War and Love

A family’s testament of anguish, endurance and devotion in occupied Amsterdam.

by Melanie Martin

War and Love is a fascinating and detailed memoir of a family’s everyday life at a time of war.”

“An extraordinary story of one family’s torment, betrayal and perseverance in war time Amsterdam.”

War and Love Paperback Type C W500

An extraordinary story of one family’s torment, betrayal and perseverance in war time Amsterdam.

War and Love is a fascinating and detailed memoir of a family’s everyday life at a time of war. The simple storytelling reflects a period of history with which everyone is familiar, but is told here with a raw honesty which emphasises the horrors of the events which took place.
 
In May 1940 the family tried and failed to flee from Holland. Some went into hiding, others worked with the Resistance producing false papers, and others were transported to Westerbork transit camp. Sisters Kitty and Liesje, both in the prime of their lives, were compromised by the Nazi laws on intermarriage. War and Love is testimony of their will to survive against the odds. Many of their relatives who arrived at Westerbork were deported to Auschwitz or to Sobibor, where they were murdered.

About

“The book delves into the question of how the Nazis created their Jew/Non-Jew dichotomy. They wanted the question of who should count as a Jew to be clear-cut, and often this was not the case as the twists and turns of this story demonstrate.”

“I can remember sitting on my mother’s lap and being cuddled as a small child."
- Tootje

“I can remember sitting on my mother’s lap and being cuddled as a small child.”

– Tootje

campwesterbork
Harry
Report of the bombing Recht Boomssloot 99
map shows the concentration of Jews in Amsterdam in May 1941

“And then these Germans came and destroyed it, destroyed the family, destroyed everything.”

– Tootje

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Book Reviews

The extent of Melanie’s oral history work is impressive and the results outstanding.

The extent of Melanie’s oral history work is impressive and the results outstanding.

This is packed with fascinating information and is obviously the result of a massive research effort. The extent of Melanie’s oral history work is impressive and the results outstanding. She obviously won the full trust of the people she spoke with, and helped them to recall episodes that must have been painful to live through, and tempting to forget or suppress.

Patrick Allitt, Professor of History

“The pictures add a lot, particularly those of identity cards, letters of release from army service and the photos of the people themselves at different stages in their lives.”

This is a story of a whole family during the Holocaust, not just one person

This is a story of a whole family during the Holocaust, not just one person

What distinguishes this book from so many personal accounts of the Holocaust is that it is the story of a whole family, not just one person – a family that lost 41 members! The story is all the more powerful and moving because it reveals how these horrific events impacted in different ways on a whole range of people.

Jeffrey Simmons, Literary Agent

It makes a fascinating, riveting and also heart-breaking work.

What marks this book out as being a compelling read is the multiple viewpoints and the overwhelming frankness and honesty on the part of the contributors. Every aspect of their lives is covered and it is a comprehensive look at life at an extraordinary time. Yet nothing is sensationalised and nothing seems to have been held back. It is well paced and structured with moments of real tension.

Nicholas Purves

This is a special book. Highly recommended.

A book which is truly a labour of love, as author Melanie Martin reconstructs what happened to her family in occupied Amsterdam in WWII. Martin combines the rigorous approach of an historian with the sensitivity of a family member and the combination makes for a compelling read. Highly recommended.

Sue Magee, The Bookbag

Compelling and moving read

A compelling and moving story of the Nazi’s ‘Jewish Solution’ as told by the author’s family of victims and survivors. ‘Millions of Jews were being murdered and the civilized world heard about about it and either disbelieved it or stood aghast. Possibly the Allies could have done little about it, but they failed to do even a little…. ‘.Presser. The book is very well researched and well written. The individual voices of Harry, Tootje, Liesje and Kitty and their different experiences shine through. A must read and a wonderful gift to hand on to future generations of this extraordinary family.

Thames Teal

Thought provoking. A must read

I read this book over two days and on the third day booked a trip to Amsterdam so that I could retrace the places mentioned. This reinforced the huge research that the author has carried out and brought the story even more alive. This book is not only captivating and thought (and emotion) provoking but it helps us to understand what is happening in Europe today. A must read.

Tim R

A brave, astute, humane and altogether, rather beautiful book

A regime, whose atrocious and barbaric behaviour, is occasionally brought to bear throughout these 236 pages (excluding List of Sources), although never dwelt upon. And this is what accounts for War and Love being such a delicate, and dare I say it, enduring read… I’m most grateful for the authoress, Melanie Martin, having written and compiled what is clearly a brave, astute, humane and altogether, rather beautiful book.

Get the Introduction
and First Chapter,
Free.

To introduce as many people as possible to my family’s incredible story and to build an understanding of the impact of the persecution of the Jews in World War II, especially in Amsterdam, here are the first 29 pages of the book free of charge. Simply sign up below for the first chapter, the contents page and helpful guide to the Granaat family members.
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