De Dokwerker (The Dock Worker)

Mari Andriessen

Today the fearless image of a dockworker expressing the brave folks who went on strike on February 25, 1941: the February Strike. A large-scale protest against the persecution of Jews and forced labor in Germany. Every year the protest is remembered, in understanding that freedoms and human rights are essential.

During the war, sculptor Mari Andriessen took in Jewish people in hiding and his studio functioned as a weapons depot for the resistance. He also refused to be part of the Nederlandsche Kultuurkamer, an institute founded by the Germans. Artists of all disciplines were forced to be members and had to propagate the National Socialist ideology or they would no longer be allowed to practice their profession.

The Haarlems Dagblad newspaper wrote when the sculpture was unveiled in 1952 that it “very aptly expresses the determination of the resistance that has been put up”.

De Dokwerker grew into an important monument against racism.

This artwork is part of the series of Sunday Sculptures that Stadscuratorium Amsterdam posts on Instagram every Sunday.