In 1997, when demolishing an old house in Amsterdam, two bundles of letters were found. They were written by a teenager who had been sent by the Nazis to a labor camp in Holland, where he dug ditches from dawn to dusk. These letters are not what you would expect from a teenager. He was courageous and upbeat, and, worried more about his parents than himself. The letters are filled with hope that things will improve ....
The ubiquitous Anne Frank was another Dutch Holocaust victim. I think the Slier book would be a great one to use alongside hers in a classroom, to show people the bigger picture. I do, however, wish more attention had been paid to Dutch collaborators. The book made it sound like, except for a few baddies, everyone was on the side of good. But if that was so, why did 90% of the Dutch Jews die -- more than any other country in Western Europe?