Saturday, November 13, 2021

Heartbreaking Account of Dutch Jews During Holocaust


TITLE: Discovering Twins; No Secret is Safe Forever

AUTHOR: Stella Ter Hart

PUBLISHER: Stella Ter Hart


LENGTH: 280 Pages

The author is an award-winning choral and instrumental composer, casual author, and educator.
Stella Ter Hart was born in the small prairie town of Estevan, Saskatchewan, to Dutch immigrant parents. She now lives in rural Ontario with her husband, tending her heritage apple orchard.

Uncovering Family Secrets
"Twins run in the family, you know."
When the author was expecting her first child in 1982, her mother casually made a remark about twins running in the family. Stella had no knowledge of this fact and her mother had always been very secretive about her early life growing up in the Netherlands.
Once that first door into the author's past was opened to her, she needed to know the truth. She spent almost five years of deep genealogy diving and internet research. 
Stella discovered over 1,200 Dutch relatives that died in the Holocaust. The Jewish line in her mother's family had been residents in Amsterdam for over 400 years and they were wholly assimilated into Dutch society.

She discovered that her family had fifteen sets of twins out of approximately 550 births between 1832 and 1942. 

My Thoughts
We all know the story of Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam. This book provides details about how other Dutch Jews were arrested, transported to concentration camps, and murdered by the Nazis.

Stella Ter Hart did an amazing job with her research and discovering stories that were passed down in her family. She was recently reunited with a distant cousin who was sent into hiding as a child and survived the war. This book includes photos of lost family members that are poignant and heartbreaking. 

The information in this book is shocking and sad. I really can't express my disgust in words. I hope the legacies of these innocent people will not be forgotten.

I did a little research of my own and discovered the following information:
  • Between 75 and 80 percent of the Netherlands' Jews were killed during the war, the highest rate in Western Europe.
  • Although about 150,00 Jews were living in the Netherlands in 1940, including about 25,000 German Jews who had come as refugees, only about 15,000 were counted during the postwar census of 1947.

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