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'Of Decency and Death. A story of the Netherlands in World War II ' By Jan Burgess -E Book

Discussion in 'Biographies and Everything Else' started by MichaelBully, May 2, 2017.

  1. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    I have posted a review that I posted on 'Amazon Co Uk'

    "Like quite a number of e books there are a few quirky spelling and grammar problems in the text but apart from that - totally blown away by this book.
    The account of seven mayors who in the largely Roman Catholic province of North Brabant who were arrested on 6th July 1944 for refusing to co-operate with the German authorities demands for even more young men to be rounded up for forced labour.
    The book depicts the population of North Brabant being initially naive and even compliant towards the invaders four years earlier. But by 1944 the occupation was getting increasingly brutal with the persecution of the Jews, and endless roundup of opponents of the regime. Moreover vast numbers of men were being forced to work in Germany - though some 250,000 went underground. The Allies had landed in Normandy and the Germans along with the Dutch Nazi NSB had to face the possibility of defeat and recrimination. The Resistance was getting more confident, so were the Dutch government in exile, trying to transmit their orders from London. The mayors made a courageous decision, realising that they were facing dangerous consequences.
    The book follows the fate of the seven men from the local concentration camp in Vught, then to Sachsenhausen in Germany. The horrendous brutality and systematic ill-treatment of the camps is still enough to horrify the reader today. The Dutch find themselves in a terrible position. The government in exile did not manage to organise food and clothing parcels via the International Red Cross, and could not even assist private individuals who desperately tried to do so. The writer shows how the French and the Belgian prisoners got far more support from the Red Cross. The Dutch prisoners seemed to be particularly vulnerable to attack from Russian and Polish inmates. The mayors experience the most awful suffering, either expiring from sickness or slave labour. Forced marches of camp inmates are described in great detail. Only one of the mayors returns to North Brabant.
    The last section of the book gives an incredible account of how a son of one of the mayors enlists the help of a criminal and former concentration camp inmate to go looking for his father in the Soviet zone of Germany once the War is over.. Relations between the Soviets and the new liberated Dutch were very strained. The Netherlands refused to hand over Soviet citizens, usually former labourers made to work for the Germans, who did not wish to return to the Soviet Union and sort refuge in The Netherlands.
    This book shows both how courageous and brave people can be, but also the depths of suffering that humans can inflict upon one another."
    Ends
     
    Ruud, gtblackwell and lwd like this.
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You might want to consider leaving a copy on the US Amazon site as well. I don't think reviews posted on one are posted on the other.

    Excellent review by the way.
     
  3. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Thank you for your advice. I have copied review on to Amazon.com as well-and had already 'cut and pasted' it on 'Good Reads'. Indeed, reviews from Amazon UK don't automatically get carried over to the US based counterpart.
    Regards


     

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