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The Hunger Winter: Occupied Holland 1944-1945 Paperback – November 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 347 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803296185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803296183
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Hunger Winter amounts to a general history of the Netherlands and its government during its nine months of waiting (for liberation from the Nazis), with the emphasis often most literally on what it felt like....(The story) moves along well, with much natural tragedy, pathos, and drama." -- Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

With Barbara van der Zee, Henri van der Zee is the author of William and Mary and A Sweet and Alien Land: The Story of Dutch New York.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John P. Rooney on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The Hunger Winter" by Henri A. van der Zee. Subtitled: "Occupied Holland 1944-1945"
University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1982.

This book is written in understated prose. Atrocities, shootings, retaliation arrests and slow starvation are all described in a matter-of-fact, quiet writing. The author, Henri A. van der Zee, was a Dutch boy of eleven years during much of the events recorded here. As brief as it is, the book is a fairly complete documentation of the struggle of the Dutch nation in the last winter of World War II. In September 1944, the great airborne assault, "Market Garden", failed at the last bridge before Germany. Hopes of the Dutch for a quick and easy liberation were dashed. The Dutch hopes were replaced by the despair of drawn-out starvation, mainly due to the inhumane actions and inactions of the German occupiers.

Since the author, Henri A. van der Zee, actually lived through this "hunger winter", the book is filled with his personal reflections. But these personal reflections are interspersed through a substantially complete history of the times. The author describes attempts to cook both sugar beets and tulip bulbs to make these "vegetables" palatable to the starving Dutch children. He also describes their taste. The author spends a substantial portion of the book on the Dutch royal family, and how they tried, as best they could, to alleviate the suffering of their Dutch people. Queen Wilhelmina is the central character in that "governmental" aspect of the period, with good mention of the Dutch Prime Minister, Peter S. Gerbrandy. Winston Churchill called Gerbrandy, "Mr. Cherry Brandy", (p.35).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Severin Olson on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
In modern times, famine is a catastrophe associated with the developing world. The only exception to this occurred in the Netherlands in the Second World War, where at least 12000 starved after the Nazis cut off food supplies to the uncooperative nation, determined to ensure ample food for the Reich. Complete calamity was avoided only with Germany's defeat in May of '45.

The author lived through the experience, so his observations carry weight. The activities of all segments of Dutch society, from home grown Nazis to the Royal family, are found in these pages. And one can imagine the thrill at the end when victory was certain. No attempt is made to make heroes of the entire country. Many acted out of pure cowardice, greed or stupidity. I was impressed by how open the writer was on these matters.

I would have preferred a bit more 'hunger' from the book though. Who starved and why? What areas of the country were worst affected? Van Der Zee gives us an interesting history of Holland in the last year of the war, but the famine gets somewhat short billing. Still an all around good work on a subject rarely explored in English.
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By Hans Vles on July 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book, should be read in every American High School.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Coca-Cola on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received the book a short time after ordering, I've already read the first 3 chapters. The books was in excellent conditions as stated on the website.
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