The Americans Are Coming!: The Last Hope to End the War in Holland

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Cidivale Publishing, 2009 - Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) - 384 pages
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From the first days of the Nazi invasion, the fighting in Holland was fierce; and during the Nazi occupation, the Dutch people never gave in. Resistance split into two distinct branches. Kees van Rijn is a member of the non-violent Resistance and he works to help the downed Allied pilots and Jewish refugees escape the Nazis and avoid their extermination camps. Kees must come to terms with militant Boxers, as they attack the German soldiers and sabotage their installations. A hundred thousand Dutch Jews vanished into Nazi extermination camps, but Christians in Holland risked their lives to save nearly fifty thousand. Many Jewish families were hidden in homes and on farms, and people like Kees and his wife Johanna struggled to keep their guests safe and fed as the Germans dismantled their country and starved its citizens. The wild "Frenzy Tuesday" liberation in late 1944 gave way to a renewed Nazi crackdown on the Dutch. The country was looted of everything of value, from linens to livestock, as the homes and factories were stripped bare. The food system collapsed and the onset of the terrible "Hunger WInter" left many wondering whether they could survive. Kees, Johanna, and their little boy, Cornelius, work valiantly to keep hope alive until the Americans arrive.

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About the author (2009)

Dirk van Leenen was born in 1940, just as the Second World War began for the Netherlands. For many years, he shared stories about his childhood during the war years in Holland. Dirk's mother was Jewish, and his parents were active in the Dutch Resistance. They risked their lives to hide many Jewish familes from the Nazis and then shepherd them away to safety. It is out of their stories and anecdotes, and Dirk's own memories, that these stories are brought to life again. Dirk's children and grandchildren listened to his stories with rapt attention, and constantly urged him to write a book about those difficult times. This is the second book in Dirk's Resistance trilogy. Dirk has also spoken with many Holocaust survivors, gathering their stories which have never been told.Dirk studied English at the University of Leiden, and he worked for years in Holland as an English teacher. He also has several degrees in horticulture and floral design, and has spent much of his life working with flowers. Dirk is happily married to Cynthia June van Leenen, with whom he has seven children and seventeen grandchildren. They live quietly now in Arizona, where they enjoy time with their grandchildren, and Dirk continues to gather and write these stories.

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