By Henry G. Schogt
Henry Schogt met his spouse, Corrie, in 1954 in Amsterdam. every one knew the opposite had grown up within the Netherlands in the course of international conflict II, yet for years they slightly stated their studies. This was once precise for lots of humans — the thoughts have been simply too painful. Years later, Henry and Corrie started to piece their thoughts jointly, to untangle fact from desires. Their rationale used to be to aid others comprehend what had occurred then, and the way it stimulated and affected not just their lives yet these of all who survived.
The seven tales in The Curtain display how households — one Jewish, one non-Jewish — fared within the Netherlands throughout the German profession in international conflict II. each one vignette highlights a selected element of existence; all convey how lifestyles replaced for everybody, and eternally.
4 tales are in accordance with the author’s stories of his personal non-Jewish kinfolk: Henry’s friendship with a Jewish teen; the clash of non-public antipathy with the conclusion that support needs to be supplied; the Schogt mom and dad’ choice to do the suitable factor; the problems of dealing with an aunt with Nazi sympathies. those are tales in regards to the randomness of survival and the elusive nature of reminiscence.
For the Jewish relatives, 3 tales drawn from the thoughts of the author’s spouse and kinfolk exhibit the bewildering state of affairs of attempting to make most unlikely life-determining judgements whilst confronted with complicated and deceitful decrees. The relatives needs to fight with the good fortune — or absence thereof — of discovering shelter while compelled from their houses, and with the puzzling inconsistencies of the collaboration of Dutch professionals and police with the Nazis.
The Curtain emphasizes the adaptation among the choices that have been open to non-Jews and Jews within the Netherlands. Non-Jews may perhaps freely pick out no matter if to actively withstand the Germans, collaborate with the Nazis, or simply to do not anything, and check out to dwell a standard lifestyles even with wartime regulations.
Dutch Jews, however, didn't have a decision — no matter what they did, no matter what judgements they made, they have been doomed, and it usually appeared, whilst an individual survived, simply basic good fortune. a brief advent in regards to the conflict years and an appendix with a chronology of decrees, occasions, and data, offer historical past info for this haunting memoir of these tense years through the German profession within the Netherlands.