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Sea of Tulips

December 18, 2010

Awash in a sea of color, nothing can rival the stunning display that the tulips in Holland smack across the landscape every spring.  With over 3,000 varieties and the colors that accompany them, these distinctive flowers spring from their bulbs into a magnificent array of beauty that can be found nowhere else in the world.

Stonebrook Publishing, St. Louis, MO

Awash in Fields of Glory -- Holland Tulips in May

They are a unique gift from above, revered by those who live near nature’s canvas. Be sure of this: the Dutch love their tulips.

But in the winter of 1944, they decimated this love. With most of the population either freezing or starving to death because of the Nazi annihilation of the Netherlands, the Dutch sent their children to the fields, to the parks, to the planter boxes, and to the creeksides to forage for the frozen bulbs. If they were lucky, they found a few that they could fry and eat, just to survive one more day. Like the precious bulbs they uprooted, the children themselves were ripped from their soil–from their families and schools and friends–and sacrificed to the darkness of the Holocaust.  When Holland was finally liberated, there were less children and even fewer tulip bulbs, and the ones that survived–children and tulips–were stunted by the severe conditions.

In this time of political correctness, teaching the Holocaust and the Nazi atrocities has been removed from many schools, but the stories must survive, they must push up to the surface and break free, and scream to this forgetful world “Yes, this happened, and it happened to me.” Such a work, originally written in Dutch by Ronald Sanders and revised and translated by  Hannie J. Voyles, will be released in May, 2011. This book chronicles the stories of twenty children who were contemporaries of Anne Frank, who remember the crushing, defeating years of the Nazis in the Netherlands. Hannie was there, and she remembers it all.

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