Things We Couldn't Say
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Things We Couldn't Say

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Here is the incredible true story of Diet Eman, who, with her fiance, Hein Sietsma, risked everything to rescue Dutch Jews imperiled by Nazi persecution in occupied Holland during World War II. Emans first-person narrative vividly captures the gripping events of her brave saga.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 8th 1999 by W.B. Eerdmans (first published July 1994)
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Anna
This book was SOOOOOOOOOO inspirational. If you like The Hiding Place, you'll LOVE this book. It was well-written, and kept me on the edge of my seat! I also added a number of quotes from this book. I heard about Diet's story from Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue which is another inspiring novel. Although I don't buy books often, I'm definitely going to buy this one.
All of the Jews she hid survived. The ending is pretty bittersweet, but her...more
Billy
There are few books I've read that ring more meaningful than this one. I would recommend it to anyone. I happened to read it while courting my wife. My experiences at the time were thrust in start contrast with the life dealt out to Diet Eman who would sacrifice everything, lose the one she loved most, while trying to save every Jewish life that came across her path. But, she didn't do this individually, she was part of a larger underground resistance that leaves one shocked at the brazen courag...more
Anna
Heart breaking story about a Dutch resister during WWII. I hadn't read the back of the book, but should have guessed the ending. It made me cry. In the airport. At the boarding gate surrounded by strangers. Through the book you come to know Diet, her family, her friends, and her faith. After doing little things the horrors of what the Nazis are actually doing become clear and she becomes more active in her work, alongside her fiance. They begin transporting and hiding Jews in farms around the co...more
Laurie Garcia
This is such an amazing book! Diet Eman shares with the readers the story of how she and her fiance participated in the resistance by hiding Jews and performing tasks for the resistance movement. From a historical standpoint, I appreciated that she delves into how these operations worked, the danger of undertaking such work, and the toll it took on those who performed resistance work. You can really learn a lot about underground work from Eman's story. Even the details they must be aware of whil...more
Phillip
This book was a page turner, it kept me engossed from the first page. This is one of those historical books where you almost know what to expect, if you know the history that surrounds the personal story being told. This brave woman Diet Eman, (pronounced deet) who was a Dutch Jew in Holland, started a resistance group with her fiance and others. They hid Jews and got them fake papers, and got involved with a more organized group, and then her fiance got pick up with supplies that included stuf...more
Susan
This is the true story of Diet Eman, a young Christian woman who joined the Christian resistance movement in the Netherlands during WWII. Together with her fiancé, Hein Sietsma, and many other Dutch men and women, they risked their lives to save the lives of numerous Jews once the Germans occupied their beloved country. Diet and her fellow compatriots tried to stand for what was right in the midst of great evil and danger, doing so by the grace and power of God. Before the war ends, Eman, her fi...more
Renee Reynolds
Undoubtedly this book would not be recommended as a vacation read, but I picked it up from my niece's bookshelf while visiting relatives this summer. As other Goodreads reviewers have mentioned, this book is both a page turner and and a critical read for understanding the horrors of the Holocaust and its impact on everyday resisters to the Nazi regime. As a Christian believer, I wanted to explore the convictions of Christian young adults who chose to involve themselves in dangerous work, underta...more
Brianne
Wow. This was one of the best books I've ever read. It brought me to the reality of what it was like to live in a region that experienced Nazi take over during the time preceding and during World War 2. The stories of Eman were inspiring, to hear the reality of people who opened their hearts and home to save innocent Jewish people and to read about their experiences and the consequences they had to pay, and the amazement that they (some) made it through.
Lynseyg4
This is one of my favorite books. I couldn't put it down. Diet Eman was a woman who worked for the Dutch underground during WWII. She relied on Christ in everything she did. There were many times where she could have been put in prision and was somehow saved. It is evident by the circumstances that she encountered that it was by the grace of God that she escaped dangerous situations. She has taught me to be strong in Christ and rely only on Him.
Ashton D
I know, another WW II survival book. This one puts all the others to shame though. Almost from the beginning you marvel at how Diet (the main character and author) kept her strength and faith through so many years of hardship and fear. It leaves you wondering if people like that still exist, and if they could do the same thing again.
Jack Ippel
Excellent book. I used it with 8th graders during a World War Two unit.
Leah
Well, it's safe to say that I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I decided to borrow this book from my program director in Kenya. I read about half of it before I had to give it back to him so that I didn't take it across the Atlantic Ocean with me. So, I checked it out via inter-library loan in my hometown and realized how long it really had been that I knew what was going on, so I started over.

Reading so deep into the life of someone who is willing to open up to you all the detail...more
Mary
Other people have compared this to The Hiding Place, but to me it's much more complete, with actual journal entries and photos of things like the ration books. Diet tells her story as though she was sitting in your living room with a cup of strong coffee, reliving her experiences and relationships. It's such that I want to write to her and thank her...my friend Denise says she's still going strong in Michigan, helping and volunteering her time. Amazing.
Neeta
This is a memoir of a young Dutch Christian woman who participated in the resistance movement and worked to hide Jews from the Germans in WWII, giving a nice perspective of how the Dutch were affected by the German invasion. The author had to go into hiding for years during the war when it was suspected that she was in the Resistance. She disguised herself as a maid, did not dare to visit her family, and was separated from her fiance when he was caught, too. She continued her work in hiding Jews...more
Marsha
Things We Couldn't Say is an amazing, horrifying, enriching real life account of events and heroism in Holland during WWII. Diet Eman is one of so many honest, faithful Christians who rescued and saved so many from the German Armies. Her story is not hers alone, so many faithful were walking such a thin line. Her freedom is our freedom. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the names, dates, and places mentioned in this book. So I was especially thrilled at the postscript that gave me after war updates...more
Michelle BF
Wow! Hard to put down and since it's a memoir, you know how it ends which made it both hard to finish and hard to put down. A rare combination...

A WWII memoir about this woman's involvement in the Dutch Resistance. I am enthralled by her bravery which she chalks up to being a good Christian. She has great perception (maybe only in hindsight) about the times and what was going on around her, things they didn't know or realize (how long the war would last) and people's perceptions. She resides in...more
Joan Burgett
"Things We Couldn't Say" is the story of Diet Eman and Hein Sietsma (her fiancé); "ordinary" people who risked their lives time and time again to help hide Dutch Jews. This first-hand story of the Resistance showed their courage, the chances they took, the many times that God protected them. Diet walked or biked all over Holland taking false ID & food ration cards. They loved each other deeply and were separated during the war except for a "day now and then." Each were imprisoned by the Nazi...more
Tamara
A fresh perspective on the way politics can come between friends and even family and how quickly it become a matter of life or death. This woman had a strong will and courage which when she went full force to help. I met this woman in 1996 when I went on a medical mission trip. After this book, she studies nursing and lived all over the world helping people. The last time I checked, she was still alive and volunteering at a medical clinic in an inner city. She is in her nineties. For her this bo...more
Lisa Mickey
Sep 14, 2007 Lisa Mickey rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone
I have always been drawn to the conflict of WWII - perhaps out of a desire to understand humany behavior. How could someone be so evil (Hitler), how could people follow so blindly, how was it for those who opposed the regime and risked everything to help the persecuted. Reading this book made me feel like I was there - with every decision and every risk. I would like to hope I would have as much courage under similar conditions. But I'd also like to never have the opportunity to find out!
Sheri
This is the story of a woman who, with her friends and fiancee, became deeply involved in the Dutch Resistance movement during World War II. It's a powerful story of faith amidst the foulest of circumstances. The one thing that bothered me was that it was as if Schaap had Eman tell her story into a tape recorder, then transcribed it--it wandered a bit and felt like an old person's somewhat disorganized reminiscences. Parts of the book were better than others in that regard.
Liz
Powerful and beautiful; tragic and hopeful. Based on the actual experiences of Diet Eman, a young adult woman who lived in the Netherlands during WWII, and Hein Sietsma, her fiance; together they worked in the underground resistance movement helping to place Jews in safe home, among other work; both eventually spending time in German camps after being arrested. Both Diet and Hein were very devout Christians which is evident in their journal entries and letters to one another.

Sometimes the timel...more
Patricia
This book is now one of my favorite historical WWII memoirs. Written as an autobiography of her life during World War II as a member of the Christian Dutch resistance, this book is engaging and challenging to read. Diet Eman is open and honest about her struggles to keep her faith strong in God during these harsh times. During one of her stays in prison, the author briefly meets Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom.
Alex
This book is uplifting, heart-wrenching, insightful, and unbelievably amazing. I loved every part of the book and praise Diet Eman for her courage both with what she did in the resistance and for being able to write her story down. A wonderful view of life during WWII and how hard those outside of the military also fought. A book I read again and again.
Joni
Excellent book. It's amazing the things people will endure to help out a fellow man. It's nice to know there are still people out there who are willing to put thier lives aside, can see the bigger picture and selflessly help mankind. The fact that it is a true story makes it that much better.
Lynley
This book was beautiful but heartbreaking. Some have said that it is similar to Corrie Ten Boom's book, and it is--in a way--but in many ways it is very different than Corrie's book. Diet was a very different sort of woman, but I enjoyed reading about the war from her perspective immensely.
Johanne
"Inspiring true story of Diet Eman, a young Dutch woman,who with her fiance... risked everything to rescue imperiled Jews inNazi-occupied Holland during World War II... would eventually cost Diet her freedom and her fiance his life".

Good book, incredibly brave people.
Melissa Hiltbrand
Book got off to a bit of a slow start. I felt like I was listening to my grandmother wander through old stories--which likely was the intent, but it didn't "grab" me right away. The subject matter was compelling enough to keep me reading and I'm certainly glad that I did.
Makeba
May 21, 2007 Makeba rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Amazing personal story of a christian woman working to protect jews persecuted during the Holocaust. The story is amazing, and true. She suffers incredibly and experiences an amazing love story at the same time. An inspirational story that speaks hope, despite such evil.
Rachel
AMAZING Story! I read when we were in Germany, summer '07, where part of the story took place. I've also gotten to meet Diet through friends...I even have my picture with her...amazing spirit! I also saw the play...hard to believe it's a true story, her story!!!
Vivian
Apr 19, 2013 Vivian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Such strength! A true testament of the power one person can do in standing up for what is right. She is an amazing woman who stood face to face with evil and didn't cower despite hunger, disease, and abuse from the Nazis. Diet is a true inspiration.
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“I had no real communication with anyone at the time, so I was totally dependent on God. And he never failed me.” 23 likes
“But miracles still happen, even if we don't think they do.” 8 likes
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