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RN Documentary: A Diary of War and Liberation

From: Radio Netherlands Worldwide
Series: RN Documentaries
Length: 30:26

An 80- year-old Dutchman opens up the diary he kept as a teenager during the German occupation of Holland and the liberation by Canadian troops for the first time since the war ended in May 1945. Read the full description.

Rnlogoenglish_small The program consists of readings of Harm van der Wal’s vivid and often dramatic wartime diary. It tells of hours and sometimes weeks sitting in an anti-bomb shelter while both Allied and German forces were bombing the area of Delfzijl, a harbor town in the Northern part of the Netherlands close to the German border. It also tells how his “normal life”, of going to high school on his bike, having parties, etc, continue. The readings ( read by a younger studio voice) , are cut with the 80-year-old’s memories, partly recorded near the tiny church that is the only thing that remains from his village, partly on the dyke overlooking Germany. The area was liberated by several Canadian regiments; The Cape Breton Highlanders captured Delfzijl in May 1945. Delfzijl was one of the last Dutch towns to be liberated.

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Piece Description

The program consists of readings of Harm van der Wal’s vivid and often dramatic wartime diary. It tells of hours and sometimes weeks sitting in an anti-bomb shelter while both Allied and German forces were bombing the area of Delfzijl, a harbor town in the Northern part of the Netherlands close to the German border. It also tells how his “normal life”, of going to high school on his bike, having parties, etc, continue. The readings ( read by a younger studio voice) , are cut with the 80-year-old’s memories, partly recorded near the tiny church that is the only thing that remains from his village, partly on the dyke overlooking Germany. The area was liberated by several Canadian regiments; The Cape Breton Highlanders captured Delfzijl in May 1945. Delfzijl was one of the last Dutch towns to be liberated.

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Review of RN Documentary: A Diary of War and Liberation

Very interesting topic and insightful man. Well done.

Transcript

Voice

Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Radio, presents:
A Diary of War and Liberation.

Music starts( Jacques Ibert, Trio for violin, cello and harp ( 1944), CD 2, track 10, Brilliant 6486, performers: Ernestine Stoop harp, Nieuw Nederlands Strijkkwartet)

Teaser Harm van der Wal

You think, ya, sixty years, now, a free man, what does that mean? And then I started looking into my diaries, and I could not sleep and I said “it’s enough, I can’t read it. It was very difficult for me to talk about those horrible events and I have put it away. And now it’s different. I think it’s so necessary that people like me who experienced this war tell the story and tell what ordinary people like me suffer during such a war.

I now see there is still a mission for us.

voice

Harm van der Wal came of age during World War two.

He lived in a village close to the harbou...
Read the full transcript

Musical Works

1) music title: Trio for violin, cello and harp ( 1944); sound carrier CD; title Jacques Ibert chamber music; catalogue: brilliant 6486; performers Nieuw Nederlands Strijkkwartet; composer: Jacques Ibert; dur: 45 secs

2) Regimental March- Highland laddie; CD Eighty years of glory ; performers Calgary Highlanders
composer:unknown, BNA 5051, dur: 40 secs

3) music title: Ik zie de zon; sound carrier CD, Title: Nederland Bezet en Bevrijd II, label: DCD 5421; composer:unknown; performer: Eddy Christiani; dur 40 secs

Related Website

http://www.rnw.nl