War is more complicated than just defeats and victories, also the biggest victims are always the civilians that are caught between the two sides. Recently released figures suggest that out of the 72 million who died worldwide during the World War 2, two thirds of those who lost their lives were not soldiers.
This hard back book from Pen and Sword, has a paper dust cover with 206 pages on good quality paper, it has black and white photographs scattered throughout. This book retails at £19.99, is written by Harry Kuiper who was born in 1939 in Arnhem and lived through the Nazi occupation.
Harry gives a unique insight into the occupation of his home town, and has over the years collected the experiences of others who also lived through this uncertain time. In the first chapter of the book Harry explains how his family had to eat a thin porridge to survive, as the Germans had taken everything from the town that they could use to feed themselves, and that they also took the household items to as they put it ‘to compensate for the losses of German families in Allied bombing raids’.
The contents of this publication are as follows:
Pig Food in Those Days: Seasoning the Aftermath
1938 - Peace without Effory
1940 - Fall Gelb - Case Yellow
Confronting the Invader
A Palace Too Far
Boots of Terror
Frontlines in the sky
1944 - Summer of Hope
A Sunny September Sunday
Operation Market Garden - More than an Assault
Liberation on the Doorstep
A Heart Attack for Hitler
Railways on Strike
Eviction - Tramping like Vagabonds
Sheltered with Strangers
Freed - 5 May, 1945
In this book Harry explains how the Dutch were treated after Operation Market Garden (A Bridge Too Far) by the Nazis, because having defeated the Allies they terrorised the locals and with their Dutch V2 launch sites killed many in the UK. The main focus of this book is the civilian experience of war.
This book gives the reader a different perspective of how war effects people in different ways. It is interesting to read that the porridge that Harry and his family were eating to stay alive was given to the pigs in a different part of his homeland. This book would make a good addition to any history or military book collection. I found this publication to be candid account of what it was like to live at a time of uncertainty and how even when there are those who are treating others with unimagined cruelty there are also those who will give help and shelter no matter what the cost may be.
Fay Baker takes a look at 'Arnhem and the Aftermath - Civilian Experiences in the Netherlands 1940 - 1945' from Pen and Sword.
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