Post 3

I’m studying in Amsterdam this month, taking some teacher training to get ready for my second year teaching at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. It’s an intensive course, and I’m in Amsterdam every weekday. Fortunately, the training institute is located in my favourite neighbourhood of the city, the Spui. I’ve set myself a photography task for each week. My subject for the first week was the statue in Spui’s central square, a commemoration in bronze of the mischievous boys of the neighbourhood. The statue dates back to 1960. It’s called ‘Het Lieverdje’, which was a term coined by an Amsterdam columnist named Henri Knap, who first wrote about the ‘darling’ street boys in 1947. It’s nice to reflect that this fun image was first inspired by a writer. During the war, Mr. Knap agreed to write propaganda for the Germans so he could get coded messages out to the Brits. He harboured Jewish refugees in his home. After the war, he became a columnist for the Amsterdam paper, Het Parool. For years, his column was the most widely read section of the daily.

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