Victor Jara
A life of protest

Protest against injustice done by people to people has always played a major part in the life of Marius van Beek. During the Second World War, the resistance group he was part of was rounded up in May 1943 due to betrayal. The members were arrested by the German Sicherhheitspolizei and shortly afterwards executed by firing squad. The 22-year-old Marius was able to escape and was sentenced in default to death by the Polizei Standesgericht.

For two years various places of hiding enable him to keep out of German hands. He was liberated in May 1945 in Amsterdam. Although he was never boastful about his resistance past, the fight against injustice has marked his entire life as a journalist, sculptor and teacher. The sculpture group the ‘Goal of Santiago de Chile’ is a telling example.

Management of the Olympic Stadium in Munich rejected the sculpture group. They didn’t dare or didn’t want to take it on. Eddy de Wilde, the director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam at the time, was immediately prepared to set up a room in his museum. The group stood there during the solemn unveiling, on sand strewn over the floor, against the bleak background of the bare walls. There were a lot of people, but no players from our Dutch soccer team, who had been invited.