Jessica van Leeuwen

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Jessica tells how her grandfather was accidentally betrayed and arrested by the Sicherheitsdienst, after which he performed forced labour in Germany. The theme is survival. How do you survive forced labor in an enemy country?

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Jessica van Leeuwen

  • forced labor

    /
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Region: Noord-Brabant
  • Compensation: € 45,00 (including € 10,00 discount private donation)
  • Travel expenses: € 0,29 p/k
  • Institutions: to be further agreed upon

"Suddenly Berta sat up in bed. She heard a loud bang and a lot of screaming. It came from downstairs. The pounding became louder. Mother,' said Jenny, 'it's the Krauts! She crawled closer to her mother. With a huge bang the room door was thrown open and two German soldiers with drawn pistols stormed into the living room.

One of the soldiers came towards Berta and pulled her out of the bed by her arm. She screamed out in pain. The children completely panicked. He put his gun on Berta's left temple and gestured with his head to his colleague. The other soldier screamed to the children. They could not understand what he said, but suddenly it was quiet. Terrified they looked at the soldiers.

Berta had to force herself to breathe regularly, otherwise, she would have fainted on the spot. She felt the cold steel of the barrel of the gun press against the temple of her head. Frau Speijer?', the soldier barked at her. Berta nodded her head very carefully. Wo ist Ihr Mann? His head was now very close to her face and she could smell his stinky breath. Inadvertently she pulled her head back a bit. The grip of the German became firmer. Ouch', she groaned softly.

Where is your husband?' the German asked, this time in Dutch. Berta swallowed. The bird has flown, she said softly."

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