Jacob Israël de Haan (1881–1924) was born into an Orthodox Jewish family and is considered one of the most important poets and thinkers of his time. Following the controversy surrounding his novels, De Haan emigrated to Palestine, where he joined an ultra-Orthodox community and was assassinated in 1924 by a member of a paramilitary organization. De Haan is considered to have been a precursor of the gay liberation movement that took off in the second half of the twentieth century. A line from his poetry is featured on the Gay Monument on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht: ‘Such an endless desire for friendship’. In the 1970s and ’80s, his books were reissued in the Netherlands and enjoyed a surge in popularity.
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