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When the Soldiers Were Gone
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When the Soldiers Were Gone

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  163 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
At first Henk didn't believe what his Papa was saying. That the two strangers standing in the front room are his real parents, and now that the war is over they have come to take him back. He is told his name isn't even Henk, it's really Benjamin, and he's Jewish. But all Henk can remember is living on the farm with Papa, Mama, Miep, and Pieter. How can he possibly be expe ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published February 15th 1999 by Putnam Juvenile
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For my multicultural GDJ book I read When The Soldiers Were Gone by Vera W. Propp. Multicultural literature is a book about different cultures. This genre provides knowledge about a group of people by giving the reader more information about the culture. This book tells the story of a Jewish boy named Benjamin and his family’s struggles during the Holocaust. When Nazi soldiers invaded Apelhem, Benjamin’s parents made a very difficult decision, they sent their son to live with another family far
Jan 21, 2016 Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book “When the Soldiers Were Gone” by Vera W. Propp, the little boy, Henk, gets taken away by his family after the Nazis have left his home country. Soon after he gets taken away, he figures out the strangers are his real parents! And he also figures out he is a Jew and that's why he had to hide during WW2. After he gets to his new home, he doesn’t really like it. Henk learns that he gets to go to school, but he doesn’t really like it because he meets a new bully that he has to deal with. ...more
Laura Verret
Henk cannot remember a time when he did not live on the farm with Mama, Papa, Miep, and Pieter. All he knows is that he is the youngest son, that he must wear a silver cross around his neck at all times, and that whenever the soldiers come he must hide in the clothes hamper. He never suspected the truth. He never suspected that he was Jewish and that this was not his real family…

Then, suddenly, the truth is rudely made known to him. Abruptly he is told that now that the war is over he must go an
Wayne S.
Apr 22, 2013 Wayne S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eight-year-old Henk lives on a Dutch farm with Papa and Mama, Paul and Mevrouw Staal, older siblings Miep and Pieter, and cat Kootje. All he can remember is how he could never go to school with Miep and Pieter, and that every time the mean soldiers came he had to hide in the barn or a dirty clothes hamper. But now that the mean soldiers are gone, Henk is surprised to find out that he is really Benjamin, a Jewish child who was hidden from the Nazis, and that his true parents, David and Elsbet Van ...more
Miss Amanda

gr 4-6

1945 Holland One day 8 year old Henk sees strangers at his house. His Papa tells him that they are his
parents. But who are these people who call him Benjamin? Henk/Benjamin doesn't remember them at all.
Henk/Benjamin learns that his family is Jewish and during the war he was sent to live with friends in
the country to hide from the Nazis. As he adjusts to his new home, Benjamin struggles to remember his

The story talks about hiding from the Nazis and that the Nazis are bad, but th
Feb 01, 2015 PJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book based on a true story. A young boy finds out that he is living with a family that is truly not his family. The setting is during WWII. A beautiful introduction to the Holocaust for school aged children.
Jan 05, 2013 Moop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
This is a great book to use to introduce WW 2 to young students. A young boy had been taken away from his Jewish parents so he could be protected during the war. He stayed on a farm with a Christian family and was given a cross to help protect him. His original family comes to the farm after the war to take him back home to their city. He does not want to go and doesn't recognize his real parents and has a real hard time at first leaving the farm. Eventually he adjusts. In the story he remembers ...more
Chris Nazien
Mar 01, 2013 Chris Nazien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just ended reading When the Soldiers where gone not too long ago. It is a not that-bad book and its short and kinda chill. This book took place in Germany near the end of WWII and his setting had a huge impact on the book because of around what time this story took place so it was perfect! The story started off slow but as soon as soon as the plot started the book started getting very wierd. The character flowed with the story as he went through adversity . I ended up reading this book because ...more
Based on a true story, When the Soldiers Were Gone, tells the story of Henk Benjamin, who lived with a Dutch Christian family while the Nazis occupied Holland. In order to remain safe and alive, Henk's natural parents hid and moved from farm to farm, while Henk became a part of this other family.When the war was over,Henk's parents came to reclaim him, yet the boy had no recollection of them. A heart-breaking, traumatizing tale of the horrors of war, and the humanity that neighbors and friends b ...more
Jennifer Swapp
Finished reading this book to the girls. There was much I had to explain to them, especially why it was hard for me to read from choking up. It was an interesting book from the perspective of a boy in Holland after WW 11, who went home to his real parents, only he thought the family he'd been living with was his real family. It was much easier to read and accept with all four of the adults who were his parents were loving, kind, courageous people.

Many children weren't for fortunate during the wa
Feb 04, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a child is taken by his papa from his family and given to people he doesn't know. they claim to be his real parents and instead of calling him by his name Henk, they call him Benjamin.
based on a true story, a boy finds out he was smuggled to the countryside to live w/a gentile family while his family went into hiding. Henk doesn't remember his real parents or understand why nazis hated them.
powerful book about coming home from war.
Shannon Clark
Aug 19, 2012 Shannon Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-reviewed-yet
Another good historical novel and a short and easy one at that. It's hard to imagine the horrors that Jews felt during the reign of Hitler. This story tells how one little boy had to go live with someone else so that his family could try to survive so it's a complete shock to him when they come back for him.

This one would be an EASY one for my students to read and get some basic information about the Holocaust.
Johnny Bennett
This story about life after World War 2 is a gentle way to introduce children to the atrocities of the anti-Semitic Nazi world. At least as gentle as I can presume is possible. Really was a touching story to me, based on real people, about the sacrifices some good people made to hide their neighbors and friends. This book is rife with learning opportunities and discussions.
Aug 16, 2009 Mia rated it really liked it
This Holocaust survival story is perfect for younger readers (the main character is 8), since it does not contain gory details, but instead focuses on what happened once the war was over.
I plan to use this as a read-aloud in my classroom, both to get students acquainted with the Holocaust, and to model thinking aloud, for which there are many opportunities.
Mr. Steve
Aug 17, 2009 Mr. Steve rated it really liked it
Henk was hidden on the farm when he was young and the Nazi soldiers came. But now the war is over and Henk realizes the people he's living with is not his family. What now?

Good historical fiction novel for reluctant readers. The voice used by the author is rather simple while the content is definitely for older primary students. Only 101 pages.
I can't remember this book.

I read this book a long time ago and do not really remember it. I don’t know what else to say about it besides that I recommend it to kids 9 and up (Maybe older depends on the kid) and that everyone should read it. I may not remember this book to well but I know I did enjoy reading it.
The story of a Jewish boy who hid with a Christian family during the Nazi occupation of Holland. It begins at the end of the war when his real parents come to get him and he does not recognize them as being his true family. The boy grapples with this new reality throughout the story.
May 08, 2013 Shelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of an eight year old boy at the end of WWII discovering what had really gone on in his life during the war. Who he really was slowly coming back to him over time and dealing with all the changes made for a good read aloud book to teach my boys about WWII and life itself.
Based on a true story.
Benjamin aka "Henk" is moved to a Christian family in the country during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Stays til war is over. He is returned to the family he doesn't know. He learns they are his parents and that he was hidden because he was Jewish.
Sep 17, 2008 Krista rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an easy look at WW2 after effects through a young boy in the Netherlands. He was forced into hiding when he was small and for so long that he had forgotten his real Jewish family when they came to pick him up. It is written simple, for younger readers, but I enjoyed it.
I can tell you a lot about this book because it was historical fiction. It had real character and real events that could have happened. I really encourage you to read it. It was about world war 2 and if you were a Jew you would have benn killed.
Sarah Mudge
Aug 31, 2015 Sarah Mudge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible heart warming true story. It's great to read about an event that depicts the light after the darkness of WW2 in Europe. I haven't picked this book up since Middle School but it felt great to read it again.
Kayla D
May 08, 2008 Kayla D rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The traumatic experiences of a young boy who is taken from the only life he has ever known in the persuit of finding out who he really his. An appealing book that spells out yet another aspect of war.
i really liked it but the fact that he kept stating that living with new people "wasn't home" and that he would never get use to it. they just kept repeating it over and over.
Aug 02, 2013 Audra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author did a great job presenting WWII and the Nazis, in a way that communicated what happened, without making it too frightening for children. Good for grade 3 and up.
Dec 15, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a great introduction to the Holocaust for my kid. It was a quick read but thought provoking and interesting. Nothing scary, but sad at time.
Jun 20, 2009 AnnaElaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness this book was so sad! It ended up ok but it was so good! Even though it was only 98 pages, every page was good! It mad me cry!
L campagnola
Great chapter book to read aloud. It's about an 8 year old boy after World War 2. Both kids liked it.
Aug 06, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit
Interesting story of what happened after the war ended from the point of view of a hidden Jewish child.
Jan 03, 2012 Afyhrlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good! It's a children's book about the holocaust, and appealed to my 11 yr. old.
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