Beyond Anne Frank: Hidden Children and Postwar Families in Holland

Diane Wolf, Author
Diane Wolf, Author . Univ. of California $55 (406p) ISBN 978-0-520-22617-3 ISBN 978-0-520-24810-6
Reviewed on: 10/16/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Paperback - 391 pages - 978-0-520-24810-6
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What was the fate of Jewish children who were wrenched from their parents and hidden by Christians in Holland during WWII? Max was returned postwar to his emotionally distant father and sexually abusive stepmother but always believed his foster parents were his true parents. When Rob's distraught brother wet his bed, their foster father sent him back to his parents and the boy was deported and killed with them. Louis's exploitative foster parents took money from his parents for his room and board but kept him in an unheated room without clean clothes or showers, and made Louis toil at piecework before giving him a meager meal. Ria's parents converted to Catholicism in gratitude to those who had hidden them, baptizing Ria as well. Anneke's Orthodox Jewish parents were murdered in Sobibor; after the war, custody was awarded to a Jewish organization but the girl was kidnapped and baptized by her Catholic foster mother. Through interviews with some 70 former hidden children, UC-Davis sociologist Wolf (Factory Daughters ) debunks the myth—perpetuated by the story of Anne Frank—of Dutch tolerance and resistance, demonstrating both Dutch complicity with the Nazis and indifference to Jewish suffering after the war. Although narrowly focused and dryly written, this sociological study is a worthy addition to Holocaust scholarship. Photos. (Jan.)

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