Tag Archives: United States

The Netherlands in WWII : Forced Labor

This is the fifth 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 Netherlands in WWII : The Jews

This is the third post about impressions of American high school students of a presentation I did on the Netherlands in World War Two. Click here for the introduction to said presentation.

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The Netherlands in WWII : Soldiers on Bikes

This is the second post in a series about American high school students’ impressions of 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 Beginning

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American Teens and WWII Netherlands

op fiest My son B.’s ninth-grade class is learning about World War Two right now, so I offered to give a presentation about the Netherlands during WWII. Not because, in itself, the Netherlands’ history is so important in the big picture, but because I suspected that otherwise the students probably wouldn’t learn too much about how it was for Europeans to be occupied by the Germans.

The demography and geography of the different countries in Europe may vary greatly, but the stories of German occupation, resistance, and living in constant fear and uncertainty have much in common.

And, of course, the occupation of countries, the killing of Jews and the constant intimidation and terror all over Europe is what American soldiers were fighting, even though they may often not have been aware of it, since they were mainly in battle situations against other soldiers. But when they were fighting for freedom, this is what it meant.

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The Gap

image from justbathroomsigns.com

image from justbathroomsigns.com

The first time I visited America, at age 18, I visited my great aunt and her husband in Bakersfield, California.

The evening I arrived, we went out to dinner at an Elk Lodge and after we had finished our meal, my great aunt asked me if I wanted to join her in the restroom. I replied that I wasn’t really tired, but she insisted.

And I insist you read on…