Dutch singer and feminist icon Corry Brokken dies at 83


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Corry Brokken, a well-known Dutch singer whose father was a Nazi and whose mother was part Jewish, died at the age of 83.

Brokken, who in 1957 performed the first of the Netherlands’ four winning entries in the Eurovision Song Contest, died on Thursday.

Seen as a role model for feminists in the Netherlands, Brokken took a hiatus from performing in 1976 when she started to study law, becoming first an attorney and then a judge. In the 1990s she returned to show business, recording an album and performing on stage.

Her death was widely reported in the Netherlands, including in the evening news edition of the NOS public broadcaster.

She revealed her unusual family history in 1999, during an interview with the magazine Opzij.

Her parents married before the Germans occupied the Netherlands, and during the occupation, which began in 1940, her father father was a member of the NSB Dutch Nazi party who entertained high-ranking German Nazis at his home .

Her mother had “Jewish roots and a dark complexion,” she said in the interview, but apparently managed to avoid being subjected to the racial laws and death camp deportation.

“When my parents would fight, he always used to curse her, calling her a ‘dirty Jewess’,” she said in that interview.

After the Netherlands was liberated, Brokken’s father was imprisoned for a few months in a concentration camp for Nazi collaborators. Brokken’s mother was also detained once and questioned for a few hours but released shortly thereafter.

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