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The Concentration Camp

The true Story of a Belgian teenager 

Auteur: Vera Mertens

Engels - Hardcover

123 pagina's  |  Vera Mertens  |  april 2018

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Verwachte leverdatum 26-04-2018

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Book report by Eileen Stevens
The Concentration Camp: The True Story of a Belgian Teenager follows a family in the Belgian city of Aalst during the Second World War. Written by Vera Mertens, the daughter of the story's main character, the book begins in the days before the outbreak of WWII. It follows the oldest son Pierre's growing interest in politics and the disturbing events taking place in the world around him. Through his father, a veteran of WWI, Pierre comes into contact with the Resistance, and helps publish and distribute the clandestine newspapers the Belgians relied on during the German occupation. Pierre's exploits soon expand to include providing guns and ammunition to the Resistance, and during a harrowing scene, he is picked up at home by the Gestapo.
From that point on the story splits in two, alternating between the daily life of the family in Aalst and the increasingly horrific experiences of Pierre as he descends into the hell of German captivity. The book is far from black and white, presenting wartime dilemmas in various shades of gray. For instance, Pierre's older sister runs off with a German soldier, while Pierre's Uncle Jef is apparently sympathetic to the occupying forces.
Radio reports, newspaper headlines and letters from abroad are interspersed with the narrative to create a picture of what was happening during the war and how it affected the residents of Belgium. We experience first hand the family's attempts to maintain normalcy in the face of deprivation as they try to celebrate the holidays, keep enough food on the table, and host visitors (including a British pilot hiding in a nearby castle). Some background is included about the debilitating injuries the father sustained during WWI, and this heightens Pierre's motivation for fighting the occupying Germans.
Here is a unique, first-hand view of captivity seen through the eyes of Pierre, a brave and headstrong boy on the edge of manhood, who remains steadfast in his belief in freedom throughout his ordeal.



Auteur(s)Vera Mertens
Soort boek Hardcover, 123 pagina's
Uitgever Vera Mertens , Verschijningsjaar: 2018
ISBN-13 9789082415933
ISBN-10 9082415933
Taal Engels


Categorieën Geschiedenis & politiek  >  Oorlog
Studieboeken  >  Geschiedenis
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