From Publishers Weekly
Discovered hidden in a bathroom ceiling in Amsterdam in 1997, this collection of letters from Philip Flip Slier, a Dutch Jew killed in the Holocaust, displays a spirit as indomitable as that of Anne Frank's. Slier was 18 when he was sent to a Dutch labor camp in April 1942. Described by friends as good-natured and gregarious, he maintained an optimistic air in the letters to his parents, asserting that he and his fellow laborers were better off in the labor camp than at a concentration camp. One also gets the sense that his constant references to food and fun are part of his expressed message to his parents: Be strong, you hear! Don't despair. I don't either. Deborah Slier, Flip's cousin, and her co-editors add documents, other recollections and a general history of the war, making this book more than the story of one young man, but an addition to the history of the Holocaust in Holland that could be particularly effective as educational material. Slier escaped from the camp but was rearrested, and as with all Holocaust tales, this one is devastating. Photos. (Oct.)
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Much has been written about the Holocaust, but rarely has the destruction of life in a civilized country been documented with such intimacy as in these letters. They are almost unbearable to read, and yet it is essential that we do so.
Author: Murder in Amsterdam
; The Wages of Guilt
A cloud is hanging above the letters of Flip Slier. He is aware of it, but we, readers sixty years after the Holocaust, are certainly aware of the clouds of destruction. We experience it with reading the diary of Anne Frank; we experience it with the letters of Flip Slier, letters from the heart, letters to cheer up his parents still living in Amsterdam, letters with hope, and letters with fear for the future. Hidden Letters
is a salute to a destroyed youth, full of life and spirit.
Author: The Definitive & Critical Edition of Anne Frank
; Who Betrayed Anne Frank?
Personal narratives and testimony help us to piece together the stories and events of the Holocaust, whose lethal fingers reached into almost every corner of Europe. However, diaries and letters have an immediacy that is shocking in their honesty, suspense, and irony. Hidden Letters, originally published in Dutch in 1999, is a treasure trove of 86 letters ad postcards that a young Jewish man, Flip (Philip) Slier, wrote from April 25 to Sept. 14, 1942, in the labor camp of Molengoot in northeastern Netherlands. In a letter dated June 3, 1942, Flip wrote: Pa, you can safely keep the letters. Put them in a corner somewhere, nobody will notice. He was very much mistaken. Because Flip was still a teenager while in Molengoot, his early letters read rather like letters from summer camp. He writes about pranks, like playing ghost or throwing water on someone s bed. Underneath the light tone, however, one can sense a young man who worked terrible hard, who was provided with inadequate food and clothing, who was trying to stay cheerful for his parents sakes. Little did he know that these camps were holding pens for Westerbork transit camp, and ultimately to concentration camps like Auschwitz and Sobibor. Hidden Letters is not only a collection of letters written by Flip Slier, as heartrending as they are. The editors accompany their extensive annotations with over 200 photographs, maps, documents, realia (like stamps, ration cards, coins, stickers), posters, a family tree, lists of people mentioned, as well as thorough bibliographical references and an illustrated index. All this detailed information reflects the anguish and courage of the people of occupied Holland. Flip s ordeal is placed in a broader historical context through relevant articles, for example, the Jewish Council in Amsterdam, Mauthausen concentration camp, and Sobibor. The design of this book is stunning. The layout of letters, photos, and other documents is logical and attractive; the margins, generous; the fonts, clear and readable. This one is a fascinating documentary...heartbreaking and inspiring. --Jewish Book World