Hansje, Ansje en de Meeuw, by Peter Beekman

Peter Beekman was a Dutch comic artist and illustrator, best known for his work for national-socialist publications during World War II. He studied drawing and printing techniques and debuted as an illustrator in the 1930s. In the years prior to the War, he worked as an illustrator for magazines and papers like Cricket (1936), Sport in beeld (1936), Nieuwe Haagsche Courant (1936-1937), De Telegraaf (1937-1938) and Motor (1938-1939). He was also doing advertising jobs for department stores V&D and De Bijenkorf.

Beekman joined the Dutch national-socialist party NSB in early 1940, apparently as counterbalance to his brother who was a member of the SDAP. During the early years of the War, he was head of press matters with the Dutch national-socialist party NSB. He illustrated several books for the Volksche Uitgeverij Westland, that was under German supervision.

Hansje, Ansje en de Meeuw, by Peter Beekman

For the national-socialist publisher Nenasu (Nederlands Nationaal-Socialistische Uitgeverij) and newspaper Het Nationale Dagblad, he made the newspaper comic 'Hansje, Ansje en de Meeuw', in which the main character is a member of the Jeugdstorm, the Dutch equivalent of the Hitlerjugend. Nevertheless, the story contains only few elements of propaganda.

Hansje, Ansje en de Meeuw, by Peter Beekman

Beekman also made the series 'Rare, Maar Ware Commentaren' in the NSB magazine Volk en Vaderland. This strip was continued by Cor van Deutekom from December 1942. Peter Beekman has made illustrations for the articles by pro-Nazi journalist Max Blokzijl. He additionally drew for the monthly Ontwakend Volk, published by Nenasu, and the WA weekly De Zwarte Soldaat. However, Beekman also had conflicts with the Nazi occupier. By 1942 he was laid off from his activities for a while, because of the not-so-flattering way he had portrayed Adolf Hitler. Later during the War Beekman drifted away from the NSB and found employment with the printing firm Van Boekhoven in Utrecht.

self-portrait in 'Rare Maar Ware Commentaren'
Self-portrait in 'Rare Maar Ware Commentaren'

After the War, he had to justify himself for his Nazi cooperation. He was acquitted of prosecution in August 1947 and spent his final years heading Van Boekhoven's drawing studio. He was also an editor and illustrator for the Navy magazine Stella Maris, that was founded by his brother, Fleet Chaplain W. Beekman OFM after the war in 1946.

Floris Flapoor by Peter BeekmanFloris Flapoor by Peter Beekman
Floris Flapoor, in Stella Maris

Using pseudonyms like PEBAn and later Pan, he illustrated the continuing story 'Geheime opdracht' and sections like 'Floris Flapoor' and 'Marinekrabbels'. Beekman has additionally designed posters and albums for Philips records. Pieter Joannes Marie Beekman, who had suffered from heart disease for a long time, passed away in 1959.

Stella Maris cover by Peter BeekmanStella Maris cover by Peter Beekman
Covers for Stella Maris #1954-4 and 1955-5

Series and books by Peter Beekman in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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