Saturday, September 27, 2008

How the story began

FamilieVermaas.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Since my childhood I have always been interested in the Second Worldwar. I read a lot of books about it and saw a lot of movies. The cruelty of the war impressed me very much, but I was also caught by the exciting stories, especially the ones about the members of the resistance. My grandmother told me several stories about the war, mostly about the  five days in may 1940 and the period before the war began. In the small village were she, my grandfather and my mother lived an air-defense battalion was stationed. The soldiers stayed at the houses of the citizens.
My grandparents also gave accomodation to three of them. One of them became my uncle after war, his name was Cor. Another soldier, Gijs, came around a lot during the mobilization period, and always kept in close touch with our family (till my mother died in 2001). When I was a boy I used to call him 'uncle', although he wasn't a real uncle. As a boy I also stayed with him and his wife during holidays and did holiday work in his printing office. He also told me warstories and was somebody who stimulated me to use my drawing-talent.
After my three books came out I visited uncle Gijs to give him the books and told him I was considering making a story about the Second Worldwar. Immediately he searched for some books and also showed me his diary from that period. He said I could borrow it and happy and surprised as I was I asked him if I could use parts of it for my new book. He agreed with it and I left not much later, promising him I would come back to show parts of my new story. Ten months later he died.
           OomGijs.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

No comments: