a young, temporarily employed teacher. It is possible that Aletrino helped De Haan accepting his homosexuality. Both literary authors, they became friends. De Haan visited Aletrino and his wife Jupie, and Aletrino dedicated one of his stories to De Haan. De Haan, who was editor of the children's corner of a socialist weekly, promised to dedicate a 'boy's book' to Aletrino. Aletrino could not have expected SUCH a boy's book, and afterwards always writes in letters about De Haan as a diabolical, manipulating figure. I think your citation is Gert Hekma's slip of the pen or just wishful thinking. Pijpelijntjes is fiction, a work of art, NOT an account with a base in real life of medical doctor Arnold Aletrino living together with young teacher Jacob de Haan, in De Pijp, Amsterdam, about 1903. Soczyczi (talk) 21:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Haredim and Yishuv Hayashan[edit]

I added an explanation in parentheses for these terms, because they are unknown to many or most English readers. Then User:Itzse removed one of these explanations with the commentary "Removed explanation, and made Hareidim into a link instead. The article on Hareidim gives much more information then a few words in parenthesis can; deeming it unnecessary." However, if I'm reading an article about Jacob Israël de Haan I don't want to digress into other articles with lots of information about these words, just have a general idea about their meaning. If you think Haredim needs a better definition or explanation, please go ahead. I just copied it from the Wikipedia articles Haredi and Yishuv haYashan. You need not link Haredim again, for the word has been linked already in the very same sentence, and again six lines lower. Glatisant (talk) 20:36, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

First let me congratulate you for doing the right thing and consulting on the talk pages first; something I am not used to much here, as most people who undue my edits first revert then talk.
Now to the point you raise. You are correct that it is good to give the reader a better understanding by adding words in parenthesis; and I do them myself. But in this case or other similar cases where one word of explanation isn't enough; IMO it is better to rely on a link then to place them here. Also it seemed a bit overwhelming to stress that point that de-Han embraced the strongest form of Judaism; which is really self understood by the word Hareidim; and more words might seem as if he embraced the extremist Neturei Karta, which he didn't, just like Rabbi Sonenfeld and Rabbi Moshe Blau and most Rabbis of Jerusalem didn't.
This is my take on this issue, and I tried fitting it all in the small place allotted for the edit summary. If you feel that I'm wrong, then go ahead my brother and place it again; I won't protest again; thanks. Itzse (talk) 20:49, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words. I'm a Dutchman - it's hard for me to understand the meaning of De Haan embracing the "Hareidim". I don´t know the difference between Hareidim and Neturei Karta, never heard that last term in fact.
Reading the text of this article, I just want a short idea of what he was embracing in the 1920's, and the Hareidim part might not be the same in 1920 as it is now. For you it may be clear at first glance, but I´m not knowledgeable. Lacking a good biography, in Dutch or in any other language, it's hard to assess what De Haan embraced. That he is revered as a martyr by the modern Hareidim community doesn't assess that De Haan was a member of the 1920's Hareidim community.
What I do know of De Haan's character is that he was searching for, yearning for a place where he felt himself at home in society. In the short course of his fascinating life, he changed places rapidly, never feeling himself really at home, all the time making trouble and antagonizing his one-time friends when making the change for another stance. His life WAS Antagony. Glatisant (talk) 01:01, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Glatisant. I am a (formerly) Dutch Jew living in Jerusalem, and a member of the community that De Haan was a member of. He was indeed considered part of this community then. In fact, upon his death, thousands of people (led by Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld and other major people) went to his funeral. If you want to know more, leave a note on my talk page. --Piz d'Es-Cha (talk) 20:03, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

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