The Netherlands / Monument

The Good Samaritan




Jac Maris (1900-1996), grandson of the famous painter from the Hague School Jacob Maris, made the war monument named The Good Samaritan in 1953. The initiative came from a number of former resistance fighters from Gennep. The original version was made of tuff from the Eiffel. In 1993, the statue was replaced by a bronze replica because of the impact of the weather.

In an explanation of his work, Maris said that his intention was not to depict the suffering of the victims, because that would have been a constant reminder to the next of kin of what they had experienced. In his opinion, the fallen heroes of the war were best honoured for their sacrifice and neighbourly love with a statue. That is why he had chosen the Good Samaritan: a man on a horse carrying a wounded warrior on his lap.

This view is also expressed in the foot of the monument. Neighbourly love is depicted in large format and the reality of war in small format.

A piece of parchment with the names of the fifty-four war victims from Gennep has been embedded in the pedestal. An apt text by the Dutch poet Anton van Duinkerken has been inscribed on the pedestal: 'The lifes they gave for freedom forbid us to live as fearful slaves'.

Jac Maris has made several well-known war monuments, such as the Airborne monument in Oosterbeek.

Niersweg, Gennep