Flory: Survival in the Valley of Death
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Flory: Survival in the Valley of Death

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Flory Van Beek was a young girl caught in the ruthless Nazi occupation of Holland. Unlike Anne Frank, Flory survived to recount this extraordinary story of persecution and survival. Her book was translated into her native language, Dutch, and was released on May 5, 2000, liberation day in the Netherlands.
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published August 30th 1998 by Seven Locks Press (first published 1998)
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I wish more people would read these stories and see them as potential cautionary tales. Flory kept thinking “it won’t happen to us” but in no time her world was upside down.

It CAN happen to us… to me… to you. Institutionalized racism is insidious. What starts off as a guideline for the benefit of the community can quickly devolve into the worse case scenario (Charter of Values in Quebec anyone?)

Don’t think A won’t lead to B - it can. Craziness starts somewhere. Stories like Flory’s are proof.
Sandy Vaughan
I have to agree with the critic. Hearing this read, I felt she was right here beside me. I started this book late at night when I could not go to sleep. I then found myself fighting sleep to hear her story. It is not just about what happened to her and her family but about the people around her, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Like my worn copy of Ann Frank, this will be a story I will want to hear again and again.

The human will is amazing
Interesting story, I've been to the town she lived in and hid in during the war. Having been an exchange student in Holland, I have met a number of Dutch families that either were in the Resistance Movement or hid Jewish families during WWII. Because I'd been to her town this book was of particular interest.
Oct 22, 2008 Gail added it
An amazing story of survival and the knowing that there are wonderful people in this world who have helped others survive through the worst of times in our history.
This is one of those stories that make you think, "You can't make this stuff up." A number of bizarre events happened in her life. My favorite concerns a circus wagon and happens at the end of the story. One of the things that sets her account apart is the numerous newspaper clippings she collected and kept through the war which she translates and shares throughout the book. My favorite aspect of the book, though, was hearing how so many in Holland helped the Jews at great personal risk. That ma...more
I don't know how a book like this could be given less than five stars. It is a first-hand account of the Nazi occupation of Holland. Flory and her husband, both Jewish, were taken in by more than one set of complete strangers over a 5 year period so that their lives would be saved. They hid in attics and hiding spaces, while also being treated with great kindness and love by people who would have been killed had they been caught. The fear, desperation, and great sadness felt by these poor people...more
The version I read is called "Flory: A Miraculous Story of Survival" but seems to be the same as the title described. This is a memoir written some 50 years after the end of WWII. The author, a Dutch Jew, was 18 years old and living in Rotterdam as the Nazi influence started to expand. She fled with her boyfriend (a German Jew) for Argentina, but their ship was sunk by German mines and they were returned, badly injured, to London. After recuperating, they were returned to Holland, where they soo...more
A wonderful story about survival in Holland during the occupation of the Germans. I did not realize how many of the Jewish people where hidden by the good people of Holland. I think you will see this one become a movie soon since Flory saved all of her diaries and documents during the five years in hiding. She buried them in the ground!
Don Weidinger
SS St Louis sailed May 13 1939 from Hamburg though Cuba and U.S. did little to accept 1000 Jews (w/o a $500K fee by Cuba) who fortunately were dispersed throughout Europe on return trip (google the voyage). FDR knew well the Nazi atrocities for years prior to wars end in 1945, and did little to stop or prevent (see also Witness by Chambers). As Flory presents, a mere 80 years ago, the most civilized of societies created and enabled horrors against fellow citizens, not unlike post WWII ussr or Ma...more
Hank Pharis
Flory Van Beek's story of surviving as a young Jewish woman through the Nazi's occupation of Holland.
The kindness and courage of those who hid her etc. is amazing.
Skylar Hatfield
I was impressed by the descriptions of the general Dutch population during the period surrounding WWII. The people were so supportive of each other. They lived "greater love has no one than the man that lays down his life for another". I was also impressed by Flory's ability to keep her friendships intact throughout the years. I learned some things about the history of the time that I had not known before. Though I have read many survivor stories of Jews of the Holocaust, this one filled in the...more
kind, sensitive, perceptive.. Flory wrote this autobiography of her, and her husband. Adopted by many heroes who hid them for six years in her home country, the Netherlands. In the end, they move to Newport Beach, a few miles away from where I type this..

Ok, I liked that her and her husband would lie in bed and kiss sweetly. and out of necessity, her husband, once and later a businessperson, became a GOOD tilework artist. In his hideaway, making things so cute the helper family sold and traded...more
Apr 28, 2010 Ruth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Ruth by: Bookclub
Loved the book! Although, had the book for two weeks before reading it. I wasn't sure I wanted to read about the Holocaust. But, it was a read for bookclub, so I picked it up and couldn't put it down. Flory brings you right into her life and there are times it feels as though you are there. It's a fast read and have your tissues close by. Be prepared to go from laughing to tears. An amazing lady! I'm so glad she has shared her story!
Dec 05, 2008 Kelli rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Another World War II, survival of the holocaust book. Her writing was not very in-depth and I struggled to read some of her sentences (she is not a native English speaker) so it was not that exciting of a book. But I love giving a read to people's first-hand accounts of survival. She survived hiding in Holland during the war.
I liked it, but not as much as some of the other holocaust books I've read. It's amazing that she was able to escape the horrors of the holocaust, but I also didn't feel I connected with her personally. She had a lot of doubts that were not resolved (in the book), which left me with a lot of questions.
A great story of a young couple's survival and the everyday people of the Netherlands who made it possible. I loved the fact that her family was so deliberate to preserve newspaper clippings and documents and to keep diaries. Their memorabilia has become an important documentation of the era.

Moving book of a woman who hid in the Netherlands from the Nazis. The writing was simplistic and a dizzying array of people coming in and out of the story left me confused. Still, I rather liked the story and glad she wrote it.
Each time I read another book about the Holacaust,I can hardly comprehend that it really happened. How can people become so evil that they are able to treat other human beings the way these people were treated.
Stylewise this book is not so great. Reference to "the valley of death" comes at least once each chapter. It is fascinating to get an idea however of how daily life was for Jews in hiding in the Netherlands.
I thought that this was a super interesting account of a Holocaust survivor. You'll feel great about the Dutch, and appalled by their German occupiers after reading this one. Gross!
This was a great book about survival during WWII. A great read about a young Jewish woman and her years in hiding in Holland.
I found this book had a new perspective for me.A vivid sory of the Holocaust and its few survivors.-Booklist
a Holocaust testimonial survivor in Holland and story close to Frank's
Very intense and sad story but a must read for sure! :)
Aug 18, 2009 Sandy is currently reading it
Good reading...sad story...
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Survival of Jewish couple during the Holocaust 1 5 May 22, 2008 07:11AM  
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