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Behind the Fireplace


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About the Author

The author, Andrew, had only a vague inkling of the role his mother played during World War II, until 1992 when she visited him in Washington for a short holiday. Her family had been recognised by the Jewish organisation Yad Vashem for saving the lives of Jews, and she had been awarded a pension for her work in the Dutch Resistance. She started talking, and vivid fragments of stories started tumbling out. They were confused, fragmented and disjointed, and Andrew started writing notes, trying to piece together the whole story. As he refined the story, more fragments came to light and the story evolved into this book. Tensions in the house where the Jews were hidden, evading a search by the Gestapo, romance in the tulip fields, and a fiery parting. Almost seventy years after the war, fragments continued to come out, and on her 90th birthday the story caught the attention of a local newspaper which published details, leading to further stories in the Scottish press. This was picked up by a dutchman, whose wife was the granddaughter of her former boyfriend. He wrote to the author, confirming more of the story and providing further fragments of the story. Andrew continues to work as a research scientist in a local technology company, and spends his spare time at the local rowing club.

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