In a series of anecdotes I describe my experiences living in Antwerp, Belgium during the German occupation of WW II. I was 7 years old when the war broke out and 11 at the end. While I experienced some of the hardships of that era, I also have memories that made me think of it being an “adventure”.
Realizing now the darkness of that era, I apologize for the lighthearted tone in the book .
War is, of course, terrible. Any war. All the suffering, all the death, all the wounded, the destruction, homelessness, cruelty, hunger, fear, and panic. It may also bring out the best in some people: heroism, patriotism, compassion, and altruism. But one would never think that war might be seen as an adventure; in some ways for me it was.
In this short book I write about my memories of this period of time from the invasion of Belgium, through the German occupation, and to the immediate post war era. For most Belgians this was a hard and sad time full of suffering. While I experienced some of that suffering and the fear as well, many of my memories are about exciting events and experiences (to a young boy), to the point that I remember this time as an “adventure.”
I will justifiably be faulted for talking so lightly about this dark period in Belgium’s and the world’s history and for seemingly having somewhat enjoyed it all , while people were indiscriminately killed, tortured, and exterminated by the Nazis and while there was much suffering, destruction, maiming, and death. Remember though that I was a little boy growing up and mostly unaware of the atrocities occurring away from my immediate environment. Also, my parents did their best to shelter me from the many horrors.
If a reader is offended by this, I do apologize and want to reassure the reader that now at age 83, I am of course fully aware of the darkness of the years between 1940 and 1945. Seen in this light I do hope that this will be an interesting and enjoyable read for contemporaries and others.
I do not want this book to be perceived as historical, but as a series of anecdotes still present in the memory of this little boy. There might be some inaccuracies as to time and place, as memories do fade, but all happened.
Again I apologize to the reader about the lighthearted way in which I am writing down these memories.
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I was born on November 3, 1933 in a small town close the major port of Antwerp in Belgium. All of my primary and high school education was in Antwerp. I lived through WW II and the German occupation.
After graduating from medical school I emigrated to the US where I now live (retired) in Miami, Florida with my wife Anne.
During my professional career I have often been asked about my experiences in during the German occupation of Belgium in World War II. After much prodding by family, friends and colleagues I finally relented and have written down my recollections. Doing this was actually rewarding as during the process more and more memories came to the foreground.
I have decided to make the book available for free downloading via Smashwords and explain in the beginning of the book why I chose to do that. However Amazon did not allow me do make the book available for free.