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Jan Makkreel reveals what it was to live “Under the Shadow of The Swastika”

In a memoir ghostwritten by a friend, a Dutch émigré relives memories that haunt him from the other side of the Atlantic.

Marysville, Western Australia – WEBWIRE

A non-combatant reveals psychological wounds sustained from World War II in his country. 

It is not often that one runs into a person with a sad, storied wartime past, especially a narrative that could make a book. Robert Graef met Jan Makkreel and discovered they were kindred spirits, with a mutual affinity for jazz and orchestra music and involvement in the piano business. Living a few blocks apart from each other, they find more than enough time for a conversation, which led to a book.
“Under the Shadow of The Swastika” (ReadersMagnet; 2019) was conceived out of the conversations Graef, a writer, had with Makkreel, a person with a sad past in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Graef became so captivated with Makkreel’s recollections of life as a teenager at the outbreak of war that he began jotting notes.
Makkreel and his family suffered a great deal during the war. Though he did not take part in the resistance against the Germans, he abhorred the Nazi ideology and even secretly aided the Jews in hiding. He, however, cannot shake off his ties to the occupiers: his maternal uncle was an SS officer and an older sister moved to Germany to live with a Nazi and serve the German cause. Makkreel narrates how his uncle’s influence helped free a paternal uncle and a cousin from a concentration camp.
After the war, Makkreel, along with his father, was arrested for alleged Nazi collaboration. They were interned for a year and a half at a prison camp and released only when the crime was not proven. Life was never the same for the Dutch teenager after their release as neighbors continued to suspect them. He later left for Canada to start his life anew but his ghosts from the past continued to haunt him.
Read the rest of Jan Makkreel’s story in the memoir ghostwritten by Robert Graef. Order “Under the Shadow of The Swastika” today through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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
 Under the Shadow
 The Swastika

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