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'Behind the Fireplace: Memoirs of a girl working in the Dutch Resistance'

Discussion in 'History of Holland and Belgium during World War I' started by MichaelBully, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Member

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    Greetings,
    Read this quite recently and recommend this.....gave the book 5 stars on 'Amazon UK' . Available in paperback and the kindle version is very cheap, and also can be borrowed via 'Kindle Unlimited' . There is also a free extract on 'Amazon UK'.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Fir...stance-ebook/dp/B01B1PDYSW/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    The publicity for the book states

    " As World War 2 progressed, the Okma family took six Jewish refugees into their house, hiding them in a secret room behind their fireplace. The youngest daughter, Kieks, joined the Resistance, delivering illegal newspapers, guiding British parachutists around The Hague and preparing safe houses for Special Forces who were dropped in from England. As the War continued, she fell in love with a Resistance commander, and worked with him to rescue wounded colleagues, steal weapons from German arms dumps and move weapons around the country. They had a tumultuous parting and she continued her work, acting as a courier with a two hundred km bike ride to the north of Holland. When she returned home, she appreciated how much the war had changed her and her boyfriend, and prepared to try a reconciliation.

    She escaped a firing squad four times, and survived the war, mentally scarred by her experiences. She sought help, but the help she was offered came in a poisoned chalice, and she kept her secret to herself for almost fifty years.
    Her family in Holland was recognised by Yad Vashem, the Israeli organisation that records those who saved Jews from the Holocaust, and she was awarded a pension for her work in the Resistance by the Dutch foundation Stichting 1940-1945. It was only when these organisations acknowledged the truth of her claims that she had the confidence to tell her family of the events from long ago."
     
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  2. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Member

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    Should just add that not completely clear from book's publicity and also my own review that Grietje or to use her family nickname 'Kieks' , settled in Scotland after the War . And when Grietje began developing psychological problems in response to her wartime experiences, she was suspected of being a 'fantasist' or mentally 'unstable' , which added to the pressure that she was facing. The local medical services clearly were not in a position to deal with someone who experienced the trauma of the Occupation.
     

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