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Anne Frank's WWII

Page history last edited by MrsK Books 3 years, 11 months ago

Beyond Anne Frank: World War II in the Netherlands

Recommended Reading and Resources for Secondary Students

Washington Media Library Association Convention

October 2012

Compiled by Volkert Volkersz, Librarian


Snohomish High School, Snohomish, Washington


 Diary of a Young Girl: the definitive edition, by Anne Frank. The definitive edition of this timeless classic diary, adds about 30% more content from the original edition about young Anne’s thoughts and feelings as her family hides

from the Nazis in “the annex” in Amsterdam.


The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. Another timeless classic account of the spinster daughter of a Haarlem jeweler who feels compelled to help the Jews in her hometown, eventually causing her to end up in a concentration camp. It is also a testament to the power of forgiveness.


Storming the Tulips, by Ronald Sanders; translated and revised by Hannie J. Voyles. Twenty former students of the 1st Montessori School in Amsterdam, contemporaries of Anne Frank, describe their lives, on the streets, in hiding, and in concentration camps. This little volume contains an excellent introduction and overview of the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands.


My Sister and I: The Diary of a Dutch Boy Refugee, by Dirk van der Heide; translated by Mrs. Antoon Deventer. Currently out-of-print, this is the account of a 12 year-old Dutch boy who survived the invasion of Rotterdam, the loss of his mother, then the bombing of London, recorded between July and September 1940. Some historians believe that this was published to lure the Americans into the war, however when my late brother-in-law read it, he stated that it accurately reflected his own experience.


The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, by Willy Lindwer. The title is a bit of a misnomer, since the book consists of interviews with six women who knew Anne Frank, at least briefly, in the concentration camps near the end of her life. In the course of these interviews, one gets a clear picture of what life was like in the camps. The reader can also piece together how Anne and her sister suffered from scabies, typhus and starvation.


Parallel Journeys, by Eleanor Ayer, with Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck. This winner of the 1995 Christopher Award, tells the stories in alternating chapters, of a German Jewish woman who goes into hiding in Holland, and is then sent to concentration camps; and a young man who becomes a fanatic member of the Hitler Youth in Germany. They meet after the war, and agree to give lectures together about their experiences. The author gives details about the war along with the narrative.


The Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the Netherlands, by Louise Borden. Although this is a picture book, it is based on an actual incident where a boy, Piet, had to skate two Jewish children from Holland to freedom in Belgium, past Nazi guards on a harsh cold winter night. Two appendixes provide information on the geography of Holland and the famous ice skating race that inspired Piet. Recommended for all ages.


Other Helpful Books Containing References to the Dutch or the Netherlands


The Other Victims: First-Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis, by Ina R. Freeman. The Nazis persecuted not only Jews, but Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, blacks, and even able-bodied men from occupied countries. This book gives the narratives of various non-Jews, including a young Dutchman, in the chapter entitled “Dirk: Kidnapped for Forced Labor.”


Hunter and Hunted: Human History of the Holocaust, selected and edited by Gerd Korman. This collection of first-person accounts of the Holocaust includes, “Westerbork: Two Survivors,” about the most famous Jewish internment camp in the Netherlands.


The Righteous Gentiles, by Victoria Sherrow. Part of the Holocaust Library, the chapter entitled “Righteous Gentiles in Scandinavia and the Low Countries,” includes brief accounts of people who hid Jews, like Joop Westerweel and Miep Gies (who helped the Frank family) and Aart and Johtje Vos.


The Resistance¸ by Deborah Bachrach. Part of the Holocaust Library, there is an entire chapter devoted to “Holland.”


The Survivors, by Eleanor H. Ayer. Part of the Holocaust Library, there is a sidebar entitled “Jewish War Orphans of Holland,” which describes plight of Jewish orphans who had been placed in Christian homes during the war.


Web Sites and Other Resources


The Best Map Ever of World War II. This PowerPoint presentation can be accessed at http://rnzncomms.org/2011/03/11/the-best-map-ever-of-world-war-ii/, or else Google the title and it shows up. See me to get a copy that has sound effects added to it. I normally show the first few screens, until the German invasion of Holland, which only lasted 5 days. It’s an effective tool to show all the significant battles of the entire war, but it lacks dates. It does nothing to show the plight of the European people while all this fighting was going on.


My Life Story: The War Years, by Everhardus Gerard Volkersz. My father wrote a lengthy account of his life for me, but only devotes a few pages, almost a bulleted list, of his memories of the war. While this continues to be a work in progress, I have turned his list into a PowerPoint presentation, illustrated with photos I’ve located on the Internet, and a few from my own trip back to my birthplace in 2011. See me to get a copy of this PowerPoint.


Dutch Resistance Museum. http://www.verzetsmuseum.org/museum/en/museum. Website provides an introduction to the museum, while giving background on the war and occupation, and the Resistance movement. It contains an excellent 10 minute film giving an overview of the war, in Dutch with English subtitles.


Anne Frank Museum. http://www.annefrank.org/. Large interactive website, updated regularly, introducing the most-frequently visited museum in Amsterdam, with lots of information about Anne’s family in hiding.


The Short Life of Anne Frank. Schlessinger Media, 2002. 28 minute film, produced by the Anne Frank House, providing an excellent overview to the life and diary of Anne Frank, and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Available on Safari.


Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. http://www.wsherc.org/. Their mission is “to inspire teaching and learning for humanity in the schools and communities of this region through study of the Holocaust.” They support teachers who want to introduce Holocaust studies into their curricula. Speakers bureau includes some from the Netherlands.


Holocaust and Resistance in World War II Netherlands. http://www.hw.com/academics/ushistory/independent/index.htm. Another site that provides an overview of the war and occupation in the Netherlands. Many of the links are now dead, but most of the information is still good.


World War II in the Netherlands (Holland). http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJRiI0R5esFB_kP2orTMeAxEbZaJIvmBP. A collection of videos I’ve found on YouTube of varying lengths and quality. They are mainly in English, and are appropriate for school use (in my opinion).


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