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Jan Makkreel bares the ghosts of wartime past “Under the Shadow of The Swastika”

A Dutch émigré struggles to discover and accept the good from his past in Nazi-occupied Netherlands and put the bad behind him.

Marysville, Western Australia – WEBWIRE

Jan Makkreel banished his recollections of his past to the closet. Now he’s ready to confront his ghosts.

Jan Makkreel, a jazz musician, business-owner, and survivor of the retribution against suspected Nazi collaborators and sympathizers, tells an eye-opening story about his wartime past in “Under the Shadow of The Swastika.” The memoir is ghostwritten by his friend and fellow musician Robert Graef and self-published under ReadersMagnet.
“Under the Shadow of The Swastika” is a World War II memoir unlike many others as it is written or narrated from the perspective of a non-combatant (and a non-Jew to boot). Makkreel was a teenager when the war broke out and Nazi Germany occupied The Netherlands.
From being well-to-do, his family soon found themselves struggling to survive under wartime conditions, especially during the Hunger Winter of 1944. The Dutch lived in constant fear of the Nazi hegemony but still did not lose their humanity and love for their country. Though he did not take part in the resistance against the Germans, Makkreel rejected the Nazi ideology and even secretly helped the Jews in hiding.
Makkreel was shaped by family and war. One of his maternal Uncles was an SS officer who doted on him, and his sister moved to Germany to live with a Nazi and serve the German cause. One time, a paternal uncle and his son were detained at a concentration camp and Makkreel had to run to his uncle for help in freeing them.
Such family connections would earn the suspicion of neighbors. After the war, Makkreel and his father were arrested for alleged Nazi collaboration and interned at a prison camp for a year and a half. They were released only when the crime alleged against them was not proven. However, in the eyes of their neighbors, they were guilty of high treason.
Makkreel’s account will drive readers to ponder on the effect of war on non-combatants, especially children. The publication of his story, thanks to the effort of Graef, allowed him to put down the baggage he had been dragging for almost his entire life and confront his ghosts.
Order “Under the Shadow of The Swastika” today through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Watch out for the public display of this wartime memoir at the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 13-24, 2019 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.

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
 The ghosts of wartime
 Robert Graef

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