A memoir that was never written

This is an episode in “the quest for Jan van Boeckel: From Holland to Bavaria

At the end of 2016 I will have completed my quest for Jan van Boeckel. Everything I have discovered will be described in a ‘memoir which never was’. A memoir which is based on Jan’s own memories and the memories of many people who knew him, knew of him or travelled the various laps of his journey with him:  Theo, Jakob, Maurice, Raphaël, Vincent, Arthur, Mien, Gerard,  Ineke, Jaap, Jacqueline, Broer, Zusje to name but a few.

The Noordoostpolder


To be able to write this story I have travelled to the Ardennes, Turpange,  Brussels, Liège, Aubel, Frankfurt, Kelheim, Saal, Flossenbürg, Regensburg, Dachau, München, Bad Arolson, Amsterdam, Arnhem, Bemmel,Haarlem, Bloemendaal, Doorn, Driebergen, Leeuwarden, The Hague, Maastricht, Mechelen, Marknesse, Vollenhoven and Kampen. And I still have some places left to visit. It has been, and is, quite a journey.

I have spent hours finding, studying and piecing together a huge amount of facts and have woven them into a story. Readability and fact form the basis for this project and I have sometimes had to walk a thin line to bring the two together. To fill in the gaps and keep the story accessible and flowing I have tried to imagine and describe what Jan said or thought. At times it felt pretentious but it did have the desired result. My wonderful test-readers, who are wading through the rough material of the first draft,  have been providing me with invaluable feedback about facts, style and readability (thank you Judith, Sonja, Jane, Ineke, Jacqueline and Jaap). Now that I am going to start with the rewrite I will probably let Jan’s voice, as I have come to understand it, come through even more strongly.

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Road leading into the Donau

Many people wonder how I am going to publish this book. The answer is that I do not know yet. Once I have rewritten this first draft I will compile it into a manuscript with pictures and maps, sources and footnotes.  If anyone has any suggestions about what to do with Jan’s ‘memoir’, don’t hesitate to contact me at mogromo@mogromo.com.

This is an episode in “the quest for Jan van Boeckel: From Holland to Bavaria



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