A memoir that was never written
Lost: the Quest for Jan van Boeckel by Wendy van Eijnatten
“I am impressed by the depth and thoroughness of your research”
“The book is so attractively designed and with copies of the remaining letters and documents included it has become a jewel”
“Your book is beautifully executed. I am fully impressed by the appearance and the depth and breadth of your research”
“Clever how you keep it exciting. Well written. Accurate description of an era”
“The book looks wonderful! And the content is also very good. What a job it has been.”
“Well written, huge amount of research, beautiful book”
“You write so empathically about Jan, and you master the English language so well. Well done!”
“Your cover and layout show your artistry”
“You produced an excellent book. You are a very talented author”
AMSTERDAM, Febuary 11th, 2018: author Wendy van Eijnatten launched her book on the quest for her missing uncle Jan van Boeckel, at a private gathering in February 2018. With the book, the author creates a lasting memory of a son, a brother, an uncle and an ordinary Haarlem boy, who was lost to the Second World War. She hopes this memoir will help to soften the scars of war.
Jan van Boeckel, born on the 11th of February, 1923, grew up in the Dutch city of Haarlem just before the onset of the WWII. By 1943, now a young man and deeply troubled as he watched his country slipping into outright war, Jan left home hoping to join the fight against the Nazis. In 2015, seventy years later, his niece Wendy van Eijnatten embarked on a mission to follow her uncle’s footsteps. They lead her through the Netherlands, into Belgium and onwards into the shadows of the Nazi regime in Bavaria, Germany.
The author researched Jan’s story by interviewing family members, acquaintances of Jan and their descendants, people who have lived through similar experiences and other sources of knowledge. She explored family archives and examined material from Dutch, Belgian and German war institutions, and visited the places where Jan’s footsteps led. Wendy wove together memories and historical facts to reconstruct the life, motives and thoughts of an ordinary young man caught up in extraordinary times. As the story unfolds, the reader is repeatedly drawn back to Haarlem, where a close-knit family waits, hopes and searches for their lost son and brother. This book, written in English, makes a piece of Dutch war history accessible to those beyond its borders.