In de komediant, I explore the origins of the servant of the Dutch Saint Nicholas. It appears that in the 17th century he used to be a comedian. Through stage plays, that were shown during Saint Nicholas day, this comedian in the role of servant developed during the 18th and 19th century into the servant of Saint Nicholas. The Amsterdam writer Jan Schenkman merged the servant with the devil, also belonging to the Saint Nicholas tradition. It happened in the 19th century in his book Sint Nikolaas en zijn knecht. The whole story of the development of the servant in the 17th century to Black Pete in the 19th century is supported by evidence, consisting of historical texts and images. De komediant provides a number of new and surprising insights into the history of the Saint Nicholas feast. It turns out that Saint Nicholas was also celebrated extensively by adults. This adult party has played a much larger role than previously assumed. I have even found indications that this festival is still celebrated today in the form of King’s Day. Saint Nicholas is deeply anchored in Dutch culture as an important folk tradition.
Besides Black Pete, the arrival by steamer is a second mysterious element of the Saint Nicholas story. I show in de piraat, that the original story by Schenkman actually contains three arrivals. The arrival by boat is the best known. It is unlikely that Schenkman invented it himself. The annual arrival of Saint Nicholas is most probably based on a real historic event. The most probable candidate being the arrival of a pirate in Veere in the year 1623. Although I cannot prove the relation between the pirate and the arrival of Saint Nicholas, there are many indications that support this hypothesis. I published the theory about the pirate in october 2017. At the time it was rejected by established scientists and ignored by serious media. In de komediant I prove a number of aspects of this theory. Among others these are the origin in the 17th century and Black Pete as a combination of a black devil and a white servant. The possible relation between the pirate and Black Pete has become quite plausible due to these discoveries.
In de geschiedvervalser (history forger), I analyze the role of the official Dutch institute for research of folk traditions, the Meertens Institute. Investigations into the history of the Dutch Saint Nicholas tradition did not proceed objectively. It appears that the cause of failing to discover the origins of Black Pete lies in the biased opinions existing within the Meertens Institute. They regard the origin of Black Pete to be related to slavery. They also regard the Saint Nicholas tradition in the current form as a relatively recent phenomenon. Both assumptions are based on opinions without the slightest evidence. I show that the research of the Meertens Institute on the Saint Nicholas tradition can be regarded as pseudohistory. In de komediant I found evidence for a completely different origin of Black Pete. At the same time there is no convincing indication, let alone proof, found for the relation between Black Pete and trans-Atlantic slavery. Therefore this relation should be rejected. Furthermore a widespread scientific delusion is uncovered as (international) researchers and activists, despite the obvious lack of evidence, present their prejudices as proven facts.