What was life like in occupied Holland during World War II? What was it like for a nation to find itself overwhelmed by a foreign power? How did people survive the repressive Nazi occupation? This compelling first-person account is an eye-opening experience. As seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old Cornelia, "Hunger In Holland" chronicles the steady deterioration of normal, everyday life; the loss of freedom and security; and, the role of the law as food and many of life's amenities became scarce. Young Cornelia takes on the responsibility of begging for food and helping to hide her father from the Nazis, who had shipped every man they could find to the munitions factory to work for the Nazi war effort. She captures the day-to-day struggle for survival and vividly illustrates the strength, ingenuity, and dogged determination needed to carry on. Fuykschot sketches the changing lives of ordinary people; their efforts to go to school, to work, to clean house, to find food, to maintain some semblance of normalcy against a backdrop of bombing raids and the daily terror of the Nazis.
"Hunger in Holland" is a moving description of a horrific period in world history, a testament to those who survived, and a valuable lesson for those who have never known the terror of war.
Cornelia Fuykschot (Gananoque, Ontario) is a retired secondary school teacher.