Max Pam, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1946. M.A. from the University of Amsterdam and from the School of Journalism, Utrecht. Journalist, columnist and writer, with a special interest in politics, literature and chess. Author of several books.
Writer-in-Residence (1 February 2007 – 30 June 2007)
DUTCH SOCIETY AND THE MURDER OF THEO VAN GOGH
I arrived at NIAS with a large, but disorganised file that I had received from the Van Gogh family. The file contained just about everything that appeared in the press to do with Theo van Gogh between 1972 and 2002. This amounted to several thousands of articles. I also collected hundreds of articles that appeared in the press after 2002. At NIAS I began sorting out these articles and started to collect relevant video footage and photographs. Both these tasks were completed at NIAS. I also studied the growing volume of books being published on radical Islam, books on the murder of Theo van Gogh itself and other kinds of attacks, as well as writings on the relationship between the US and Europe with respect to the Islam debate. In total I worked through at least a hundred relevant books and made notes on the most important passages. I interviewed between forty and fifty people who could be of interest regarding the murder: I travelled to Poland (Warsaw) to speak to Professor M. Korzec, who had known Theo Van Gogh well and I spoke in New York with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I also tried to contact Mohammed B., the man who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Theo van Gogh, through his lawyer. The plan is that all these materials will lead to a book on the topic: Dutch Society and the Murder of Theo van Gogh, to be published by Prometheus Publishers in September 2008. The book may be published in an English translation as well.