Listen carefully and don't forget that real stories must be told.
If you keep them to yourself, you commit treason.
Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov (1698 - 1760).
This book—more than seventy years after liberation of Auschwitz—is my homage to the Second World War orphans and their murdered parents.
It was 1942 in Amsterdam when Isaac and Anna Staal began noticing their Jewish neighbors disappearing. Some were taken away by Dutch police. Some vanished in the middle of the night. As the Nazis embarked on a manhunt for Dutch Jews, Isaac and Anna made the agonizing decision to entrust their children to strangers and seek another hiding place for themselves. On May 21, 1943, the time had come. Dazed with sleep, Philip and his brother were given a last hug by their parents and put in the arms of an aunt who went out the door softly, got on her bicycle with the two tiny tots, and disappeared in the silent night.
Sixty years later, Philip was commissioned to work for the restoration of rights in the Netherlands. When looking through archives and records, he discovered the well kept secret of the war orphans' guardians' organization.
In his compelling story that weaves between past and present, Staal not only shares a heartbreaking narrative of his childhood as a toddler separated from his parents during World War II and forced to live in orphanages after years of hiding, but also how he eventually made it his personal mission to reimburse assets and restore rights lost by Dutch Jews, and search for the legacies of war orphans’ parents, including his own.
Settling the Account shares poignant personal narrative, historical facts, and one man’s determined pursuit to bring justice to Dutch-Jewish war orphans and their murdered parents, and resolve the mystery of his past.
Philip Staal is one of the signatories of the agreement between the Dutch financial institutions and the Jewish organizations that ensured restitution to the Dutch Jewish victims.
Staal, who lives in Israel with his wife, is appointed by the Queen of the Netherlands to Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
|Title:||Settling the Account (Mijn Erfenis)|
|ISBN (Paperback): ||978-1-4917-5166-4|
|ISBN (eBook): ||978-1-4917-5165-7|
|Publisher:||iUniverse (January 2015)|
Children's home 'Vertrouwen' during the World War II (hiding place of Marcel and Philip Staal).
The Rudelsheimstichting orphanage 1947. Marcel and Philip Staal 2nd and 3rd from right.
Philip Staal (2nd from right), 1967, Israel,
with the Prime Minister-to-be Rabin (2nd from left), Rechavam (Gandi) Ze'evi (3rd from left) and president-to-be Weizman (4th from left).
Philip Staal (1st from right) Amsterdam 2000, in conversation with the Dutch Association of Banks (Photo ANP).
Platform Israel in conversation with the Dutch Prime Minister Kok (1st from left), Philip Staal (4th from right).