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Fuykschot, Cornelia.

Gananoque (Ont.). Olim Press. 1988. 164pp, cloth.$.95. ISBN 0-9693678-0-5. Distributed by Olim Press, Box 102, Gananoque. Ont. K7G 2T6.

Grades 8 and up/Ages 13 and up
Reviewed by Janet Tomkins

Volume 17 Number 3
1989 May

This chronicle of life under German occupation during World War II is the personal memoir of Cornelia Fuykschot, a Dutch schoolgirl from Utrecht. Cornelia was preparing to go on to Gymnasium (high school) when the German army marched into Holland on May 10, 1940.

Although the country was shocked by Queen Juliana's departure for England and the bombing of Rotterdam, life soon regained a semblance of normality as people returned to work and school reopened. Slowly and inexorably, however, life became a daily struggle, as the German army seized household Items for their own purposes and ration quantities decreased steadily.

Food became so scarce that, by the end of the war, Cornelia's family was surviving on one meal a day of thin pea soup. They had to burn some of their furniture to keep warm during the cold winter months, and the electricity and water were eventually cut off. Men and boys were forced into hiding to avoid being conscripted as slave labour for German factories, and Cornelia's father was taken hostage along with a large number of others, some of whom were killed in reprisal for acts of sabotage by the underground resistance.

Hunger in Holland is not as compelling as Anne Frank's diary, which also records the experience of a young girl in German occupied Holland. Because Hunger in Holland is a work of recollection and Cornelia's fate is known from the outset, her narrative lacks the immediate perspective and sense of uncertainty about the future that give Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl its power. Hunger in Holland is nevertheless a detailed and interesting account that could perhaps be used in conjunction with a study of the Diary-Students may, however, need encouragement to read it, as the type is dense, relieved only by occasional small black-and-white illustrations and a few pages of family snapshots.

Janet Tomkins, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
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