De Fabel van de illegaal 68, January/February 2005

Author: Eric Krebbers

Van Gogh was an irritating reactionary little man

Was filmmaker Theo van Gogh a good fellow? Yes, according to Socialist Party (SP) leader Jan Marijnissen, who called him a “top guy”, and also according to green Left (GroenLinks) leader Femke Halsema, who spoke of him as a “witty professional provocateur” who “never lost his involvement”. It wasn’t right that he “had the reputation of being a racist. He wasn’t”, wrote editor Alex van Veen of activist magazine Ravage. But Van Gogh’s quotes clearly show that he was indeed a racist, and also a sexist and an anti-Semite.

Already in his first movie “Luger” (1981), Van Gogh, with sadistic pleasure, had a gangster push his pistol in a woman’s vagina. In the following 23 years he often spoke with much contempt of women and feminism, and of gays, whom he called “dribbling chocolate knights”. “Most women I consider little speaking cunts. Women do not think with their heads, but with their cunt”, he wrote. “Motherhood is the crown on your being a women!”, he often shouted. He referred to feminist authors as “the fossile little vaginal lips” of Left and feminist magazines. Indeed, he spoke out against all critical women: “The girls of 50 of today are not used to criticism. They are the product of an era which was dominated by “we women demand”. Never criticized, always morally right and now in bed alone.” For the 47 year old Van Gogh was very open about only having relationships with very young women, without - as he wrote - “hanging tits”.

Beating up

During a discussion on violence in marriages he once shouted that women shouldn’t nag. “Maybe a man who really beats them up is actually very attractive to some ladies.” So, it was certainly not women’s emancipation which drove him to produce the short film “Submission”, together with conservative liberal (VVD) member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In that film quotes from the Quran are painted on women’s bodies. This movie simply reinforces Van Gogh’s long racist agitation against Islam. In his columns and other texts he consequently calls Muslims “goat fuckers”, or for instance “pimp of the prophet” or “bootblack of Allah”. According to Van Gogh Muslims are “messengers of the utmost backward darkness” and he always warned that “Islam is a faith which threatens our freedoms”.

That was also the message of his much praised TV series “Najib and Julia”, a present day Romeo and Julia love affair between a Muslim boy and a non-Muslim girl. Justus van Oel, who wrote the script, said: “To him it was war, and he meant it. That’s why he consciously changed the last scene of Najib and Julia. At the very end I wanted the mothers of Najib and Julia to meet each other. Just a glance, one kiss. With the message: whatever happens, one mother who lost her child understands the other. A sparkle of hope, at the end of a total tragedy. That’s how I saw it, because I indeed believe that there will always be hope. There is a future for mixed Holland. We can live together, we simply have to. Despite everything. But Van Gogh of course refused to end Najib and Julia with one second of multicultural understanding. Through Najib and Julia he wanted to beat into us that it is totally impossible to live peacefully with convinced Muslims. The reason Theo wanted to make a Najib and Julia story indeed came from his ideology as a political opinion maker. This TV series just had to end fatally, in every detail, until the bitter end. There could be no hope.” So Van Oel wrote.(1)

Straight backs

Logically, Van Gogh was a big fan of the racist Right populist Pim Fortuyn, to whom he always referred as “the godly bold one”. Before his death, Van Gogh was working on a movie about the murder of his hero, together with the Right wing author and ‘conspiracy expert’ Tomas Ross. Van Gogh was also very enthusiastic about the wave of deportations by minister of Justice Rita Verdonk. “Rita, keep your back straight”, he said to her, as she was targeted by protesters against the deportation of 26.000 refugees who have been living in the Netherlands for many years.

Van Gogh also wrote many anti-Semitic articles. In an article in the Amsterdam university magazine Folia in the beginning of the eighties he had Jewish writer Leon de Winter perform the “Treblinka love game” with “a piece of barbed wire” around his “dick”. He also fantasized about “copulating yellow stars in the gas chamber”. In this way he reproduced the anti-Semite myth of the perverse sexual drives, which supposedly completely dominate the Jewish existence. According to Van Gogh, even in the gas chambers this drive got the better of them. He also wrote that Jewish historian Evelien Gans had “wet dreams” about having sex with Mengele. In the anti-Semitic tradition Jews always sought contact with the devil, in this case with the unscrupulous concentration camp doctor.

Van Gogh liked to wrap his anti-Semitism in ‘humor’. For instance, he had Jewish TV talk show host Sonja Barend say outside a camp barrack: “And tomorrow a healthy awakening”. (Which is what she always said at the end of her shows.) He also proposed to make a happy family movie “about a small girl, who, during half of the war, keeps calling the Gestapo: come and get me, come and get me, my dairy is ready!... and they do not come.” He also ‘joked’: “What smells of caramel here? Today they are only burning Jews with diabetes”. (Diabetes is called “sugar disease” in Dutch.) Van Gogh argued that Jews abuse their black past, and wanted to end their “whining” about the Shoah. With this kind of ‘jokes’ he wanted to banalize the concentration camps. But by doing so he cooperated in denying the misery of Auschwitz.(2)