Sabine's Odyssey: A Hidden Child and her Dutch Rescuers
This is the story of Sabine Fröhlich and the harrowing experiences of her family during the Nazi regime - experiences she did not disclose to her children for decades. Sabine was raised as Catholic with her brother Andreas. As a result, she did not understand that the rapidly emerging antisemitic propaganda would be applied to her family, including her father, a decorated German WWI veteran. She first becomes aware of her Jewish heritage when her brother is not allowed to join the popular Hitler Youth. After Kristallnacht, her family flees Germany hoping for US visas, only to become trapped in the Netherlands when the Germans invade.
In June 1941, the Nazis seize her brother as hostage for an act of sabotage, deporting him to Mauthausen where he perishes within months. As the mass deportation of Jews from Amsterdam accelerates, Andreas' friends help Sabine and her parents find hiding places in the North Holland countryside where they live under false names and must move multiple times for their safety.
Sabine's Odyssey is a beautifully painful memoir written by Agnes Schipper in honor of her mother's life during World War II and of her father, a member of the Dutch Resistance. In it, Agnes retells the story of her mother's struggles during her hidden years. Yet this is not merely a story of struggle, but one of kindness, courage, and resistance. This memoir gives voice to those who stayed silent for years.
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About the Author
At a time when many are debating whether children should be learning troubling aspects of history, Agnes Schipper has provided a powerful answer. Sabine's Odyssey represents a labor of love. Meticulously researched, Schipper tells her family's story honestly and thoughtfully. The book is uncompromising in revealing the full spectrum of good and evil and the plight of those caught in the middle. This is precisely the type of book that should be shared with our children. - Rabbi Michael S. Siegel, Senior Rabbi of the Anshe Emet Synagogue
In recent years the study of the experience of "Hidden Children" has provided valuable insights into the Holocaust. Schipper's volume adds significantly to our understanding of the complexity of this reality. Written in an engaging style it will be a profitable read for both scholars and general audiences. - Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Catholic Theological Union Chicago, Founding Board Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The reader witnesses how Sabine, on the edge of child and young adult, experiences intense years in many hiding places. A comparison with her contemporary Anne Frank comes to mind. A very impressive story about how innocent people try to stay out of the clutches of Nazi murderers. One of the few detailed and well-documented war reports about hiding in the countryside of North Holland, from the perspective of the person in hiding. This book offers a unique perspective on the darkest page in our world history. An extremely valuable and unique book.... - Sander Bakker, Writer, Historisch Hoogkarspel-Westwoud, Publisher of historical articles at Geheugen van Westwoud (Memory of Westwoud)
Multi-generational secrets that fully unravel later in life... A story of relentless pursuit of safety... With NSBers and collaborators seemingly everywhere, the amount of people involved in ensuring the safety of a German immigrant family provides a glimpse of light in such very dark times.
Well researched, the book shows the nuances of the Nazi occupation within Amsterdam. - Amanda Gann, Holocaust Researcher, Stolpersteine, NL
An imposing, impressive and incredible story...This family history contains an extraordinary number of different aspects... Sometimes that amount almost takes your breath away as a reader. - Dr. Pauline Micheels, historian, publicist. Author of i.a. Music in the shade of the Third Reich (1993), The Drum Merchant. Bernard van Leer (2002) and Today. A war novella (2014)