Biography Marcus Bakker

04 March 2015 - 16:05

The man who did not want a biography has got one six years after his death. Nooit op de Knieën: Marcus Bakker 1923-2009, communist en Parliamentariër, written by Leo Molenaar and published by Balans publishers.

Marcus Bakker was respected for his humor and wittyness during his 25-year parliamentary membership. The Marcus Bakker room at the Binnenhof reminds us of that. The first copy of the book was presented to Hans Wiegel on 3 March, who recalled his many meetings with the amiable Bakker 'behind the curtains'.

The same Bakker, who functioned so well within the Dutch democratic system, was for decades a rigid driver in the CPN who believed in the one-party system of the Soviet Union and purposely cleansed the party of dissenters if the leadership felt it necessary.

The author, who himself was active within the CPN in the 1980s, has chosen to leave the muse about such incongruities to the readers. With a lot of empathy, he describes Bakker's decisiveness and are constantly striving for the elevation of the common man. As far as parliamentary activity is concerned, it provides a nice picture of the history of the post-war Netherlands. The lines to current events are sometimes surprising. Baker argued in 1967, for example, that natural gas extraction was primarily intended for Groningen residents.

To understand the chapters about Bakker within the CPN, a lot of prior knowledge is required. Only the seasoned CPN or CPN watcher, a dying person, will look up from Molenaar's unveiling that Bakker has not written the scam Red Book, as he himself used to claim. He did so to keep the real author, Paul de Groot, from the wind.

For this book, Leo Molenaar consulted the archives of the CPN and Marcus Bakker at the IISH, which Bakker himself brought from Zaandam on the bicycle in 1991.

IISH Collections | Bookblog | Leo Molenaar - Photo by Uitgeverij Balans