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Marinus van der Lubbe

Marinus (Rinus) van der Lubbe (13 January 1909 – 10 January 1934) was a Dutch council communist convicted of, and controversially executed for, setting fire to the German Reichstag building on February 27, 1933, an event known as the Reichstag fire. Marinus van der Lubbe was born in Leiden in the province of Zuid-Holland. He was born with learning difficulties, and apparently had a fascination with fire. His parents were divorced and, after his mother died when he was 12, he went to live with his half-sister's family. In his youth Van der Lubbe worked as a bricklayer. He was nicknamed Dempsey after boxer Jack Dempsey, because of his great strength. At his work, van der Lubbe came in contact with the labor movement; in 1925, he joined the Dutch Communist Party (CPN), and its youth section the Communist Youth Bund (CJB). In 1926, he was injured at work, getting lime in his eyes, which left him in hospital for a few months and almost blinded him. The injury forced him to quit his work, so he was unemployed with a pension of only 7.44 guilders a week. Not being able to live off this, he was forced to take occasional jobs.


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