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André’s Wooden Clogs

Based on the memories of Arie Ben-Peli

As the World War II raged and millions of Jews were sent to their deaths, there were also good people in Europe who risked their lives to save Jewish children. One such child was Andrי van Vlijmen, today Arie Ben-Peli, who lives in Israel. The novel Andre`s Wooden Clogs, which is suitable for young people and adults alike, is based on van Vlijmen`s memories as a Jewish child from Amsterdam whose parents entrusted him over to the Dutch underground before they were sent to a forced labor camp. Andre`s moving story is also the glorious hour of the Dutch people who did not lose their humanity during the Nazi occupation. Six-year-old Andrי was separated from his three-year-old brother, transfered to southern Holland and shunted from one family to another, until he came to the village of Bakel and the home of the Sleegers family, farmers who looked after him with great devotion for two years as if he were their own son. Somewhat unexpectedly in a book about the Holocaust, the chapters overflow with joie de vivre as they provide a credible and with good-humored description of the city child`s adjustment to village life, his relationship with the family, his love of animals and the process of his adaptation to farm-work and household chores. Andre was fortunate in that the Sleegers were an honest, industrious family who loved people – as were most of their neighbors -despite the fact there was an informer among them who collaborated with the Germans. The war was raging all around and atrocities were being perpetrated -the book also touches upon these hard-to-handle areas – but the main thrust of the plot takes place in the quiet of the eye of the storm. With the liberation of Holland, Andre was reunited with his brother and parents, who had been sent to Auschwitz towards the end of the war, but had survived. He returns to the bosom of his loving family, but will never forget his Dutch father, mother, brother and sister.

Chinese, Dutch, Italian
Title André’s Wooden Clogs
Writer's Last Name Lahav
Writer's First Name Tsruya
Genre Children
Ages 12 up
Publisher (Hebrew) Kinneret
No. Pages 239pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Kafkafei Ha-Etz Shel Andre