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Jacob Van Hattum
(February 10, 1900 - August 19, 1981) Holland

Jacob Van Hattum



Normaly cited as Joc. van Hattum, he was born in Wommels, Frisia, where he had a happy childhood in a large family. His father was gardener for the mayor. The nude swimming of the local lads offered the first inspiration to the sickly boy. In 1913 the family moved to elspeet in the eastern part of the country. Van Hattum studied to become a teacher, obtaining his first position in 1922, and from 1926 to 1956 he worked in Amsterdam, where he eventually died.

He was active in the Dutch Resistance during WWII. His first book of poetry, published in 1932, was of socialist inspiration. About 50 books of short stories and poems were published during his lifetime. The topics shifted from politics to education, nature, animal stories, fairy-tales and sex. The content of some of his literay work is surprisingly cruel and homosexual.

Van Hattum's belonged very much to the time of the closet; his interest was in younger men and adolescents. In his home in the 1930s, he entertained a painting class for intimate friends. It was really for the nude male models that the men came together, not to learn to sketch. From the 1960s Van Hattum's mental abilities slowly declined while his work as a closeted gay man went out of fashion.


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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