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Enfants en guerre contains testimony collected and translated by Kees Vanderheyden: these 19 accounts are childhood memories of the Second World War. Among them is the story of Susan, a little girl from Nuremberg who remembers the "Night of Broken Glass," November 9, 1937, when the Nazis pillaged Jewish synagogues, businesses and homes in Germany. Young Jan from Warsaw has to live in a village with his grandmother because the Gestapo (the Nazis secret police) arrested his mother. Romuald remembers the night when Russian soldiers banished his family to Siberia. The testimony of the young Britons Tom, Jim and Ron tells of privation and the fierce bombings of London and Coventry. In Holland, Vanderheyden himself remembers when his father was almost arrested for buying meat on the black market. He also recalls his unusual encounters with Russian prisoners. The memories of the young Germans Heinz, Agnes, Lotte and Eberhard revolve around hunger, bombardments and fear of reprisals.
The conversational style of the texts conveys the simple and direct emotions felt by children. Each eye-witness account is preceded by a short text explaining the history of certain topics such as the invasion of Poland and Russia, the Holocaust and the bombing of Great Britain by the German air force. A book that rings true!