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Beyond Anne Frank: Hidden Children and Postwar Families in by Diane L. Wolf

By Diane L. Wolf

Just like the Jewish baby hiding from the Nazis was once formed by means of Anne Frank, whose house--the such a lot visited website within the Netherlands-- has turn into a shrine to the Holocaust. but whereas Anne Frank's tale is still mentioned and analyzed, her event as a hidden baby in wartime Holland is anomalous--as this e-book brilliantly demonstrates. Drawing on interviews with seventy Jewish women and men who, as kids, have been put in non-Jewish households in the course of the Nazi profession of Holland, Diane L. Wolf paints a compelling portrait of Holocaust survivors whose reviews have been usually diametrically against the reports of these who suffered in focus camps. even supposing the conflict years have been tolerable for many of those youngsters, it used to be the top of the struggle that marked the start of a anxious time, top a lot of these interviewed the following to comment, "My conflict started after the war." this primary in-depth exam of hidden young ones vividly brings to lifestyles their stories prior to, in the course of, and after hiding and analyzes the transferring identities, thoughts, and family members dynamics that marked their lives from early life via complicated age. Wolf additionally uncovers anti-Semitism within the guidelines and practices of the Dutch kingdom and the overall inhabitants, which traditionally were portrayed as really benevolent towards Jewish citizens. The poignant kin histories in past Anne Frank show that we will be able to comprehend the Holocaust extra deeply via concentrating on postwar lives.

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Extra resources for Beyond Anne Frank: Hidden Children and Postwar Families in Holland (S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies)

Sample text

The babies’ graves were found empty, and it is still not clear whether these children were adopted or whether they ended up in criminal hands. There are parallels between all these cases and the experiences of hidden children, whose fate was decided by a state heavily influenced by Christian notions. Although these cases are not pursued in the book, all of them reflect the commonality of the state’s hegemonic power to force a particular racial-ethnic conformity while denying difference and minority rights.

4 What this book underscores is that for many, if not most, of those I interviewed, the end of the war signified the beginning of new and sometimes insurmountable difficulties. Family dynamics tended to be troubled as parents returned to claim children who had grown accustomed to another family and other parents. Most hidden children, whether or not they were orphaned, had to make another transition into a different setting. Only a very small minority of hidden children had a relatively smooth transition into postwar family life, and those were the ones who stayed with their non-Jewish foster families.

In Israel, I had to rely more on personal networking, a situation that ended up creating an unexpected challenge. Generally I did not feel it was appropriate to approach people directly, since survivors of the Shoah may be sensitive to being sought out as Jews. Several social workers connected to survivor associations asked people they knew to volunteer, and one Dutch Jewish academic asked a number of hidden children to take part in the research as well. It proved difficult to find volunteers—most of those asked did not want to grant an interview.

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