In Front of Multatuli’s Birthplace

By: goodislove

Jul 10 2011

Category: Netherlands

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Focal Length:19mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D200

“Have you read the book?” he asked excitedly.

“Well, we have it and we plan to,” Reykia answered quickly.

The Multatuli Museum is small, but it’s worthwhile for the tour from the eager host/owner who told us of Multatuli between bites of chocolate chip cookie.

Here are some things you maybe didn’t know. In 1860 Multatuli (the pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker) published the book, “Max Havelaar”. It chronicled the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies.  Multatuli in Finnish means something completely different. Dekker really wanted to be a shaper of society, but died on a sofa – which they have at the museum – disappointed and disillusioned. He was a leader in the anarchist, free thinker and atheist movements. He led the fight for women’s rights in Europe. Sigmund Freud was among his dedicated legion of fans. He was the first Dutchman to be cremated.

His “Max Havelaar” book is one of the touchpoints for the fair trade movement, which is interesting since I work at Fairtrade International now. After learning about Multatuli’s efforts, I wonder what he would think of what has become of his ideas.


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