Dancing in Bomb Shelters: My Diary of Holland in World War II
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Dancing in Bomb Shelters: My Diary of Holland in World War II
Published:
3/23/2010
Format:
Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:
200
Size:
6x9
ISBN:
978-1-45020-757-7
Print Type:
B/W
“A rare historical treasure that tells the riveting story of a Dutch family’s survival in World War II.” —Melanie Wiggins, author of Torpedoes in the Gulf, Fatal Ascent, U-Boat Adventures, and They Made Their Own Law In May 1940, fourteen-year-old Johanna de Wilde was just like any other teenage girl in Nijmegen, Holland, who loved boys and music, but when Hitler and his German troops invaded her town during World War II, her life was changed forever. As bombs exploded around her house, Johanna was encouraged by her father to document their large family’s struggles to survive as they desperately searched for food; fearfully hid Jewish friends; and bravely endured SS brutality, Gestapo searches, and resistance activities. Johanna shares how she was forced to write secretly and keep the pages of her diary well-hidden to avoid discovery by the Gestapo who would have surely shot her father and sent the rest of the family to concentration camps as punishment. As her town became the focal point of the huge Allied invasion, Operation Market Garden, Johanna provides an in-depth glimpse into how teenagers behaved during a traumatic time in history as they searched for excitement, danced and romanced, and played tricks on the enemy in order to offset hunger, earsplitting noise, and privation that persisted for five long years. Please read and see more at: www.dancinginbombshelters.com
This Book is dedicated to the honorable men and women of the 82 Airborne... "To General James Gavin and the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, who first liberated us" About the Author: Johanna Wycoff When World War II broke out in Holland in 1940, my father encouraged me to keep a diary, for history’s sake, and I faithfully wrote of the events for almost five years. At the beginning of the war I was fourteen, and my pages reflected not only my personal thoughts, but the historical events of that war, from the viewpoint of Nijmegen, where I lived, and where some of the worst battles of World War II took place, namely the Operation Market Garden. This diary is totally different from other W W II books, because it is written during the entire war, as seen through the eyes of a teenager. It shows our rebellion, hatred, and hilarious tricks that we played on the enemy. It documents a young girl’s desires for dancing and romancing amidst the shelling, fires and bombing. The diary describes in an honest way the family’s struggles, including stealing, to find food and clothing, hiding of Jewish friends, sudden Gestapo house searches, and constant fear. It became very obvious that throughout these tumultuous teenage years, we were forever looking for excitement and laughs, taking daring chances that could have killed us at any time. After sixty-five years I finally found the courage to translate and the diary, thinking it would be of historical value and would give insight into the teenage mind during times of extreme stress. I shed many tears and had lots of laughs as I relived those days. Today my home is in Texas. I left Holland in 1952 to visit my sister in Montreal, Canada, and there I met and married my husband from California. Because of his career, we moved to Manhattan Beach, California, where I became a U.S. citizen. After having four children, we were transferred to Ottawa, Canada, where we lived for sixteen years, until we moved to upstate New York. There I became the director of the local Red Cross. Another transfer landed us in Richmond, Virginia. Having studied the evolution of pottery and porcelain, I went to Beijing, China, to further my education, and I lectured at the Open University of Richmond. In Texas I wrote my memoir “The Second Generation” and translated my diary of WW II into English. In May 1940, fourteen-year-old Johanna de Wilde was just like any other teen- age girl in Nijmegen, Holland, who loved boys and music, but when Hitler and his German troops invaded her town during World War II, her life was changed forever. As bombs exploded around her house, Johanna was encouraged by her father to document their large family's struggles to survive as they desperately searched for food; fearfully hid Jewish friends; and bravely endured SS brutality, Gestapo searches, and resistance activities. Johanna shares how she was forced to write secretly and keep the pages of her diary well hidden to avoid discovery by the Gestapo, who would have surely shot her father and sent the rest of the family to concentration camps as punishment. As her town became the focal point of the huge Allied invasion, Operation Market Garden, Johanna provides an in-depth glimpse into how teenagers behaved during a traumatic time in history as they searched for excitement, danced and romanced, and played tricks on the enemy in order to offset hunger, earspliting noise, and privation that persisted for five long years. Please read more and see reviews at: http://www.dancinginbombshelters.com
Johanna Wycoff grew up in the Netherlands and, after World War II, immigrated to the United States. After attending several colleges, Wycoff became a ceramic expert and has lectured on antiques and the evolution of pottery. She currently lives in League City, Texas, where she is a member of the Galveston County Historical Commission.
 
 


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