Posts in the Quest for Jan van Boeckel

Below are the posts written up to now related to the quest for Jan van Boeckel. They are presented in the order in which they were written, and the order in which I gained insight into the events in his life. If you are searching for the posts in the chronological order of Jan’s life they can be found on Jan van Boeckel’s Timeline. Continue reading Posts in the Quest for Jan van Boeckel

Dames, Chaplains and Smugglers

A moon shines brightly on the wintry hills in the Geuldal. Shadows on snow, shadows and silent footsteps. Carrying trade ware. Cigarettes or other goods that can be used or resold. Over the Dutch-Belgian border. German guards and dogs patrolling in the dark. Careful. Run. Silence. Walk, walk, walk. Through the night. Keep to the trees, careful with the moonlight. Shhhh, I hear something. Keep in the shadows. Wait. Run. Walk. Continue reading Dames, Chaplains and Smugglers

Oisterwijk: the southern marshes

That first evening, the 10th of January, was spent with the daughters Janssen and a few members of the Oisterwijk resistance group, including “ a lean, bespectacled man named Jantje Brunnekreef who could play wonderful jazz on the piano”. As Jan himself improvised with jazz he must have enjoyed that tremendously. The young people danced and laughed all night. Continue reading Oisterwijk: the southern marshes

Singing in a monastery

As I was watching a performance of the opera Don Carlos by Verdi this week I realised that Jan’s life has all the ingredients of a grand literary tragedy. Based on a story written in 1787 by Friedrich Schiller, Verdi’s Don Carlos relates an imposing mix of power abuse, politics, occupation, heroism, idealism, oppression and cruelty. And there is music. The deeper I delve into Jan’s story, the more I touch upon these very themes. Continue reading Singing in a monastery