The girl with the poetry album of Bart van Es Review

Hesse Liene de Jong from Amsterdam years eighty old when she meets her relatives for the first time. When she was a child, his grandparents adopted her and pulled her size with their own three children until she left the house as a young adult. Only after Bart van was born there, her nephew, the later verschlug to England. Since he had already repeatedly heard of “Lien” his aunt, who blew a strange secret. He began to embark on their trail, they tracked down, went to see her, convinced her to work with him, and so began for both a common journey of exploration in the stories of their families.

The result was this book: ” The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found < " Bart van Es "the Cut Out Girl: a story of War and Family, Lost and Found" at "

Tell value Liens story because it took a very unusual, individual course, who called the biographers first on the scene.

For how could it happen that a strange little girl started only in his family, indeed adopted, but later hushed up?

Hesse Liene de Jong was born in 1934 in The Hague. She grew up carefree, until 1940, the German Wehrmacht invaded. Two years later, the situation of Dutch Jews has so aggravated that the parents in order to know in security, decide her daughter to give away with a heavy heart. A couple who hid the Jews in his doctor’s office, Lien conveyed to the working family van Es in Dordrecht.

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There meets the girl with his autograph book and a personal letter to his mother one: “. Provide them as if they were your own child, if God wills it, we will all meet again happily united after the war to shake hands.” Quickly Lien living in a new family, quickly win all loved her. But a few months later you have the girl in a safer hiding place in the country to move on, and it will be neither his last guest, nor will it be done to him so well below again.

Unlike their parents, be the deported and killed, Hesse Liene de Jong survived the German occupation. In 1945, the eleven year old returns to the family van Es back and is adopted by them. (At the time of the author’s father was born.) Later, she beats her own life, draws away, marries, has children, still keeps in touch with their parents Dordrecht than 1,972 whose grandson Bart is born. But in 1988 all contact stops. Neither about the past nor about the reasons for the break is spoken in the family.

Bart van Es makes this strange course of events no rest. Why, though his grandparents but admirable, have done this Model Burke? They were among the many courageous Dutch, protected the Jews and saved them from deportation to the death camps. 2014 he begins to systematically investigate and finds his aunt (which her surname never changed) in Amsterdam. Actually it has during and after the Nazi occupation in which they grew up together with Bart’s father, replaced the dark years and she wants to let it rest in their remaining years of life. But her visitor reaches in a gentle way her consent to his project to advance with him in her past. Its history is full of happiness, but also painful emotional wounds, he says, should not be lost

The old lady wears it all together, which is in their possession. Letters, documents, photographs and poetry album where father Charles, mother Catharine and many school friends of the small Lien in calligraphy “a happy life full of sunshine” wish glue scraps, make loving drawings. All the Hebrew characters and names are certainly fatal in dark time messages that the family is Jewish.

Approximately four thousand children survived as Lien in Dutch hiding. After the war, a Jewish organization took care of them. Most now had to cope with the terrible knowledge that their families had been abducted and killed. Should they now returned to their Jewish culture, passed living relatives or foster parents continue to remain confided that she had protected with great sacrifice and dangers? Lien had felt since the departure of their parents as their loved ones stopped for them to exist as real people. Finally, they were completely wiped out in her memory. That they are the parents now is to keep in mind again and their cruel end gets documented, the girl traumatized difficult.

Bart van It collects and arranges the extensive material Hesse Liene de Jong he leaves, and enriched with it their detailed life story. Part Lien told themselves what they experienced, in part, the author adds her perspective by findings from his research from interviews with eyewitnesses, from reports and documents he has studied in museums, archives and libraries, such as the Shoah Foundation of the University of Southern California. His father Henk can contribute many experiences from the childhood years with his adoptive sister.

But Liens story is not only that they escaped the Holocaust. Equally impressive and changeable is the future course of her life, she entrusted her initially as foreign partners. Since the author learns what his own family parted as abruptly as sustainable by Lien. So much may be indicated: The reason is, could it be otherwise easily tempted than you to assume only indirectly to do with politics. (The concern that his book would be strongly influenced by the omnipresent topic that he would the many books about the war yet another add Bart van had it almost discouraged to write it. But the eyewitness Lien smiled his concerns as unfounded away. Finally, there are indeed “so many songs about love”.)

so the focus of the book is about this remarkable woman rather on the personal level, on the fate of the characters, their experiences, their relationships, their choices and the consequences thereof. The historical background prepares Bart van Es in a safe and differentiated. He does not conceal what is often maintained, or in his home country under the ceiling downplayed – the frighteningly high destruction efficiency of the Holocaust in the Netherlands, the large number of willing collaborators, the maneuvering of the churches, even the questionable behavior of the colonial power the Netherlands in 1947 in Java , but it can also be mentioned that in the Netherlands more people were honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” proportionally than in any other occupied countries during the war.

Bart van Es, a professor of English literature at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, has the comprehensive image reconstructed along with Hesse Liene de Jong from the fragments of repressed memories of a dramatic life


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