Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-3704
October 20, 1999
Dutch Author Edith Velmans to Read
Dutch author Edith Velmans will present a reading from her World War II memoir, Edith's Story, on Monday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Southeast Pavilion of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E. The reading is sponsored by the European Division and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Edith Velmans was born into a well-to-do Jewish family in the Netherlands in 1925. Her blissful youth ended with the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. The following year she went into hiding for three years, sheltered by a courageous Protestant family who accepted her as one of their own. After the liberation of the Netherlands in the fall of 1944, she found that many of her closest relatives, including her parents and a brother, had perished in the Holocaust. After the war, she became a psychologist, married, raised a family, and eventually settled in the United States. She now lives in Sheffield, Massachusetts.
Edith Velmans and Anne Frank had much in common. They were close in age, from similar backgrounds, and went into hiding the same month. Both girls kept diaries. Unlike Anne Frank, however, Edith Velmans survived her ordeal and 40 years later wrote a book about it, based on her diary and family letters. The book was first published in the Netherlands. Its English translation, Edith's Story, was warmly received in Britain and was nominated for the 1998 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Nonfiction.
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