The Dutch Aunty


Margie Hofman 

© Copyright 2019 by Margie Hofman 



Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Having time on my hands in this pandemic – don’t go out too much – don’t mix with too many people – stay in and clear up. How boring – BUT going through some photographs and trying to get them into some kind of order, I found some photographs and this story is for my children as well,

My mother in law - who I never met – had three sisters who all married Germans. She herself was Polish

My mother in law married a Dutch man and had three sons, my husband being the youngest. Her sisters had two sons each . They hardly visited each other but kept in touch by letter writing. Photographs were exchanged.

Then the war came and letters could not be sent to a foreign country and unfortunately they did not see each other again.


IN 1943 when Holland had been invaded by Germany (and my father in law being taken to work as a labourer – he ended up working for Siemens near Berlin ) feelings were very high against the Germans

Meanwhile back in Holland there was a knock on the door and my mother in law opened it to find two young German soldiers standing there.

Her neighbour shouted out “Shut the door on them” My mother in law looked at them and they said “You are our Aunty” . The children of her sister had been sent to Holland. What a shock – it did not go down well with the neighbours.

Years later we found one of these young soldiers and visited him. He insisted he did not carry a gun as he was a medical helper and showed us photographs . It is a strange twist of fate that my husband who was a 5 year old when the Germans invaded suffered starvation in 1944 - The Dutch call it The Hunger Winter and years later because of the effects of starvation he died at 60 years old as his organs had not developed properly and now I am fighting Covid and I want this story known.

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