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Kerwin Duinmeijer

Kerwin Duinmeijer (born Kerwin Lucas, but he took on the surname of his fosterparents) (June 5, 1968 - Amsterdam, August 21, 1983) was a Netherlands Antillean boy from Amsterdam who died as a victim of Pointless Violence. It has generally been accepted in the past that racism had a major role in his murder, this is however a recent point of discussion.

Duinmeijer was stabbed to death outside a snackbar in the Damstraat. The perpetrator of this crime was the 16-year-old Nico Bodemeijer, a Dutch skinhead whose Jewish father, awkwardly enough, was a survivor of World War II. After he had been stabbed, Duinmeijer ran to the Dam Square where he tried to acquire a taxi. The taxi drivers told Duinmeijer to wait for an ambulance, because they didn't want any blood in their vehicle. The ambulance arrived 20 minutes later and Kerwin Duinmeijer was taken to hospital. However, the ambulance had taken too long and the medical help was futile; shortly after arriving at hospital Kerwin Duinmeijer died from his injuries.

Bodemeijer was condemned for the murder, but according to the judge there was not enough proof to define and see the act as an act of racism. Bodemeijer was placed under the authority of the Dutch government within the under 18's - TBS system, a psychiatric-based programme. He was released in 1988 but was jailed once more for another, non-lethal, stabbing, in a bar in 1990. In 1998 he threw a wheelclamp on the car of a parking warden, which generated some new publicity.

A memorial is held in the Vondelpark every year on the 20th of August. In this park one can find the statue of Mama Baranka (Mother Earth (Rock)) -by the Dutch/Antillean sculpturer Nelson Carrilho- which was raised in remembrance of Kerwin. A street in Diemen was named after Kerwin. This street was later renamed Kerwin Lucasstraat.

The song Zwart Wit ("Black White") by the Frank Boeijen Groep was based on the murder on Kerwin Duinmeijer.

"Kerwin, symbol of our time" (Kerwin, teken van de tijd), was a documentary film by Froukje Bos, broadcast by NOS-tv and European Broadcasting Union in 1984, receiving the Grand Prix d'Anube and press-award at the International film festival Bratislava 1985, as well as the J.B.Broeksz award 1985 (VARA).



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