26 Jan 2020

Finding a girl cut out of your history - Professor Bart Van Es

From Standing Room Only, 2:40 pm on 26 January 2020

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Oxford English Professor Bart Van Es went in search of a reason for a decades-long rift in his Dutch family between his grandparents and their Jewish foster daughter, Lien.

They took Lien in during the Nazi occupation. unknown to them all, within months Lien's parents, who stayed in Holland, were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz.

Lien had to flee from the Van Es family when the police arrived and she spent the rest of the war flitting between many other families before asking to rejoin Bart's family after the war.

Bart went in search of Lien, who's now in her 80s, to ask for her side of the story, which he tells in his book The Cut Out Girl

Professor Bart Van Es is a guest speaker at the New Zealand Festival Writers and Readers Week in Wellington. The Cut Out Girl is published by Penguin Books New Zealand.