Friday, October 24, 2014

A Dutch Family Resists Hitler (Superseded)

This post has been superseded by this one

Plaque at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
honoring Robert L. Boissevain and wife
Helen S. van Tienhoven Boissevain
and children. Four trees were planted.
Just the beginning of this post is being retained so that links to this post are not destroyed.


What's it like to live in an occupied country?

What's it like to try to fight back against the occupiers?

My late mother Hilda van Stockum (1908-2006) has written two fictional books for children about the Dutch Resistance:
  • The Winged Watchman (1962),  told from the perspective of two Dutch boys aged 10 and 14 living in a rural windmill.
  • The Borrowed House (1975), told from the perspective of a German girl living in a "borrowed" house in Amsterdam with her parents, who are performers sent to entertain the German troops and SS. A Dutch translation of the second book was published by Mozaiek in 2013, retitled Het Gestolen Huis (The Stolen House).
The books, published half a century ago, are still in print and sell well. They are among the 20 top-ranked (by Goodreads) books for children on World War II, out of 176 nominees. The two books have just been optioned together for a television miniseries, with the idea that scenes and stories will cut between wartime cities in Holland and the wartime countryside.

These books are based on true stories and I have been asked by the people interested in doing a miniseries, and by an interested cousin, if I could document these stories. What did my mother's relatives do during the Dutch Occupation? As the last of those who can testify personally are dying off, it is important to capture the information and make a record. For me, it's been an interesting journey of discovery, with much left to do.  Continued here:


  1. This is a fascinating account. I can't wait for the movie.

    Ben Boissevain

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. Can you post them on the new site It's now in a place that gets more traffic.

  2. I'm thankful I stumbled on your blog today because now I have ordered myself another copy of A Day on Skates (a childhood favorite) and The Borrowed House. Thank you for your patience and kindness on the post that is suddenly getting a lot of attention from Brats.

    1. Thank you for helping to keep my mother's books in print!! (A Day on Skates was first published by Harper Brothers in 1934, 80 years ago!) Best wishes for the rest of the holidays and for 2015.