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Escaping Occupied Europe

Title:Escaping Occupied Europe - A Dutchman’s dangerous journey to join the Allies
Writer:Moulin, D. de
Published:Pen & Sword
Published in:2018

This book, from 2018, is the English version of a Dutch book from 2006 of which the title can be translated as: "We are not afraid, at least not that much". It contains the diary of the Dutch "Engelandvaarder" (England Sailor) Daniel de Moulin. When in 1943 the Germans demand a declaration of loyalty from students, the student in medicine De Moulin refuses. He fears that he can be taken prisoner by the Germans. He realizes that his participation and knowledge of the Utrecht student resistance could be dangerous for him and the resistance. If he would be taken prisoner and tortured he could break down and betray things. Therefore he flees to England.

Writer Hylke Faber (1981) received his master degree at the University of Utrecht and the University of Amsterdam. The second author, Pieter Stolk (1978), studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Utrecht and was promoted in 2008. In addition to his work, history is his passion. The duo made the story of De Moulin suitable for publication and provided it with additional information.

"Escaping Occupied Europe" is an unique book in which the Dutchman tells his story of his dangerous journey through occupied Europe. The diary is provided with an introduction that offers background information about the "England Sailors" and the personal background of De Moulin. He leaves the Netherlands on the May 3, 1943. He arrives in Portugal after a tough journey through France and Spain. After being approved for service in the Dutch army, he flies to London on October 27, 1943.

De Moulin has described his journey well. He is intelligent and tells with humor and knowledge of the human nature about the journey and everything around it. Additional documentation, such as letters and photos, gives a good picture of the route of the "England Sailor". The tension of loneliness, the boredom, but also the dangers and uncertainties are discussed. The writer takes his readers with him on his journey.

The Dutch version received a lot of attention on radio and television (for example on RTV Utrecht). The book has been positively discussed in newspapers and professional journals, including Parool, Algemeen Dagblad, De Schakel and UMagazine. The first edition of 1000 copies was sold out within a year. A second edition was published in April 2015. In July 2018, this English version appeared.

Beoordeling: Very good


Article by:
Han Smits
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