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When the War is Over

256 pages
In occupied Holland during World War II, sixteen-year-old Janke Visser watches her father’s and brother’s involvement with the Resistance movement in their small town and longs to help fight the Nazi invaders. But there is tension in the family as her nervous mother fears that their actions will doom them all. Nevertheless, when the opportunity to become a courier for the Resistance presents itself, Janke welcomes it. The danger provides some relief from the harsh realities of war-time life. As living conditions deteriorate and her missions become ever more perilous, it is her hatred of the Nazis that fuels the courage and determination Janke needs to go on. And then she meets Helmut, a young German soldier who doesn’t fit the stereotype she has learned to hate so fiercely. Now suddenly she must deal with confusing new feelings for the enemy. But when Janke is captured while helping an Allied airman escape, her fate seems sealed. Unless Helmut is willing to betray his own country…
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martha attema When the War is Over
When theWarisOver
When theWar isOver
martha attema
Copyright © 2002 martha attema
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication DataAttema, Martha, 1949 -
When the war is over
ISBN 1-55143-240-4
1. World War, 1939-1945 — Netherlands — Juvenile fiction. 2. World War, 1939-1945 — Underground movements — Juvenile fiction. I. Title.
PS8551.T74W43 2002 jC813’.54 C2002-910998-1
PZ7. A8664Wh 2002
First published in the United States, 2003
Library of Congress Control Number:2002111247
Summary: In occupied Holland during WWII, a young girl’s work for the resistance becomes dangerously complicated when she falls in love with a German soldier.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP), the Canada Council for the Arts, and the British Columbia Arts Council.
Cover design: Christine Toller Cover illustration: James Bentley Printed and bound in Canada
INCANADA: Orca Book PublishersPO Box 5626, Station B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
INTHEUNITEDSTATES: Orca Book PublishersPO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468
04 03 02 • 5 4 3 2 1
This book is dedicated to all the courageous girls and women who risked their lives working for the resistance to help liberate my homeland.
Pronunciation Guide
AlieAfke Baukje de Bruin de Groot de Wit Dijkstra Douwe Enkhuizen Freerk Friesland Jan Janke Japp Jeltsje Kees Klaas Klaske
Leeuwarden van Echten
PietPieter Sietske Thea Tine
Verbeek Visser
Al-ee Augh-ke Bow-ke de Brew-in de Hroat de Vit Dyke-straw Dow-e Ank-husen Fray-urk Frees-land Yon Yan-ke Yaa-p Yell-chye Kase Klass Klass-ke Lay-oo-varden Peet Peet-er Seets-ke Tee-ya Teen-e van Ach-ten Vur-bake Vis-er
W h e n t h e W a r i s O v e r
“ATTENTION!”In the pitch darkness Janke Visser jumped from her bed. Outside her window, engines blared. Voices barked orders. Doors slammed. Startled out of a deep sleep, she grabbed the pillow and pressed it over her head. Her heart pounded. The shouts of a Ger-man officer forced Janke back to the harsh present of November 1943. She groaned and fell back onto the bed. For the past two and a half years Janke had often woken to the commands of German officers, the sound of army trucks, the slamming of doors. Even though she couldn’t see them, she knew their routine. She could see the soldiers, lining up to mount the back of the trucks, their boots shiny, their rifles gleaming. She could see them marching, stiff legged, single file, double file and in rows of four. This ritual had become part of daily life in Bishopville, a town of eight thousand in Friesland, in the northern part of the Netherlands. German soldiers had taken over her country and her town and made it their home. They behaved as if they owned every building, every street corner, every piece of land, but, most of all, every citizen. In the darkness, she pushed away the pillow and stretched. She stuck her tongue out at the wall and the enemy outside her bedroom. Though she understood the futility of the gesture, she felt better for her small rebellion. The sound of engines grew louder. Without seeing them, she counted the trucks as they drove down the street in front of her
a t t e m a
house. At least ten. The soldiers were housed next door, in the building that used to be her school. The school where her father had been the headmaster. Most of the school buildings in her town had been taken over by the enemy. Only the agricultural college had been allowed to remain open. The blackout curtains kept her room pitch-dark. Since the occupation, the whole world had turned black at night. Not a single lamp could be visible for fear it might attract the attention of Allied bombers. Every night, planes flew over Friesland to drop their bombs on German targets. But only two weeks earlier, a family of five had been killed when a bomb had hit their home. Despite these casualties, Janke applauded the Allied attacks and imagined how hard it would be for the pilots to find the right targets in the black night.
“Janke! Time to get up!” Mother slipped into her room and switched on the light. “It’s cold today.” She closed the door behind her. “You need to take a package to Aunt Anna.” Her voice had dropped to a whisper. Mother stroked the short, dark curls away from Janke’s fore-head. She pulled back the covers. “Come on, you need to leave soon.” Her hands straightened the blankets. “It’s a long ride. As soon as it gets light I want you to be on your way.” Janke’s feet landed with a thud on the wooden floor. “Ssh.” Her mother pushed her towards the wash basin. “Not so loud. Your father is still asleep. He didn’t get back till five this morning. And Jan stayed with Harm.” Janke turned, her dark eyes big. “Do you know where they went?” Mother shrugged her shoulders. At least her father and brother were safe. For now. Other-wise Father wouldn’t have risked coming home during curfew. He would have gone into hiding. If the operation had gone wrong, her brother wouldn’t have found a safe hiding spot at his friend’s farm.
W h e n t h e W a r i s O v e r
Janke felt the cold penetrate her skin. Mother’s lip quivered. “I don’t know what they did, Janke.” She wrung her hands together. “Your father never tells me. He says, ‘What you don’t know, you can’t tell’.” In the mirror above the basin, Janke looked at her mother’s reflection. She caught her breath as she realized how her mother had aged so suddenly. The short curls framing that face had turned from shiny brown to a dull gray with streaks of white. Her red cheeks had lost their firmness and glow. The sparkle in her brown eyes had dimmed, and the smiling, full lips had turned into a straight line with deep groves etched on either side. Janke looked at her own face. Before the war, Janke used to look like a younger version of her mother. People had often commented on their similarities. Now these similarities had gone. Janke balled her fists. The war had taken her once lively mother and replaced her with this person who spoke softly and whose hands trembled. With her eyes alert, Mother was always watching the windows. Like a skittish horse, her ears were tuned to every sound from outside. “The war has to stop, Janke. How long can your father go on doing all these dangerous things without being caught? How long will it take for our neighbors to find out that Jan and you are involved in the resistance?” “What about you, Mother?” Janke asked. “Why aren’t you doing more for the resistance?” “Janke, stop! You know I don’t want to know details about the resistance.” Her arms went up. “It scares me. Especially with the soldiers living next door to us.” “You can’t just stand by and do nothing.” Janke’s voice rose. Mother placed her finger on her lips. “I wish you would feel the same way. I wish you weren’t involved. You’re too young.” Yougot me up.” Janke’s eyes darkened. “Youtold me there was a package for Aunt Anna.” Her mother wiped her eyes. “I keep telling myself that they’d let you go. They don’t arrest young girls.”