Tagarchief: Amsterdam Publishers Portfolio

The Hidden Village

The_hidden_village_imogen_matthews_amsterdampublishersThe Hidden Village, historical fiction set in WW2, by Imogen Matthews

Deep in the dense woods of the Dutch Veluwe lies a monument in memory of six Jews who were shot by the Nazis in October 1944. Every year on Commemoration day, inhabitants of Vierhouten and neighbouring Nunspeet gather to put flowers on the memorial stone.

What’s the story behind this monument, hidden deep in the woods near Vierhouten?

During the Second World War all Jews faced deportation to concentration and death camps by the Nazis. Since chances of discovery were less likely in the Dutch countryside, some were desperate to get shelter outside of the big cities. Around Vierhouten in the province of Gelderland many were looking for a hiding place. Due to the large numbers of refugees, the villagers could no longer shelter them in their own homes. The villagers of Vierhouten, led by the lawyer Von Baumhauer and the Bakkers, decided to go deep into the woods to build wooden huts that housed as many as 100 people.

Reconstruction of one of the huts of the hidden village

Unfortunate discovery of the Hidden Village

From February 1943 until October 1944 the refugees lived in these huts many below ground. Their very survival depended on the goodwill and courage of the villagers. With Germans roaming about the place it was very hard to bring food and supplies to the people in the hidden village. Unfortunately the huts were discovered and eight Jews in total were shot. The other 78 luckily managed to escape. Apart from Jewish families, the hidden village was also occupied by young Dutch men trying to avoid Arbeitseinsatz (enforced labour in Germany), refugees from nearby camp Amersfoort and stranded pilots from the Allied forces.

When Imogen Matthews, an Oxford author, came upon the memorial during one of her cycling holidays in Holland, she was intrigued. She discovered the three huts that were rebuilt in 1970 and 1995. Being of Dutch descent herself, she was able to read Het Verscholen Dorp, Verzet en Onderduikers op de Veluwe by A. Visser. The remarkable story of the Jews in hiding sparked off her imagination.

The result is The Hidden Village, a fast-paced work of historical fiction. The book does not claim to be historically accurate. The author used the subject of people hiding in the woods from the Germans as the starting point for this fascinating piece of fiction. Recommended reading for all of those interested in WW2 novels, and, especially, those set in wartime Holland.

The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews is available now from Amazon (Kindle ebook) and as paperback.

Bestseller The Hidden Village

On 13 June 2017 The Hidden Village reached bestselling status in no less than 3 different categories. The book is clearly being appreciated! Ever since it has been a bestseller in all three categories, and the overall ranking has been in the low hundreds. Imagine, this is the ranking of all books on Amazon! Absolutely amazing.

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About the author

Imogen Matthews lives in Oxford, England and is the author of two romantic fiction e-novels. The Hidden Village is her first foray into historical fiction. Born in Rijswijk, Holland, to a Dutch mother and English father, the family moved to England when Imogen was very young. She has always enjoyed holidays in Holland and since 1990, has gone regularly with her husband and two children to Nunspeet on the edge of the Veluwe woods. It was here that she discovered the story of the hidden village, and, together with her mother’s vivid stories of life in WW2 Holland, she was inspired to write her next novel…

Author of The Hidden Village Imogen MatthewsImogen Matthews, author of The Hidden Village:

“I remember the first time I came across the village hidden deep in the Veluwe woods in Holland. We were on one of our favourite cycle routes bowling along paths framed by tall beech trees when I spotted a memorial stone I hadn’t noticed before. Chillingly it told how a number of Jews had been shot dead by the Germans not long before the end of the war. They’d managed to stay hidden in a village of purpose-built huts for nearly 2 years.
What struck me about this episode frozen in time was how courageous & resilient these people were. So too were the many who were prepared to shelter these refugees by putting their own lives at risk. I didn’t want to write a historical account of these events as I already had ideas for a fictional story and my characters were taking shape in my mind.”

 

The Hidden Village in the press

Imogen Matthews wrote a guestpost in A Lover of Books on 12 July 2017

On 25 August 2017 The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews was featured in the Oxford Times.

The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews in Oxford Times

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The Dead Years

Dead_years_holocaust_memoirs_joseph_schupack_amsterdampublishersThe Dead Years – Holocaust Memoirs by Joseph Schupack

Holocaust survivor stories need to be kept alive.  Every year, survivors with unique testimonies are passing away. This means that we will soon no longer be able to hear first-hand from the people who survived the Holocaust. Books and video testimonials by survivors will be the only ways to get to know their moving stories.

The sons of Joseph Schupack (1922 – 1989) have decided to republish their father’s testimonial, The Dead Years in order to keep his memory alive by giving it better exposure.

Amsterdam Publishers is very pleased to have released the revised and augmented edition. The Dead Years is our fourth Holocaust memoir, and we are committed to continue to bear witness to the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Second World War.

PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT YAD VASHEM

Joseph Schupack’s two sons are grateful to Liesbeth Heenk and Amsterdam Publishers for the opportunity to make their father’s work available to a wider audience and wish to further the project of remembrance of the Holocaust by donating the proceeds of The Dead Years to benefit Yad Vashem’s causes, to take effect from 1 July 2017.

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The Dead Years is different from most Holocaust Survivor stories. Not only is it a testimony of the years wasted before the second world war in Poland and subsequently in the concentrationcamps of Majdanek, Auschwitz, Dora / Nordhausen and Bergen-Belsen in Germany and Poland, but it also serves as a witness statement. Although it has been written years after the events took place, the author has tried to mention as many names, places and dates as humanly possible. It contains a wealth of information for researchers and people interested in the era, or coming from Radzyn-Podlaski and surroundings.

The Dead Years is a deeply personal book. Schupack saw how people in the depths of misery shared their last morsel of food, how they were prepared for any sacrifice. There were many examples of brotherly love that grew out of empathetic pain.

Schupack describes the rampant anti-Semitism he encountered when he tried to reclaim his possessions in Poland after the end of the war. For the Poles in his home town, the best Jews were the ones who did not return. A new, strictly anti-Semitic organization had been founded and its primary goal was the liquidation of all Jews returning from hiding or concentration camps.

After the war the author confronted his demons, mentally scarred by his experiences, and suffering from a chronic anxiety about the future and a permanent feeling of insecurity. It is a miracle how he has come to terms with his memories. We are deeply grateful that he confided his memoirs to the paper, so we never forget.

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An excerpt from The Dead Years

Like a stranded man among the stranded, like a sufferer bound to all sufferers, I stood alone in front of the shambles of my life which had stopped when I was seventeen years old and from which nothing could be salvaged or repaired.

My own Holocaust had started almost five years before. I was very young then, but in the meantime had aged much more than those five years. The time of youth, when the basis for a human being is created and his personality is formed, the time of cheerful memories, of school, of first love – this period of laughter and pranks from which everyone derives pleasure for a lifetime – this period did not exist for me and my contemporaries. It was taken from us because we were born Jews. We spent this period in a hell among devils in human form. Those years were dead years.

No nightmare, no horror story, no fantasy can be compared to life in that inferno. Those five years seemed like a lifetime to me; I thought that I had been born and always lived there. Sometimes I would strain my memory to remember the time before 1939.

Then, my world was comprised only of Jews and non-Jews. I saw the world divided into the persecuted and the persecutors, the tortured and the torturers: on the one side, the beaten and the dead, on the other, the sadists and murderers. We Jews were always given the role of the persecuted. Even after the liberation I did not dare to think of changing roles, although I had wished it before: just once I wanted to play the other part and then die. The outrageous injustices committed against us hurt us more than all the resulting suffering. I could forgive neither God nor mankind for what I had witnessed and experienced during the extermination of our people. There is a lot of injustice in the world, but for that kind there is no consolation. Like a wounded animal I thought that I had to show my wounds to the world with its morals, political parties, organizations and religions so that not only the crimes of the murderers, but also the injustices committed against us Jews would be recognized.

To wake up from this trauma, conscious of the necessity to see and judge the world and people differently, to overcome the past was my problem and that of all my fellow sufferers.

The Dead Years is a poignant story offering a unique perspective on the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations

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Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs

Hank_brodt_holocaust_memoirs_amsterdam_publishersHank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs – A Candle and a Promise

Over the years Hank Brodt (b. 1925) has bourn witness through the spoken word, and now also in the written word. His daughter Deborah Donnelly has worked for years with her father to make his survivor story into a memorable book.

Writing a memoir allows victims such as Hank Brodt to have a voice and to take ownership over their own story. After all, these memoirs combined will act as the voice of the Holocaust when, in ten years time,  victims are no longer with us and able to tell us their stories first-hand.

As Publisher I feel it is our task to accept these testimonies with gratitude and become the witnesses of witnesses.

Although decades passed since the Holocaust it is important that we preserve the memories of those who lived through it and to honor those who perished. We should continue to reflect on the events of the Holocaust so that we can – hopefully – learn valuable lessons from it.

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Buy_now_with_1_clickOrder on Barnes & NobleOrder book from Foylesorder book now op bol.com

Two excerpts from Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs:

Hank Brodt in Boryslaw (Poland)

I found myself becoming more and more enraged. There was no outlet to rid myself of the anger and hatred that were building inside me. There was nothing I could do but carry it around and feel it grow day by day. I watched my mother become weaker as the days wore on, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. That feeling of helplessness added to my anger.

As I walked through my town, orders were barked in German. Failure to comply resulted in being beaten or killed. Memorizing German words to avoid being clubbed, or worse killed, for not responding became very important. Fortunately, there was some similarity between German and Yiddish. I worked diligently to give these new German words meaning. I thought it might well mean the difference between life and death for me and my mother.

We did not know how it could get worse, but it did. I lost my job, our sole source of income. Our world was falling apart. By October 1941, things became even tougher. Two ghettos were formed in Boryslaw. There was no need for a fence. Most of us did not venture beyond our designated area. The Nazi guards and the Ukrainians, primarily the latter, gladly took on the job of beating any Jew who violated the rules or ventured beyond the ghetto.

Being poor did have some unexpected advantages in these miserable circumstances, and in a very strange way, we were actually lucky. Our house was in a poor section of town that was later designated the ghetto. As a result, we did not have to move and no one came to share our home. Unlike many others, we were not forced to endure such changes.

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Hank Brodt & Nazi criminal Amon Goeth

Amon Goeth was the commandant of Plaszow until September 13, 1944. Goeth was not only insane, but a sadist. He found joy in killing. His house stood on another hill, high above the camp, from where he would randomly shoot prisoners going about their business. He walked around with guard dogs and without any provocation would order them to rip a prisoner to shreds.

When the smell of decomposing bodies could no longer be ignored, there was a visit from some Berlin officials. All bodies buried on the hill were to be exhumed. This of course became a work detail. After the bodies were exhumed, they were set ablaze. Hitler’s henchmen hoped that all incriminating evidence had now been erased, proof of the horrible crimes literally going up in smoke.

When I arrived in Plaszow, I soon discovered that there were no rules to play by. The commander was crazy; I would see a man standing one minute and then see him shot dead the next. I had no idea what to think. I could not see a guard anywhere near him. I looked toward the hill, where there was a house. My eye caught a man standing on the balcony with a gun. It was Goeth. I had no idea what the poor man in Goeth’s crosshairs had done as he dropped dead. It did not matter. It was just Goeth’s way, using innocent people for target practice. This particular shooting happened within a few minutes after we got off the train and were marched to the showers.

***

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For other Holocaust Memoirs published by Amsterdam Publishers see: Outcry – Holocaust Memoirs by Manny Steinberg. This book made it into the #1 bestseller list on Amazon.

Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs – A Candle and a Promise is available on Amazon.

Check this interview with Hank Brodt on the publication of his autobiography.

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Reviews of Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs

January Gray Reviews 28 September 2016

In November we launched the Amsterdam Large Print Library. Outcry – Holocaust Memoirs by Manny Steinberg is the first volume in this series. Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs is volume 2. These publications with font size 16 are catering for the visually impaired.

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On Memorial Day 2017, an article written by Deborah Donnelly was published in the newsletter of the American Hebrew Academy Hagesher. Deborah described her publisher as tough..! Thanks Deborah (..!)

Newsletter American Hebrew Academy 29-May-2017

Newsletter American Hebrew Academy 29-May-2017

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Wanda Landowska

Wandowska_landowska_de_falla_amsterdam_publishersWe are pleased to announce the publication of the correspondence between Wanda Landowska and Manuel de Falla by the Dutch musicologist Loes Dommering-van Rongen. The correspondence covers the years between 1922 and 1931.

In his book Sonderstab Musik, Willem de Vries described how the Nazi’s not only stole works of art but also musical documents form the Jews. During WWII the ‘Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’ was set up, an organisation set up to eliminate Jewish cultural life in Europe. The Nazi’s also established a ‘Sonderstab Musik’ to locate musical manuscripts, books and instruments.  Their goal was a general confiscation and removal of Jewish possessions, including those connected with music-making. Sonderstab Musik describes the activities of the ‘Sonderstab Musik’ in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Polish-Jewish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (5 July 1879 – 16 August 1959) was one of the many victims of the organisation.  When she had to flee her home in Saint-Lieu near Paris all of her musical instruments, manuscripts and personal documents were taken by the Nazi’s. Among the items stolen were letters written by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. Some of these were discovered by De Vries in Nuremberg. The Dutch lawyer and musicologist Loes Dommering-Van Rongen reconstructed the correspondence during the years 1922 and 1931 between Wanda Landowska and Manuel de Falla.

The publication contains a lot of new information and throws an interesting new light on the relationship between the two. Wanda Landowska – Manuel de Falla is available as eBook and Print-on-Demand paperback in French, the original language of the correspondence.

 

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Flight of the Seagull

Flight_of_the_seagull_greet_beukenkamp_amsterdam_publishersThe Flight of the Seagull by Greet Beukenkamp

The Flight of the Seagull by Dutch children’s and YA book author Greet Beukenkamp is a story that cuts to the core of the high school experience.

Grade 9 is going on a schooltrip to Terschelling, one of the Dutch islands. The teenagers are excited, board the ferry and the mood on the way to the camp site is elated. Everyone would consider them a well-behaved class, but the reality is completely different. Throughout the school year, a group of boys has been ruining the atmosphere in the classroom with their antisocial behavior. They mainly pick on Ivan. At school the situation is more or less under control, but away from the watchful eyes of their teachers, the situation soon escalates. The bullies are making Ivan’s life hell, and what happens next will forever change the lives of everyone involved.

Each chapter moves the story forward from the point of view of a different student. Despite the serious subject, the book is written with a lot of warmth and humor. Looking through their eyes, you get to know the students one by one.

The Flight of the Seagull is the English version of Al het water van de zee, one of the best-known Dutch books about bullying. Universally popular with Teens and Young Adults, it is widely used by teachers to discuss issues relating to bullying and being bullied in the classroom. Above all, it is a fascinating read providing an insight into high school dynamics through a wealth of young minds.

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Praise for The Flight of the Seagull

“This book was powerful, insightful and well written. The author shows us bullying from the perspective of the people involved. Not just the bullied but the bullies and those who simply stand bye and let it happen. Many books with this subject come off as preachy and have cardboard cutouts for characters but this book is different. The story drips with authenticity. When I was in the 8th grade my school sponsored a week long camping trip and while reading this I was transported back to a time when bullying was a everyday part of life. This book is a must read for parent and teachers.”

  • “Powerful, insightful and well written”
  • “A real page-turner!”
  • “Wonderful, emotive book”
  • “An emotional journey!”

More by Greet Beukenkamp? Please view her Amazon author page.

DCI Jac of Amsterdam

DCI_jac_of_amsterdam_poisonous cityA Poisonous City – DCI Jac of Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s most famous Police commissioner, who was head of the Drug & Murder Brigade, is found poisoned at the age of 81. Why not let nature take its course?

The investigation is handed to Jac Roggeveen and her squad in Amsterdam. Jac is DNR’s youngest DCI, outspoken, rather Dutch in many ways.

As Jac and her squad begin to probe the former Commissioner’s life, they uncover a trail of drugs, murders and corruption that leads from Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District to The Hague, Belgium and Spain.

The criminal underbelly of Amsterdam is brought vividly to life by an author who worked in the legal profession in The Netherlands for many years and who has been involved in some of the country’s major cases of the last twenty years. Many of the characters are based on real people and real events. The book is the first of a trilogy DCI Jac of Amsterdam.

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Part 2 in this series DCI Jac of Amsterdam will be A Deadly Spiral

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A murderous spiral of killings break out in Amsterdam. DCI Jac’s squad are ordered to take charge of the investigation when the most horrific quadruple murders ever to take place in The Netherlands threatens to engulf the city in a deluge of blood. A power struggle for control of the lucrative drugs market is taking place. Can Jac & her squad stop the killings before more dead bodies are discovered? Over it all the shadow of Katja looms over the city.

>>> Available as paperback and ebook from Amazon.

De Geur van Amandelen

de_geur_van_amandelen_antje_oDe Geur van Amandelen – Antje O.

Elise zit in het laatste jaar van haar masteropleiding psychologie. Ze woont bij haar oom en tante, en heeft geen herinneringen aan haar kindertijd. Pas als haar tante zegt dat Elise steeds meer op haar moeder begint te lijken, komen de herinneringen terug in de vorm van flashbacks. Dit wordt versterkt doordat ze zichzelf als casuspatiënt neemt voor haar thesis over trauma’s uit de kindertijd.

Elise’s wereld is klein. Als ze niet aan het studeren is, helpt ze haar tante in de boekwinkel. Daar ontmoet Elise Maarten, op wie ze smoorverliefd wordt. Sindsdien blijft ze hem tegen het lijf lopen, maar ze durft haar gevoelens niet te uiten. Ze heeft niet voor niets een muur om zich heen gebouwd. Maar neemt ze wel genoegen met een stille liefde?

Antje O. is eenendertig jaar, schrijfster en pijnpatiënt. Ze heeft eerder het non-fictieboek Leven met pijn Een praktische gids voor CRPS-patiënten en hun omgeving geschreven. De Geur van Amandelen is haar eerste roman.

De Geur van Amandelen van Antje O. is te verkrijgen als ebook en paperback op bol.com, andere online uitgeefkanalen en boekhandels in Nederland en België.

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Anna Tjumina book on bol.com