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By Flory Van Beek

In 1939, because the Nazi career grew from chance to fact, the Jewish inhabitants all through Europe confronted heart-wrenching decisions—to flee and lose their houses or to enter hiding, hoping opposed to all odds to prevent the destiny of being chanced on. Holocaust survivor Flory A. Van Beek confronted this negative selection, and during this poignant testomony of desire she takes us on her own trip into one in every of history's darkest hours.

Only a teenage woman whilst the Nazis invaded her impartial place of origin of Holland, Flory watched the one existence she had ever identified disappear. Tearfully leaving her kin, Flory attempted to flee at the notorious SS Simon Bolivar passenger send with Felix, the younger Jewish guy from Germany who could later develop into her husband. Their voyage introduced now not security yet extra peril as their send used to be blown up via Nazi planted mines, one of many first passenger ships destroyed via the Germans in the course of international conflict II, sending the vast majority of its passengers to a watery finish. Miraculously, either Flory and Felix survived.

After getting better from their accidents in England, they again to their fatherland, thrilled to be reunited with their households but surprised to find their liked Holland a much-changed position. because the Nazi grip tightened, they have been compelled into hiding. Sheltered by way of compassionate strangers in constrained quarters, bring to an end from the skin global and their family, they confronted starvation and the strain of way of life shadowed by way of the ever present hazard of convinced dying. but additionally they found, with the impressive and courageous households who sacrificed their very own security to aid retain Flory and Felix alive, a collection of associates that stay as shut as relatives to this day.

A tribute to relatives, religion, and the facility of excellent within the face of disparate evil, this gripping account captures the fear of the Holocaust, the braveness of these who risked their lives to guard their fellow compatriots, and the religion of these who, opposed to all odds, controlled to outlive.

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Example text

Synagogues as well as businesses and homes owned by Jews were destroyed, and thousands of Jewish people from both Germany and Austria were arrested and sent to concentration camps. My mother, my sister, and I were agonized with fear. ” He and his brother had prominent positions with a family-owned import-export grain company that had a branch in Rotterdam, and the company would help him to leave Holland. I asked him, “What about England and France? ” “These countries are not prepared for war yet,” he replied.

We noticed a lot of children on board, and people were chatting away in different languages: English, Dutch, German. We met other passengers who were also relieved to be able to leave Europe. The morning went by quickly, and after a while a band began to play music to entertain the passengers. As I listened to the music, I became restless and told Felix that I wanted to go on deck. Standing on the deck, we looked out over the North Sea and sadly thought of our loved ones we had left behind. Soon more people joined us, and we became engaged in pleasant conversations—a distraction from our sad thoughts.

But this was not to be. Felix was a native of Germany, and that was enough reason for the British to refuse him a permanent stay. Even though Felix was at the boardinghouse, he was still under the doctor’s care every day. I was glad that I had never told Felix about the doctor’s original prognosis that he might not walk again. Now the time had come for Felix and me to start talking about arrangements to return to Holland. In the shipwreck we had lost all of our possessions, and we had no insurance.

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