March 1, 2009

Robert Jasper Grootveld, co-founder Provo movement dies

Filed under: Art,General,History by Branko Collin @ 10:54 am

On Saturday evenings their parents were watching the TV with their left eyes, and the cars in front of the houses with their right, seated on refrigerators and washing machines, with mixers in the one hand and copies of De Telegraaf in the other, and the children went to the Spui. […] When the electrical clock on the Lutheran church indicated it was midnight, the high priest appeared from an alley in full regalia, sometimes with painted face, sometimes masked, and started to walk magical circles around the nicotinian demon, his disciples clapping and singing the Cough Cough song all the while.

Thus describes Harry Mulisch in his book Report to the Rat King the happenings of self-proclaimed ‘anti-smoke mage’ Robert Jasper Grootveld who died last week at age 76.

I’ll just say it: Grootveld was instrumental in harnessing the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and helping decide its course, and as a result the course of the Netherlands. BN/De Stem calls him (Dutch): “the man who put Amsterdam on the map,” and Marijuana Library holds the Provo movement responsible for the Netherlands’ current drug laws.


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