Hitler, by Albert Hahn jr. 1933
Part of a comic strip spoofing Adolf Hitler, published in De Notenkraker in 1933

Albert Hahn Jr. was one of the main cartoonists for the Dutch satirical weekly De Notenkraker in the 1920s and 1930s. He also produced propaganda artwork for the Dutch social-democractic party SDAP. He was the stepson of cartoonist Albert Hahn.

Early life
He was born as Albert Pieter Dijkman in Amsterdam in 1894. His natural father was Albert Pieter Dijkman Sr, a typographer who had a young Albert Hahn as his apprentice. Dijkman Sr. was a heavy drinker, and his marriage with Emma Robijns ended in divorce. Albert Hahn took care of Emma and her children, including young Albert Pieter, from at least 1898 onwards. The two married in 1911 and Albert Hahn officially became his stepfather. Albert Pieter's family name was officially changed to Hahn Dijkman in May 1922.

Early career and eduction
Albert Pieter showed artistic talent as well, and got his education at the Quellinus Arts and Crafts School. He obtained the Secondary Education Act in decorative drawing (1914) and linear drawing (1916). His stepfather was also an important teacher. Hahn Jr. helped him out with his many assignments for the satirical weekly De Notenkraker and his propaganda work for the social-democrats, like his political puppet theater. He became a member of the socialist party SDAP himself on 15 September 1912. By 1915 he published his first solo drawings in both De Nieuwe Amsterdammer and De Notenkraker, which he signed "A. Poussin". "Poussin" is the French word for "chick", which referred to his stepfather's name ("Haan" is the Dutch word for "rooster"). He later mostly signed with "Hahn Jr."

Cover for De Notenkraker, by Albert Hahn jr. 1935Notenkraker cover by Albert Hahn Jr

De Notenkraker
Between 1914 and 1948, Hahn Jr. worked as a drawing teacher for the MULO school and the Industrial School of the Society for the Working Class. In his spare time he illustrated books for publisher Jacob van Campen. After the death of Albert Hahn Sr. in 1918, Hahn Jr. became a staff artist with De Notenkraker, which he remained until the final issue in 1936. His work appeared alongside cartoonists such as Leendert Jordaan, George van Raemdonck, Tjerk Bottema and Albert Funke Küpper, while A.M. de Jong served as editor-in-chief. Hahn made about one thousand political drawings for the weekly, several of which were text comics. While De Notenkraker originally targeted the monarchy and the capitalist bourgeoisie, who were considered major threats to the working class, the overall tone changed after World War I. The ideals of international socialism had fallen to pieces, and the magazine now also attacked far-left parties who had separated from the SDAP, as well as the upcoming nationalist-socialist movement. Especially after Hitler's appointment to German chancellor in 1933, the magazine printed many cartoons and comic strips attacking the Nazis. It was during this political turmoil, that Albert Hahn Jr. contributed most of his work. The final issue of De Notenkraker appeared on 11 July 1936. The magazine never recovered from the death of its prime artist, Funke Küpper.


Illustration for 'Tijl Uilenspiegel'

Other activities
Several of Hahn Jr's drawings for De Notenkraker were printed in foreign magazines as well, like Der Sozialdemokrat, Der Kuckuck and Arbeiter-Zeitung in Austria, and Het Volksblad in Belgium. In the period 1932-1934 he furthermore made cover illustrations for De Bijenkorf, a children's monthly edited by the Amsterdam teacher Fred Berens. The artist designed posters, calendars and brochures for the socialist party SDAP and the Dutch Association of Trade Unions, NVV. He also provided illustrations and cover designs to a great many books, most notably editions of Charles De Coster's 'Tijl Uilenspiegel' (1927), Selma Lagerlöf's 'Christuslegenden' (1929), Cervantes' 'Don Quichotte' (1931) and René de Clercq's 'De Historie van Doctor Johannes Faustus' (1931). In the early 1930s he illustrated a couple of comical decks of cards for J.K. Smit & Zonen, diamond sellers in Amsterdam. He also compiled cartoon collections, including one with cartoons about party leader Pieter Jelles Troelstra ('Troelstra in de karikatuur', 1920) and two with work by his stepfather: 'Prenten van Albert Hahn sr.' (1928) and 'Schoonheid en Samenleving' (1929). Hahn Jr. regularly spoke in public about the work of Hahn Sr. and caricatures in general.

De Bijenkorf, cover by Albert Hahn Jr. 1934De Bijenkorf, cover by Albert Hahn Jr. 1934

With A.M. de Jong, he founded the political cabaret De Notenkraker (1936), for which he designed the sets. He did the same for De Valreep, a similar cabaret founded in 1946 to provide propaganda for the new workers' party PvdA. Both after the First and the Second World War he sympathized with the the fate of Austrian workers' children. He sketched the conditions in which they lived (1921) and in 1947 he laboured for the transport of Austrian children to the Netherlands. He was named honorary citizen of Vienna on 27 September 1949.

Strongly disillusioned after World War II, Albert Pieter Dijkman's final years were troubled by failing eyesight and mental illness. He passed away on 23 January 1953.

More about De Notenkrake in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis (in dutch)
Albert Pieter Dijkman on socialhistory.org

Series and books by Albert Hahn Jr. in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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