Some background: In 1926, the Marriage Chamber of Amsterdam opened, decorated with a series of exquisite Jugendstil murals by artist Chris Lebeau. His paintings depict man and woman, friends and family, in different stages of life. First the couple is single, then engaged, and their betrothal is rendered in stained glass (pictured).
Their successive life stages are depicted on the wall to the right of the stained glass. These depict the birth of a girl child and a visual message from the artist on the best way to raise children (educate them and show them loving firmness).
During the Nazi occupation of the city in 1941, the Germans covered up the artwork as they "were not in keeping with the dignity that should characterize a representative chamber of this kind," according to the hotel history book.
Chris Lebeau wrote a letter of protest. Despite using his graphic skills to forge identity papers, the Jewish vegan artist was arrested in November 1942, held in a concentration camp, and deported to Dachau in 1944, where he died of starvation three weeks before American troops arrived to liberate the camp.
Registered as a National Monument, the Marriage Chamber inside Sofitel the Grand Amsterdam was restored after the war. It seats up to 45 people and can hold another dozen or so on its terrace during a ceremony.