Flory: A Miraculous Story of Survival

Flory A. Van Beek, Author HarperOne $23.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-06-117614-2
A Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivor now living in California, Van Beek recalls her harrowing experiences at the mercy of the Nazis. In 1939, fearing a German invasion of Holland, the 18-year-old Van Beek left her Rotterdam family for Argentina with her German-Jewish boyfriend, Felix. But German mines sank their ship; seriously injured, they recuperated in England, but were refused permanent residency there and arrived back in Holland right before the Germans. In the panic of the invasion, Van Beek's aunt and her family attempted suicide, with one cousin succeeding. Anti-Jewish pogroms and deportations escalated, and in 1942 Van Beek, now living with her mother's family in the Dutch town of Amersfoort, received a summons to report to a German work camp. A chance meeting with an altruistic Resistance member resulted in hiding places for the couple and some family members. But Van Beek's mother was deported to Westerbork and a poignant letter that she threw from the train headed to Auschwitz, where she was murdered, managed to reach Van Beek. Although the author's rudimentary writing skills hinder her memoir, this has intrinsic value as a Holocaust survivor testimony.
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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