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Life of the Dutch

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago






                                                                                            Poverty during the Famine Winter




               "Megan, my family and I weren't the only people who had such a horrific life to live during this time." My grandfather reminded me this over and over again everytime he would tell me this story. He always made sure that I understood that every single person had such a hardship and many didn't survive. Each time he told me that, it always made me wonder and think what if my grandfather didn't survive? I wouldn't even be here today writing and basing my post-memory project on him.

                In the book The Netherlands at War: 1940-1945, one important section is referring to the life of the families during the time of war. The book brings up what happened to their education, and their jobs. The education for the younger children became very difficult to attend school, but their parents and the people around them made sure that they did their best to keep their children in school. Everyone got the call through their radios that school would still be going on. They couldn't be at their actual schools because many were burned down and others were under the control of the German government and used for a place for the soldiers to stay. So the children were taken to house refuges from the cities. They never had a full day of school. Each day was a half day for them. Teachers were never allowed to teach English because the Germans were fighting the English. The Germans were afraid if they were to learn English they would be able to communicate with their enemies. Then the book goes into talking about the jobs for the Dutch. The Dutch army first was released by Germans as a goodwill gesture to get them to like them. But then the Germans realizes they made a mistake and had to get the Dutch back into the economy factories. They then kept most of the Dutch officials in their jobs except the most important ones were released and replaced by sympathizing Nazis. The Germans even went to the extreme and took men ages ranging from 16-50 and transported them to Germany for forced labor. They than called for reconstruction. The people who cleared the rubble wore a white triangle located on their arms on the uniforms. They also thought that it was most important to keep everything on record in order to keep many Dutch in the Netherlands and avoiding them from leaving. From birth to death was recorded in City Hall. Information such as party affiliation, religion and profession. This enabled the Germans to look everything up about a single person. The German government then took the food to support their soldiers. They also confiscated coal, electricity, cars, bicycles and radios. Each resource for the Dutch was taken away from them. So as a result to this the allied armies tried to breakthrough to help the Dutch. Because transportation stopped, they created the Market Garden. This was a operation created in September 1944, which people would parachute and drop food across the rivers. This worked for the most part, they would drop 6 lbs. of potatoes for each person. But this again wasn't enough. As a result their was a breadline. People and their families would wait hours and hours on a long line to recieve some food.

                My grandfather is such an intelligent man, and continually reminds me how much he taught himself everything. Though his mother taught him as well, but my grandfather would read as many books as he could. I always learn that no matter what may come in your life you have other resources that you can look to  enable yourself to succeed in what you want to do.











                                                                                                                   Food Drop by AAAF and RAF








                                                                                Confiscation of clothes by the German Army receipt






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