Hidden Letters

by Philip Slier

Other authorsIan Shine, Deborah Slier
Book, 2007



Call number

736 SLI



New York : Star Bright Books, 2007.


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 ....

User reviews

LibraryThing member meggyweg
This is more like a museum exhibit than a book. Every page has at least one photo or drawing, often several, to accompany the text. The authors did incredible research and were able to identify almost every person Philip "Flip" Slier referred to in his letters, as well as their fates (most of them
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died). His letters serve as a jumping-off point to tell the whole story of the Holocaust in the Netherlands, which I hadn't been all that familiar with before. I think it's great that the book was designed this way because, frankly, Flip's letters were pretty boring. Despite being reasonably well-fed for a slave labor camp inmate, he was obsessed with food and just about every letter talked about meals he'd had, meals he planned to make, food he'd bought from farmers to supplement his rations, food he wanted his parents to send, etc etc etc.

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?
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Original language



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