Those who won’t buy, get strung up
David Joseph Wijnkoop (1876-1941) as the face of the Dutch Workers Movement, was often the target of caricatures. He was also fodder for political prints that appeared in periodicals, with captions such as ‘Al(i) gets in my way to the best meeting, I’ll ruin him!’ (De Leidsche Amok-maker, 1912), ‘De wonderlijke avonturen van kleinen David’ (1912), ‘De stemmenbedelaar’ (1918).
For the David Joseph Wijnkoop pedestal, I have chosen to cite a piece of text I discovered in the collection of the Joods Historisch Museum. Dating from 1918/1919, it was on a china plate with a caricature of the socialist movement, led by Wijnkoop: ‘The benefits of Bolshevism: the Bolshevistic Wijnkoop (Wine Seller) man. Bolshevistic Wine for sale – Those who won’t buy, get strung up.’
The quote ‘Those who won’t buy get strung up’ illustrates the political and idealistic struggle between communism and capitalism, within which Wijnkoop played a large role in the Netherlands of the time.
In relation to his place within the artwork ‘You Are Here’, the text also gains extra and ambiguously renewed significance. For in the context of the shopping and consumption area of the OostPoort district: ‘Those who won’t buy get strung up’ may be compared to a historical variant of the well-known and questionable slogan ‘Shop till you drop’, often used in advertising to describe shopping pleasure.
David Joseph Wijnkoop (1876-1941) was politically active in the Labour Movement and in the struggle for socialism. In this context, he was co-founder of the Social-Democratic Party (SDP), which split from the SDAP in 1909 and reorganised as the Communist Party Holland (CPH) in 1918.
Wijnkoop led the Communists around the First World War years. From 1907 to 1925 he was editor of ‘De Tribune’, a Marxist political weekly he co-founded. He agitated fiercely against the social democrats and as a member of Amsterdam Council organised demonstrations against the SDAP councillor Wibaut. In 1935, the CPH changed its name to the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the CPN, and Wijnkoop was its chairman. The CPN amalgamated with GroenLinks (Green Left) in 1991.
An anecdote worth mentioning: “Wijkoop was a politician in the news. He demanded answers to countless matters and on Prinsjesdag 1932 he disrupted proceedings in the Ridderzaal by shouting after the Queen’s Speech, along with his fellow party member De Visser. This was ‘glossed over’ by the other MPs who sang the Wilhelmus (National Anthem) at the top of their voices. In 1934, Wijnkoop did it again, but was then roughly ejected from the Ridderzaal.‘’ (01)
Artwork: You Are Here
Artist: Martijn Sandberg
Measurements: (lxwxh) 80cm x 80cm x 40cm
Project: Legacy of the Twentieth Century
Realisation and completion: 2019
Location: Oranje Vrijstaatkade, Oostpoort, Amsterdam
Commissioned by: Amsterdam Municipality, District Oost