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In 1940, three teenage Dutch girls (ages 14, 16 and 19) were experimenting with makeup and giggling about boys. Then, the Second World War broke out, and Nazi Germany occupied the Netherlands. Immediately these young women were deprived of their childhood and faced a question far beyond what was expected of them: to adapt or to resist?
This is the astonishing, true story of Hannie Schaft and sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen that has inspired many throughout the world. In order to honor their ideal of a livable world, these three young women took up arms against the enemy. As one of the only women in the armed resistance, they seduced high-ranking Nazi officers, lured them into the woods and killed them. In addition, they provided Jewish children with safe houses and gathered vital intelligence for the resistance. They did what they did “because it had to be done.” Above all, they tried to remain human in inhuman circumstances.
Hannie Schaft was executed by the Nazis three weeks before the end of the war. She became the icon of female Dutch resistance. Truus and Freddie Oversteegen survived the war, but lived with the burden of their experiences for the rest of their lives, forever haunted by the demons of their past.
Non-fiction; History; Biography; Female Resistance; Dutch Resistance; Holocaust; World War II.
Sophie Poldermans personally knew Truus and Freddie Oversteegen for 20 years and worked closely with them for over a decade.
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Soft Cover US Trade, richly illustrated with archival photos
and maps, 228 p; Printed in the USA; Also available as eBook and audiobook.
“Mind blown! Transfixed! A fascinating non-fiction tale set during the darkest days of the Second World War. Richly illustrated with archival photos.”Kathryn AtwoodAuthor of Women Heroes of World War II
“Meticulously researched through years of Poldermans’ ongoing interest and personal engagement; important reading; inspiring account of courageous action in the face of unacceptable inhumanity.”Mieke EerkensAuthor of All Ships Follow Me
“Compelling, Intriguing and Educational! […] So perilous was their work that one of them combed her red hair and applied lipstick before any attack, so that she could “die beautifully.”Elinor FlorenceAuthor of Bird’s Eye View
“Very strong and moving. Very well researched. As soon as I started to read, I could not stop anymore!”Manfred NowakUN Expert on Children Deprived of Liberty; Secretary General of European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization, Venice; Director Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, Vienna
Sophie Poldermans is a Dutch women’s rights advocate. She is a best selling author, public speaker, lecturer and consultant on women and war and human rights-related issues from a legal, historical, and sociological perspective. She is the founder of Sophie’s Women of War, an organization that focuses on the role of women during war in the broadest sense of the word.
She personally knew Truus and Freddie Oversteegen from this book for 20 years and worked closely with them for over a decade as a board member of the National Hannie Schaft Foundation.
For more information, see: www.sophieswomenofwar.com/bio
Sophie’s Women of War was founded in order to shed light on the stories of women of war in the broadest sense of the word, whether from an academic perspective, in a business setting and/or in everyday life. Why? Since these stories remain largely untold or are misrepresented. And because we need strong female role models in present day society.
For more information, see: sophieswomenofwar.com