I was born, lived and died. Great story, huh? Just what you were looking for...
I was born... 52 Skoalikkers, Augustinusga, Friesland, Netherlands on May, Eighth, 1942. I don't remember it.
My father, Cheerelz Augustyn, was a representative of the law. Notice I said 'Representative.' Before the Germans, he was a well respected lawyer, versed in Dutch civil law which had Napoleonic origins. The German occupation changed that. A defeated Holland, a subjugated Holland, a Holland ruled by the SS and Gestapo.
The next-door neighbors, I supposedly played with the daughter when I was one, were, one day, discussing and cussing, eating bread and cheese at our kitchen table, and the next day, their door was beaten off the hinges and they were gone ... Juden ... my mother was disconsolate.
Not that I Knew ... no. Not at all ... the bangs and explosions were for the CITIES not for our little Augustinusga, the village named in celebration of the birth of a minor princeling of a minor prince ... and my ancestor.
All in all, ours was a 'civilized' occupation. Oh, we had our fair share of Quislings, but for the most part, we stayed on our part and they patrolled the streets ... or so I had been told.
My father was tall, dark and handsome, well connected and a devastator of Hymen. Well known throughout the town as the father of innumerable bastards, he expected perfect decorum from the rest of us.
Father met Mother while he was studying Law at The Hague. Mother was from The City, Dordrecht. Amsterdam may be larger, The Hague may be the seat of government ... for as long as Holland was Royal, the Stadtholder, the Prince of Orange, resided in Dordrecht. Mother was a faint relative of the Stadtholder. He was Orange ... mother was the princess of diaphanous yellow.
My parents married in 1936 after a whirlwind courtship. Father was engaged to a pretty someone from Augustinusga while he was marrying Mother.
However, my mother was beautiful ... blond, slender but curvy ... early in the occupation she caught the eye of a high ranking Aryan Colonel.
I was the sole possessor of blond hair and blue eyes in a family of black-haired black-eyed siblings. Do you suppose... ? Not that I remember.
No, my very first memory was three days after "Bevrijdingsdag." Liberation Day! Holland was free. Sure, there were sullen pockets of left behind Nazis ... a few SS as yet to be rounded up by the Allies ... hiding Gestapo, seething ill will at the loss of power. Maybe three or four thousand all told ... and still armed.
The Allies had more important things to do than round up the tattered remains of eight years of German oppressors ... they were beaten. Someone should have told them.
Oh how I remember my third birthday! The Eighth of May, 1945. The Fall of the Third Reich. I was playing in the back yard ... grubbing in the dirt and pushing lead soldiers around when my father rushed out the door, grabbed me by my shorts and tossed me in the air. He settled me on his shoulders and walked to the street. He was joyful. Berlin had fallen ... the Hun had surrendered.
He took me north on our street, Skoalikkers, turned west on Willem Barteles van der Kooiwei and joined an ever increasing throng of joyful Dutch. A right wheel ... we were marching now, so many Dutch Reservists and ex soldiers, of course we marched! ... in lockstep and singing the national anthem ... right wheel turn onto Gaikemastnjtte and headed for the German Barrack ... time to beard the lion in his den. What could it hurt?