Three Ordinary Girls

Three Ordinary Girls

The Remarkable Story of Three Dutch Teenagers Who Became Spies, Saboteurs, Nazi Assassins--and WWII Heroes

Book - 2021
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Tells the story of three fearless female resisters during World War II whose youth and innocence belied their extraordinary daring in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.
Publisher: New York, New York : Citadel Press, [2021]
ISBN: 9780806540382
Characteristics: 298 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Feb 10, 2021

My father's parents and my mother's grandparents were first generation immigrants from the Netherlands. Thus none of my immediate family had to endure either of the world wars in their home country. As a child I read about Anne Frank and 'The Hiding Place' has a treasured spot on my bookshelf. This new release gives a more comprehensive view of the Dutch resistance effort while focusing on three young women who grew to be crucial to the more violent side. Meticulously researched with footnotes sprinkled on every page, the story has a more scholarly feel. For some I could see the flurry of Dutch names throughout being a bit intimidating. My childhood was in a small town in Iowa that cherished its Dutch heritage. My last name was Van Hal, but the bank alphabetized me as an "H." There were so many last names that started with a "V." Aside from the distraction of footnotes (perhaps they should have had their own place in the endnotes?) and the adjustment to all the names, this is a compelling narrative. Two teenagers and a law student become Nazi killers. It is an astonishing transformation, but one they believed in fully. Remember their names: Truus Menger-Overteegen, Freddie Dekker-Oversteegen, and Hannie Schaft. This one may be one to savor than to read at a gallop. It is worth the time!


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