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Memoir of Jan Makkreel reveals what World War II did to the Dutch people

The memoir, ghostwritten by a friend, tells readers how the war in The Netherlands affected the Dutch émigré’s family and neighborhood.

Marysville, Western Australia, 98270 USA – WEBWIRE

The memoir attests to the fact that war brings out the good and bad in people.  

World War II brought out the good and bad in the Dutch people. Especially after the war, the Dutch were swept up in a frenzy of political cleansing that lumped the innocent Jan Makkreel and his parents with Nazi collaborators and war criminals. He opens up about his countrymen’s post-war attitudes as well as the pain of internment in the book “Under the Shadow of The Swastika” (ReadersMagnet; 2019).

Ghostwritten by his friend Robert Graef, “Under the Shadow of The Swastika” offers history buffs a glimpse into the post-war attitudes of the Dutch, some of which clung to war-time suspicions and condemnations.

After the war, Makkreel, despite his role in the resistance, was arrested for suspected Nazi collaboration. He and his father were interned in the Amersfoort prison camp for a year and a half. His mother was also arrested for allegedly selling confiscated Jewish clothing in her shop, a charge which she denied. It did not help the family that they somewhat had ties to the Nazis: an uncle, who doted on him, was an SS captain and an older sister defected to Nazi Germany.

Makkreel was struck by the indifference of his neighbors during their arrest. “In the heat of the moment, I couldn’t recognize the difference between our arrest and the arrest of our Jewish neighbors, or Mr. Edelman from the bicycle shop,” said Makkreel. “In a very personal way, it seemed worse in that there was a hint of satisfaction in too many of our neighbors’ expressions…”

It pained Makkreel to be labeled a traitor and a Nazi collaborator, that even after his release and though proven innocent, his neighbors still suspect him. “Neighbors up and down my street who saw me hauled away weren’t fully convinced,” said Makkreel, “nor were my playmates and classmates who repeatedly saw me in the company of an SS captain.

“The down-side of that was the war-time suspicions and condemnations our neighbors clung to, and so while I was free to move about the Dutch landscape, I was not welcomed back into mainstream Dutch society.”

Read more of Jan Makkreel’s powerful wartime testimony in “Under the Shadow of The Swastika.” Order today through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Watch out for the public display of this book at the upcoming 2019 American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition on June 21-24, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Under the Shadow of The Swastika
Author: Jan Makkreel (ghostwritten by Robert Graef)
Published date: January 29, 2019
Published by ReadersMagnet
Kindle price: $5.99
About the Author
Jan Makkreel was born on 1926 in Rotterdam, Holland and had a very happy childhood until war broke out. He and his brother had to scramble for food of any kind during the war to keep their family fed while their father worked. He also secretly helped the Jews in his neighborhood who were still hiding, which was very dangerous. After the end of the war, he and his father were interned for a year and a half at AMERSFOORT Prison Camp for alleged Nazi collaboration. They were released after being proven innocent but the neighbors were not convinced. Jan could not return to school nor gain employment. He decided to go to Canada where he and his brother began their own businesses. Over the years, he opened a string of piano stores and tuned and restored pianos.

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 Jan Makkreel
 Dutch people
 The Swastika

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