Pure souls

Door AnnaElize gepubliceerd op Monday 17 October 14:25

Oktober 17th 1946 one year after the war,my parents got married.

They were introduced to each other through my aunt Madzy, my mother's eldest sister, who later became a well known writer, under the name Madzy Ford.

Just like tens of thousands of others, my father  survived the war because of my mother's cousin, Adrienne Minette van Lennep, or Tante Mammy, who had a resistance group called C-6. who arranged identity papers for my father with an altered birthdate to make him seem younger, so he did not have to work in Germany.

The reason they were both in Amsterdam was because they refused to sign a document promising they would not undertake any action against the nazi's. It was required to sign this  in order to keep studying in Leiden. No such promise was required for those who studied in Amsterdam, which is where my father continued his studies in medicine. My mother did not continue her studies in Chinese but worked for Elsevier and for the Tropen museum.

She had lived in the Netherlands since she was fifteen. She was sent there with her sister Madzy to get a good education. Until then she had lived in Indonesia, at the Djokjaweg 50, the cousin of the famous Jacob van Lennep and  nobel prize winner Willem Einthoven, the daughter of the head of the largest Dutch bulding company.

Indonesia had been heaven for her, The Netherlands a cold awakening, which she hated almost everything about, but she loved school, where she worked hard and was an excellent student.

My fatherś grandfather had been the minister at the St Laurence church  in Rotterdam for forty years, and died of a heart attack a few days after the bombing of Rotterdam by the nazi's, May 14th 1940. His son, my  father's father,  was a doctor, just like my father was, and they lived in Rotterdam at the Matenesselaan 21.

For three years, from 1942 until 1945, Indonesia was occupied by Japan, and my mother had no idea if her parents and her little brother and sister were dead or  alive . Luckily they all survived and returned to The Netherlands, and after the war my parents got married.

It sickened my father that not very much changed after the war. Collaborators stayed in power, surviving jews were shot if they returned to their stolen homes, resistance heroes lost their houses to people who had collaborated with the nazi's and were falsely accused of being communsits and not allowed to attend memorial services for their own sons and husbands who had lost their lives for being in the resistance.

From 1953 until 1972 my parents lived an adventurous life in countries at the other side of the world from the Netherlands, where my father worked as a pediatrician, and they had six children. My mother told me she wanted this many children to help make the world a better place, My parents retired in California in 1990, to be close to their grandchildren. Three of their children, me included, stayed in the Netherlands,

On January 1st 2004, my mother told me she dreamt I would have a baby,, and  nine months later , our son was born, the twelfth and youngest of their grandchildren. He was born twenty-three days after my father died, September 20th  2004.  My parents have four great grandchildren, and a fifth on the way.

 They were heroes who went on with head held high through each rediculous ordeal. They were pure souls, rebels with a cause, and they succeeded. 









Leo de Heer and Annemarie van Lennep, October 17th 1946


Their first date was at the tenniscourts  "het Kattenlaantje". Mt father had told my mother he had a tennisgroup. When she asked where the others were he told her she was the only member.


They got married in Amsterdam, at the city hall at the prinsenhof,


The reception was at Wildschut

Which still exists today

Adres: Roelof Hartplein 1, 1071 TR Amsterdam, Nederlan
Their honeymoon:


In "De Malle Jan in Vierhouten.



Nunspeterweg 70, 8076 PD Vierhouten, Nederland



That too still exists today.

My mother told me about the beautiful fly amanita's  they saw in the forest.

I wonder if they still grow  there now.

They lived in the Alexander Boerstraat, I believe number 36, where my eldest brther was born, then in Voorschoten, where my second and third brother were born, then in Dharan, where my sister was born, then in Aruba, where my brother and I were born, then in Lelystad, then in Claremont.


Claremont March 2000.

They also had a house in Garderen where they stayed during the summers.


Garderen , October 17 2000, their 54'th weddinganniversary.

About a year after my father died, my mother came back to the Netherlands, where she lived in de Warande in Baarn from 2005-2009, in the St jacob from 2009 until 2014, and in the Flevohuis from 2014 until she  passed away June 19th 2017.

"Goed koop is duurkoop"my mother used to say, and she loved quality. When we were on vacation in Switzerland she bought  a Swiss copper pan with a stainless steel inside and brass handels.

Later , my husband learned this is seen as the ideal pan.

She went ti the core in all she did, read the Bible in Greek. She said"the mistake is in the beginning". And she said you culd tell whether a line of reasoning was correct if you saw were it lead to.

In that way she taught  me to look for the source and the end of things before diving into them.

"Rust roest"is something my father used to say. And rest he seldom did. He was always busy with something, but never too busy to give his children and grandchildren his full attention.

How lucky I am to have  had such parents, such role models of love, endurance, wisdom.






Reacties (0) 

Voordat je kunt reageren moet je aangemeld zijn. Login of maak een gratis account aan.