Edda van Heemstra aka Audrey Hepburn

There is one myth about Audrey Hepburn I have to dispel, she was not British-Belgian. In Belgium as in many other European countries you don’t automatically obtain citizenship just because you’re born there. You get the nationality of your parents, usually the nationality of the Father or sometimes the Mother. Audrey was born on MayContinue reading “Edda van Heemstra aka Audrey Hepburn”

Hongerwinter-Hunger winter.

In September 1944 most of the southern part of the Netherlands had been liberated, Unfortunately the rest of the country faced a very harsh  winter. Extreme cold combined with lack of food resulted in a famine, causing the death of about 20,000 citizens. Dutch railway workers had gone on strike hoping to help the alliedContinue reading “Hongerwinter-Hunger winter.”

Tulip Bulbs and Bicycle dynamo- Surviving WWII, Dutch style.

Without trying to boast too much about my fellow Dutch folks,it is generally known that the Dutch are very inventive  and creative. Two skills which really came to fruition during WWII and especially the last few months of the war. ‘ As a result of the failure of ,Operation Market Garden’ the northern provinces hadContinue reading “Tulip Bulbs and Bicycle dynamo- Surviving WWII, Dutch style.”

Surviving the 1944-45 Famine

The Dutch famine of 1944–45, known as the Hongerwinter (“Hunger winter”) in Dutch, was a famine that took place in the German-occupied part of the Netherlands, especially in the densely populated western provinces north of the great rivers, during the winter of 1944–45, near the end of World War II. A German blockade cut off food and fuel shipments from farm areas.Continue reading “Surviving the 1944-45 Famine”

Blaming Irish Peasants for the Great Famine.

The above image is from the 10 October 1846 issue of the Pictorial Times. It has the title  “Cahirciveen, the retreat of the Liberator.”  It accompanies an article discussing the plight of the Irish people who are suffering from hunger after the failure of their potato crops. Words of the time—written by a British, not anContinue reading “Blaming Irish Peasants for the Great Famine.”

Operation Market Garden

Today marks the 74th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden,mostly associated with the book of Cornelius Ryan’A Bridge too Far’ which was made into a star studded block buster movie in 1977 with the same title.It is a lengthy blog but it is an important story to be re-told because the effects of this operation wereContinue reading “Operation Market Garden”

Hunger Winter- the Dutch famine

The above picture is not a picture of a child in  Sub Saharan Africa but it is in fact a picture of a child in the Netherlands in 1944/45. The Netherlands is a country divided by rivers and in the winter 44/45 ,what side of the river you were would determine whether you would haveContinue reading “Hunger Winter- the Dutch famine”

Operation Manna and OperationChowhound:Ending the Dutch famine

    The southern parts of the Netherlands,below the rivers, were liberated in September 1944. However,due to the failed Opeation Market Garden(a Bridge too far) the northern parts of the country remained under German occupation, resulting in the hunger winter. The dutch famine which killed about 20,000.     The 29th of April marks theContinue reading “Operation Manna and OperationChowhound:Ending the Dutch famine”