Letters to the Editor

by
April 2007, no. 290

Letters to the Editor

by
April 2007, no. 290

Swept away

Dear Editor,

I was among the many swept away by Elisabeth Holdsworth’s essay, An die Nachgeborenen: For Those Who Come After’ (February 2007). From the moment she confided, ‘I have returned to the Netherlands to have a specific conversation with the past’, I became an intent listener, almost an inter-loper, following this haunted child’s return after decades away, back to her heritage, Zeeland – ‘The land of my nightmares’.

I do not know the stark Calvinist low country of dunes and ‘massive dykes’, though I flew over it often enough at night. I followed the returning child entranced and often shocked: the fearful Nazi reprisals, the deliberate flooding of the hard-won lands; brother executing brother; the unofficial motto of the province even: ‘never forgive, never forget.’

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