THE NETHERLANDS AT WAR: 1940-1945 by Walter B. Maass


Age Range: 1940 - 1945
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The Dutch experience in World War II was not particularly heroic; their greatest contribution was simply to survive. As Maass shows here, and as historians have indicated previously, for a small country ensnarled in a giant war machine this was not easy. The hard-pressed Dutch wired Eisenhower: ""The Dutch Government cannot accept the fact that merely corpses will be liberated."" But the Allied airdrop was to wait until July 22, 1945, nearly a year later. By that time the Netherlands had been occupied by Germans for five years. The resistance, once activated, proved ardent (and sometimes efficient), but the country was decimated, first of Jews, then young Dutchmen, and finally the starving Netherlands was plundered of whatever was left. Maass tells this story chronologically, giving an overview and a few anecdotes. Occasionally, he refers to his eight-year residence in the Netherlands, particularly the war years spent as a ""diver""--living in partial hiding protected only by false papers. The book, while not scholarly, is well-documented and quite readable. But Werner Warmbrunn's account. The Dutch Under German Occupation, 1940-1945 (1963), which was the first history to appear in this country, remains the best.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1968
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman