The Heroes of Holland
**CONGRATS TO BRENDA DICKSON WHO WON THE TOUR GIVEAWAY & ALISON BOSS WHO WON MEMORIES OF GLASS**
Welcome to the final post of the D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the past six posts as much as I have. Thank you for joining us on this journey to remember the many men and women who sacrificed their lives for others during World War II. If you missed any of the posts, you can find the list by clicking here.
Each novel along our blog tour explores a different aspect of the war and an opportunity to win ALL NINE featured novels and a gorgeous signed hardback copy of Everything We Have: D-Day 6.6.44, the new commemorative book from the National World War II Museum!
For a chance to win these ten books, please visit each blog, collect the answers to ALL SEVEN questions, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below or on the BLOG TOUR PAGE. The contest closes June 16, 2019 at 11 pm PST, and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 17, 2019 although several of the titles (like mine!) will be mailed closer to their release.
The winner must be prepared to send all seven answers within 48 hours of notification by email or a new winner will be selected.
Memories of Glass Giveaway
Here’s a little about my next book, Memories of Glass:
1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape.
Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life―and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried.
Memories of Glass will release on September 3rd, but I’m giving away a hardback pre-release copy to one reader (worldwide) in August. To submit your name for this drawing, please sign up for my quarterly newsletter here or leave a comment about one place you’d love to visit in Europe. I’ll draw a name on June 16th.
An Impossible Rescue
In 1942, three Dutch leaders concocted a wild, outlandish scheme to rescue Jewish children from deportation, right out from under the oppressive watch of their occupiers. And the Nazis never discovered their secret.
Before the war, The Netherlands had been a neutral country, welcoming many German Jewish refugees across the border, but on May 10 1940, after promising not to attack, Hitler’s army swept furiously into Holland and overtook this beautiful land. The Dutch were stunned but consoled by promises that the persecution happening in Germany wouldn’t occur in Holland. A special council—the Judenrat—was formed to meet the needs of Jewish residents, and they provided these Jewish citizens the best healthcare in the country at a camp called Westerbork. Even as new regulations were implemented in Holland, many of the 140,000 Dutch Jews believed they were safe because the Nazis granted thousands of exemptions to their growing list of rules.
Everything changed in July 1942 when the Nazis, assisted by the Judenrat, began rounding up Jewish citizens and cramming them into a gutted Amsterdam theater called Hollandsche Schouwburg. Residents waited there for days will little sustenance or fresh air before they were transported east.
Walter Süskind, the first of these three Dutch leaders, was a German Jewish salesman forced to oversee the registration and deportation of each man, woman, and child inside the theater. Across the street from the theater, separated by a tram line, were two brick-clad buildings that housed a daycare run by Henriëtte Pimentel, a matronly Jewish woman, and the Reformed Teachers’ Training College with a young principal named Johan van Hulst.
The children housed at the theater were quite loud, annoying the German soldiers, so Walter befriended the commanding officer and suggested they transfer these kids to the daycare. After the officer concurred, Henriëtte readily agreed to host them, and Johan and some of his teaching students volunteered to help. But they all wanted to do more than just offer these children food and shelter before deportation. They wanted to save their lives.
The German records were quite meticulous and regulated, but Walter, Henriëtte, and Johan devised a seemingly impossible plan. With permission from the parents, away from the oversight of the Nazi officers, Walter began eliminating the names of children from the registry lists. Once he erased them, these children—in the eyes of the Nazis—ceased to exist.
Still the Nazis kept an eye on the daycare center so Johan and Henriëtte concocted a number of ways to steal these unregistered children away. When the tram divided the daycare from the watchful eye of soldiers, for example, students would smuggle the kids out in laundry baskets, burlap bags, and milk cans. Sometimes they would take a dozen children on a walk and return with eleven. Or a baby tucked away in its carriage would be replaced with a doll.
More than six hundred children were rescued from the Hollandsche Schouwburg.
Each child was escorted to a safe home by a resistance worker, saving their life, but two of the three leaders who orchestrated their rescue died during the war.
In 1943 Henriëtte was killed at Auschwitz after accompanying her staff and the remaining children in her care.
Walter was exempted from deportation, but his wife and daughter were not. He chose to leave on a train with them and many think he was killed in 1945 by fellow inmates at Auschwitz who thought he, a former employee of the hated Judenrat, was a traitor.
Johan van Hulst passed away last year at the age of 107. He knew that I was writing Memories of Glass, and it’s been a great honor for me to connect with those who love him.
Most of the Dutch who rescued children didn’t think they were heroic, and Dr. van Hulst was no exception. In fact, he once said: “I actually only think about what I have not been able to do. To those few thousand children that I could not have saved.” (Het Parool)
The six hundred that he helped rescue, I suspect, think of him often.
Memories of Glass was written to reflect both the corruption and heroism in Holland during World War II. It is a tribute, I hope, to those who risked everything to save a Dutch child.
Question for Blog Tour
Approximately many children were rescued from Hollandsche Schouwburg?
To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for the Blog Tour, enter your name and email address below (we need these to notify the winner). Then select an author’s name and enter the answer to that author’s question. You only need to enter the Rafflecopter once to be entered in the giveaway, but you can earn up to seven entries by answering all seven questions in the Rafflecopter. Don’t forget…to win, you must have collected ALL SEVEN answers and enter the Rafflecopter before June 16, 2019 at 11 pm PST. US mailing addresses only, please.
Schedule for the D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour
Thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t completed the tour yet, be sure to visit each site by June 16th for a chance to win all nine featured novels, plus the commemorative D-day book.
- AMANDA DYKES, author of Whose Waves These Are
- CATHY GOHLKE, author of The Medallion
- LIZ TOLSMA, author of When the Heart Sings
- SARAH SUNDIN, author of the Sunrise at Normandy series: The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Land Beneath Us
- AMANDA BARRATT, author of My Dearest Dietrich (hosted on Amanda Dyke’s blog)
- VALERIE LUESSE, author of Almost Home
- MELANIE DOBSON, author of Memories of Glass