Pakhuismeesteren (warehouse supervisors) is a former business and warehouse in the harbor area of Rotterdam in the south of centrum district called Kop van Zuid or South Bank. This post-colonial relic, on which the Indonesian islands of Celebes, Borneo, Java, Sumatra are written, stands on the Wilhelmina Pier for only about 70 years. Research has shown that a prior building with a wooden pile foundation once stood here from 1898 and burned down in 1937. This abandoned non-landmarked pre-WWII structure dates from about 1940 and is currently being renovated to feature a multi-purpose first floor with rented shops and offices, a catering hall, and 24 units of residential living spaces.¹
The now defunct Pakhuismeesterenbusinesswas established in 1818 after the 1800 dissolution of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) which after an almost two-century reign of colonial plunder, fell into ruins by way of corruption and mismanagement. Originally the “Pakhuismeester of Tea,” the company took on the interests of the Rotterdam VOC’s tea and spice trade. After three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia declared its independence in 1945 which was finally recognized by the Netherlands in 1949. Rotterdam was the busiest world port since the early sixties until being surpassed by Shanghai in 2004.
De Boompjes or trees in front of the East India House which stood on the north bank of the , circa 1700, print van Petrus Schenk, Atlas van Stolk Boompjes, Rotterdam , from “Atlas van Stolk”, ca. 1700 – Wikipedia
We are sorry that you are dead and we are writing you a little note. Please, Columbus be nice because other people don’t want to be slaves. Please do not hurt other people because they can’t find gold for you. Also, share the gold and the spices you have stolen with poor people. Cutting off people’s hands who can’t find you gold isn’t a nice thing to do. We are peacebuilders.
We wish you would have been nice. The stories about you don’t tell the truth. Please say you are sorry.
First Grade Class
Children need to be taught the truth about Columbus’ blood-and-gold-thirsty voyages and their impact on the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere and the people on the African continent.
“It’s bigger there [the Netherlands] than over here [NYC],” said Babette Bullens, 38, who lives near Holland’s border with Belgium and was making her first trip to New York. “If you talk to New Yorkers, they don’t know what’s happening. It’s very disappointing,” she said in Battery Park on Sunday. – New York Times
In spite of the disappointment of some Dutch tourists who made New York City their destination for this long-awaited cultural event, I’m not surprised most New Yorkers have been totally unaware of the hoopla over the 400 year anniversary of Henry Hudson sailing up the “West River” in search of the Northwest Passage for the Dutch. Those of us who watch public television, read the New York Times, or have an interest in the myriad of events that occur here in the “capital of the world” on a regular basis, will know why there were four-hundred year-old replicas of the Half Moon (Halve Maen) sailing in the New York Harbor- and Dutch tourists flocking all over Lower Manhattan.
Unfortunately, the masses are either too busy in their hurried lives to eke out a living or are just uninformed. I’m sure the majority of the uninformed can tell you who was recently booted from American Idol or whether or not President Obama’s original birth certificate has been located. These are the important issues that concern most uninformed Americans. History? Well that was written by the conquerors – IN ENGLISH!