The author, Liliane Pelzman is a radio broadcasting professional, and her training must have influenced the persistence with which she was able to intThe author, Liliane Pelzman is a radio broadcasting professional, and her training must have influenced the persistence with which she was able to interview her mother over time. That she brought this project to fruition proves both her love for her mother, and her dedication to reporting on our times and the past that shapes us.
Each chapter starts with a snippet of a telephone conversation between mother and daughter. Three things become clear right off the bat: the mother is in pain, the daughter can't be with her all the time, and they are both fixated on WWII; they share an interest in books and films that cover the Holocaust.
These short conversations are followed by subtle reflections of the daughter on what has been known as the Second Generation Holocaust Syndrome since the mid-to-late 1970s.
What happened to Sonja, the author's mother, just before, the onset, during, and after WWII is told from a close third person point of view. The reader is in Sonja's head, accompanies her as she falls in love, as she's deported to concentration camps, lives in degrading circumstances, loses the love of her live, survives the war by a hair, remarries and builds a new life on the ruins of the old.
Holocaust survivors didn't readily (and some still don't) accept the notion that their children would be suffering from their [parents'] war and camp experiences. Survivors talked or didn't talk about the war. Within one family it was possible to have one parent who spilled memories constantly, while the other kept mum, in another family the pact between the parents could be not to ever mention the monstrosities they had experienced. Either way the children are affected; whether through the telling of stories, or by silence, the feelings related to the Holocaust are transmitted as though by osmosis.
Liliane Pelzman's mother is unaware that she talked about her experiences to her children, but Liliane, not wanting to hear the stories as a child and escapes Post-WWII Amsterdam at sixteen. It isn't until she hears Holocaust deniers on American radio that she decides her mother's story needs to be told. Asking the questions she could not ask before help her to get to know her mother, and the answers clarify the nature of Liliane's own fears and sensitivities experienced as an adult.
And No More Sorrow is a heroic love story, a close account of the ordeal suffered by Sonja during WWII, as well as the story of her daughter Liliane.
Children of Holocaust Survivors did not experience the monstrous events first hand, but they live with the emotions of second hand fear. Everyday events may trigger responses in members of the Second Generation that seem out of proportion. Inadvertently they've been outfitted with an extra dosage of the flight or fight hormone.
With And No More Sorrow Liliane Pelzman tell the story of surviving generations of the Holocaust.
This book is a must-read for those interested in the history and aftermath of WWII in the Netherlands, and first person accounts of concentration camps....more
They did not eat tulips, they ate the bulbs. That was my first thought seeing the pretty cover picture of The Tulip Eaters. I know, because I'm from tThey did not eat tulips, they ate the bulbs. That was my first thought seeing the pretty cover picture of The Tulip Eaters. I know, because I'm from the Netherlands, and raised on WWII literature. The subject has captured my attention my whole life. Was the title an indication of the number of inconsistencies a reader could expect in book? I told myself I shouldn't judge the book by its cover, and read on, red pen in hand.
Let me share right of the bat: The florid writing is uneven. The close third person narrative (used for the point of view of the protagonist, and three antagonists) is unrealistic. The characters especially the Jewish Isaac, Ariel, Amarisa and Dirk) are unbelievable, cartoonish, two-dimensional. Historical facts about food distribution, concentration camps, and Nazi rules concerning Jewish and gentile citizens are mangled. The WWII timeline isn't honored, and on top of that the book's own timeline is inconsistent.
- The last round-ups of Dutch Jews happened in the late summer of 1944. - Anne Frank and family members were deported on the last train to the east in September 1944. - Amsterdam was liberated on the 5th of May, 1945. - By April of 1945 there were most definitely no more deportations. - Jews deported to Theresienstadt had to memorize their numbers, they were not tattooed on their arms.
Get my point? The above renders the plot line of the book completely lame. Yes, there were still shootings at the very end of the war, and even after May 5th the Nazis killed people in a wild shooting on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, but there were no more deportations. And Henny Rosen was not deported.
Why did I read on? To find out if things could get worse, and they did.
The book's anti-hero Ariel, the only character who undergoes change he shows remorse in the end for kidnapping his cousin's daughter, shares thoughts about his aunt Amarisa in chapter 10: "God, it wasn’t just having to tell her [about Isaac's death], a filthy rich diamond merchant, as cold and calculation in business as she was in life." Later on in chapter 18: "… She shook her bony finger at him. 'Don't forget I know important people in this city. Judges, Cabinet ministers —they've all bought diamonds from me. All it would take is one phone call and you'd go to jail. And never see Rose again.' "Ariel knew all she said was true. Amsterdam was the largest diamond center in the world. She had been in the trade for almost forty years and had forged relationships with people in high places."
This, gentle reader, spells conspiracy theory.
Stories about the Holocaust need to be addressed with care. Fictionalizing history, the reports of survivors and victims has long been frowned upon. And now that we do have plenty of novels about the subject to choose from, I still know a child of survivors who agonizes over the point of view she uses for her personal story. She fears an account written in third person would suggest fictionalization of the truth, which could give Holocaust deniers ammunition. This book is the equivalent of a well stocked armory.
The sad state of affairs in the publishing business is that editors these days only pay attention to typos, syntax and other grammatical mistakes. Forget developmental editing; continuity, plot line, and fact checking. This book is filled with mistakes that could easily have been corrected if someone had made the effort. For instance: Nora spots a yellow/gold bank note in the dead man's pocket and identifies it as a 25-guilder bill —in reality that would've been red, the 50-guilders bill designed by Ootje Oxinaar shows the luminous sunflower in yellow and gold.
There may be a reason for Nora's parents to claim she was born in Houston on May 15, 1945, and that they didn't share her real birthday on May 1st in Amsterdam. Although you wonder how they got away with lying about her birth in the U.S. But to have Anneke share in a letter that she discovered she was pregnant at the end of the war? Did she suffer immediate conception and full gestation all at once?
For readers who like to follow the footsteps of a characters in a book: there's no tram from Schiphol to Amsterdam, and there's no nunnery on the isle of Schiermonnikoog.
There are plenty more notes where the above came from, but this is how far I want to go with this report. Each time I tell someone about this book I say "The Onion Readers", probably because I nearly cried in frustration, and because the message contained within the thriller/romance novel bookends stinks.
Reading the book was no pleasure. As far as I'm concerned, considering the way the author depicts Holocaust survivors, one star is too much. ...more
Een verrassende nieuwe stem, Simone Lenaerts is een laatbloeier, maar laten we zeggen dat ze het voordeel van de achterstand heeft. De schrijfster maaEen verrassende nieuwe stem, Simone Lenaerts is een laatbloeier, maar laten we zeggen dat ze het voordeel van de achterstand heeft. De schrijfster maakt gebruik van bekende data, van feiten en interviews, en bouwt daarmee een volkomen geloofwaardig fictief verhaal. De structuur die ze heeft bedacht werkt. Met het schrijven van een roman waarvan het verhaal zich voor een groot deel in Nazi concentratiekampen afspeelt dreigt een schrijver zich al snel op glad ijs te begeven, echter de invalshoek van Lenaerts is dusdanig dat er geen sprake van is dat ze met haar verhaal onderuit gaat. Door de oorlogservaringen van niet-Joden te belichten geeft de schrijfster zichzelf en daarmee de lezers kans dicht, veel dichter dan je bijna voor mogelijk houdt op de materie in te gaan. De onvervangbare gaat over een grote liefde, over eerste, tweede en derde generatie oorlogsgetroffenen, over geheimen die beter gedeeld kunnen worden, en over keuzes die een leven kleuren.
De manier waarop de tweede generatie wordt afgeschilderd, als in feite gewond door overgedragen ervaringen, terwijl de eerste generatie kost wat het kost een zo waardevol, misschien zelfs plezierig mogelijk leven tracht te leiden, en de derde generatie enkel door ontboezemingen van de eerste geholpen kan worden met het begrijpen hoe de vork in de steel zit zal herkenbaar zijn voor een ieder wiens leven door de oorlog gekleurd is....more
Book came highly recommended, and the subject matter is of interest to me, but The style and voice couldn't turn me on. One if those cases where I thiBook came highly recommended, and the subject matter is of interest to me, but The style and voice couldn't turn me on. One if those cases where I think less would have been more. ...more