Search­ing for Home: The Impact of WWII on a Hid­den Child

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

The war ends and Jos­je is returned to his par­ents. Who are these peo­ple who call them­selves my par­ents?” he imag­ines. He is three years old and feels aban­doned, con­fused and angry. He wants to return to his real” par­ents who loved and shel­tered him dur­ing the war. My name is Piet­je Dijk­stra not Jos­je Gosler,” he states tear­ful­ly when goad­ed by his cousin. As a Jew and a hid­den child in the Nether­lands, his inno­cence pro­tect­ed him as much as his Chris­t­ian fam­i­ly. The impact of his first sep­a­ra­tion from his par­ents may not be so eas­i­ly ascer­tained, but when he is returned to them, his porce­lain psy­che is dam­aged and his clos­est com­pan­ions are fear and dis­trust. His life is seen through the lens of an immi­grant, as he migrates with his fam­i­ly to Israel and sub­se­quent­ly to the Unit­ed States. This is a sto­ry of a young boy who becomes a man, ever wan­der­ing and strug­gling to find him­self. His par­ents, emo­tion­al­ly gut­ted from their own wartime expe­ri­ences, are bare­ly able to care for them­selves, let alone this young stranger.

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