Looking for Uncle Joop (Paperback)


'He sees him from the corner of his eye. 'Isn't that Joop Schweitzer?' Cees de Vries thinks to himself, as he watches a young man in fashionable Knickerbocker trousers cycle by. He had bumped into Joop only the other week at Jappie Koopmans's house, where he had popped in for a chat. He knew Joop was often round there in the evening (the only time it was safe for him to go out), helping the Koopmans family with the odd domestic chore, such as sticking down ration stamps. Despite being his contemporary, Joop had not had much to say to him. Now, in a flash, his eyes register the frightened look on Joop's face. What could he be so scared of? 'Joop!' he calls. There is no response. He calls again, this time more emphatically. But Joop is too deep in thought to hear him and Cees is left standing on the pavement, watching, wondering, whilst Joop speeds away into the distance.'An old tennis racket, a skating medal, one monogrammed cigarette case: newly discovered mementoes of a life - of a relative no one talked about. For more than 40 years, Aletta Stevens knew very little about Johannes (Joop) Doedenias Schweitzer, her uncle who died in the Second World War. Starting with a hopeful internet search, she decided to find out what really happened to him. In this book she draws on personal testimonies from people who once knew him, unpublished letters, and official war documentation, as well as revisiting her own upbringing in 1970s Holland. The story builds to a vivid reconstruction of what took place on the fateful night of 4 August 1944 in the Nazi-occupied Dutch countryside. Out of tragic events came an uplifting experience amongst the local people who never forgot Joop Schweitzer. Looking for Uncle Joop is a story about family history, how the truth can be hidden for so long, and the continuing importance of both memoir and remembrance.

Product Details

  • Product code: AYTBN
  • ISBN: 9781853981876
  • Publisher: Ashgrove Publishing Ltd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dimensions: 19.1cm x 13.6cm
  • Pages: 224
  • Publish date: Fri Apr 28 00:00:00 BST 2017
  • Book points: 8


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