Tag Archives: German occupation

Fascism in America 1: Introduction

charlottesville fascism

Image: aljazeera.com

I was invited to speak at a meeting of an anti-fascist group today, specifically to give my insight from a Dutch perspective, as my country was occupied by the Germans during World War Two. Continue reading

The Netherlands in WWII : The Hunger Winter

This is the ninth post in a series about American high school students’ impressions on a presentation about the Netherlands in World War Two. Click here for the introduction to said presentation.

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The Netherlands in WWII : The Occupation

This is the fourth post in a series about American high school students’ impressions of a presentation I gave on the Netherlands during World War Two. Click here for the introduction to said presentation. Continue reading

The Runs

This is the first of a series of posts about my family during WWII. For a brief history of the Netherlands in WWII, click here.

Most of the stories about WWII come from my mother’s side of the family. My grandparents were in their 30s when the war started, my mother was five, and my aunt turned one on a beautiful day in May 1940. (The family celebrated her birthday outside, and saw the first German planes fly over on their way to bomb the blazes out of Rotterdam.) My uncle was born two years later, in the middle of the German occupation. Continue reading

War Stories: Introduction

Photo: Rogier Bos

One thing every person my age grew up with in the Netherlands was war stories. Stories about World War II, that is. But before I share some of my family’s stories, let me first give some background info.

Germany attacked the Netherlands in the beginning of May, 1940, and a few days later we capitulated, because the Dutch army was pathetically outdated, having been neutral during World War I. Most soldiers moved around on bikes. The Germans bombed the hell out of Rotterdam and told the Dutch government that Utrecht would be next if they didn’t surrender. Continue reading