‘Hammelburg’s book, for me, holds a #1 place in Holocaust Literature. It ranks for me at par with giants like ‘The Holocaust Chronicle’, Eliezer Wiesel’s ‘Night’, and the much lesser known ‘The Auschwitz Volunteer’ by Witold Pilecki. Deeply grateful to Simon Hammelburg for granting us these memories.’ – Hans J.A. Dekkers *****
Broken on the inside – The War never ended by Dutch author and journalist Simon Hammelburg is based on 1200 interviews with Holocaust survivors and their children. The book reads like a novel but is based on facts, some of which have never been revealed before, disclosing insights of the psychological aftermath of survivors as well as the post-war generations and the traumas that are passed on for over six generations.
There was little understanding for the few survivors coming home in a world that was too busy, didn’t care, wasn’t interested or even had stolen from the deported. Societies where people once grew up had been confiscated or vanished completely. As an Amsterdam railroad worker said to a lady returning from a concentration camp: ‘No one invited you’.
The children lived in a world of anxieties and sadness over lost family members they had never even known. An empty past. Somehow they managed to comfort eachother. Hammelburg describes their thoughts and loneliness, often humoristic dialogues, in a respectful, understanding and caring manner. He also writes about those who suffered under the Japanese occupation of the former Dutch Indies, the slave labourers on the feared Burma railroad where so many died.
To many readers this book is a real eye-opener on what happened right next to them. To the victims and their offspring it is regarded as a relieve that finally ‘someone understands’. The last line in the book reads: ‘We were not alone’ but emotionally for too many people the War never really ended…
Once you’ll start reading this poignant novel, you won’t be able to put it down until you have read the staggering and moving last pages. This unique novel provides a candid look into the minds of people now and in the past that few others have captured before. The Dutch and English versions, both available as hardcover editions as well as e-books, are currently receiving five star reviews from around the globe.
‘Poignant’ – ‘A Liberation’ – ‘Speechless’ – ‘Mesmerising’ – ‘Historical Document’
‘Compelling Stories’ – ‘Moving One to Tears or a Smile’ – ‘Confronting and Revealing’
‘Honest’ – ‘A Must!’ – ‘Unique and Moving’ – ‘Required Reading for Youngsters’
‘Stunning and Previously Unknown Facts about WWII’
‘A #1 Standard in Holocaust Literature’
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