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'Soldier of Orange' -Eric Hazelhoff

Discussion in 'Biographies and Everything Else' started by MichaelBully, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Another review I posted originally on 'Amazon UK' , concerning this auto-biography first published 1972. 'Soldier of Orange' has now become multi-media with a film based on the book (1977) and a Dutch language musical (2011); The musical now has it's own spinoffs with a DVD version, a soundtrack CD of the songs featured, and 'Soldaat van Oranje' singalongs posted on Youtube.


    " Interesting autobiography of Erik Hazelhoff , and his fellow students at Leiden University during the time of the German invasion.
    The student friends are divided by the course of the war, representing a micro-history of The Netherlands itself. Hazelhoff was firmly opposed to the occupation and got close to the Resistance, was arrested but feigned craziness and got released. Hazelhoff managed to get on board a merchant ship leaving The Netherlands and eventually reached Britain. Worked with the Dutch government in exile to aid the Resistance,including secret landings on the Dutch coast, then he served with the RAF on bombing missions: Finally Hazelhoff joined Queen Wilhelmina in returning to a liberated Netherlands as her A.D.C.
    The book tackles the theme of betrayal, collaboration and resistance,and Hazelhoff was harsh in his criticism concerning the faction fighting within the Dutch government in London, though he was fiercely loyal to Queen Wilhelmina .He seemed to find little romance in exile. His accounts of the bombing raids over Germany appeared to strangely detached. It was possible that he could feel nothing towards the people he was bombing,after being aware of the high casualty rates amongst the Dutch agents who returned to the Occupied Netherlands.
    In the days after liberation, he detailed the tensions between those who managed to escape from the Occupation, and those who could not. Hazelhoff said virtually nothing about the controversial treatment of alleged collaborators in The Netherlands at this time.
    The book has inspired the film Paul Verhoeven's 1977 film 'Soldaat van Oranje' , featuring Rutger Hauer as one 'Eric Landshoff' , modelled on Hazelhoff and an English subtitled version was known as 'Survival Run' . Currently 'Soldaat van Oranje' is also a popular musical in The Netherlands, which draws on both the book and film."
     
    Slipdigit, Skipper and ColHessler like this.
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Sounds most interesting indeed. Thanks for the information.
     
  3. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    I think that how The Netherlands has had to come to terms with the whole trauma of the occupation, particularly after staying out of European wars for so long,is a fascinating subject. 'Soldier of Orange' , the book, film, musical, etc give some indication of this, trying to show a whole spectrum from resistance heroism, through to collaboration. The musical's massive popularity has encouraged young people to look at this time.

    Paul Verhoeven's 'Black Book' (2006) made some 30 years after he directed 'Soldier of Orange,' is more brutal. Depicting resistance heroism, but also criminal operations extorting money from Jews in hiding, and individuals who cynically exploited everybody to remain on the winning side. The brutal retribution that collaborators/ alleged collaborators faced emerges in 'Black Book' but only hinted at in 'Soldier of Orange'.
     
  4. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Cheers, Michael Bully. You bring your own style.
     

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