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From Dutch roots

The Canadian newspaper The Vancouver Sun published a review yesterday of The Occupied Garden, a book by Kristen Den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski. I did not read the book (yet), but apparently it's "the true-life wartime story of market gardeners Gerrit and Cornelia den Hartog, of the Dutch town of Leidschendam", their life during the second world war in Holland, their ordeal towards the end of the war, their post-war emigration to Canada, and their first years in their new country:

"The book The Occupied Garden offers an amazingly detailed and moving account of one family's life in Nazi-occupied Holland during the Second World War. But it's much more -- it's the quintessential Canadian story."

The book is written by Kristen Den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski, granddaughters of Gerrit and Cornelia den Hartog.

"The Occupied Garden has been released in time to be in stores when thousands of tulips -- originally a thank-you gift to Canada from Holland -- bloom and when Dutch cities mark the anniversary of the momentous days when Canadian soldiers first rolled through towns, tossing from their tanks cigarettes, chocolates and the chance for a new life."

The last line made me smile. Canadian soldiers - who played an important part in the liberation of nazi-occupied The Netherlands - are famous for leaving behind a trail of cigarettes, chocolates, and pregnant young women - as the author of this article knows: "Canadian soldiers [..] liberate much of the Netherlands and stay to help rebuild the country and seduce Dutch maidens".

The Occupied Garden: Recovering the Story of a Family in the Wartorn Netherlands, by Kristen Den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski, published by McClelland & Stewart, ISBN 0771026226 / 978-0771026225.

From Dutch roots, The Vancouver Sun, article by Paul Gessell.

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