World War II Letter
My grandfather, Opa, was an officer in the Dutch Army during World War II. He was taken prisoner by the Nazis in 1944, leaving my grandmother, Oma, to survive the difficulties of war and to take care of their young daughter (my mother) on her own. He was sent to a prison camp in Bavaria, Tittmoning Castle, where he spent 1 1/2 years. This prison was reserved for high ranking officers and officials as well as British and American soldiers and as a result, he received better treatment than he would have received elsewhere though conditions were still less than ideal. While there, Opa had a lot of free time. He took up watercolor painting and did some incredible pieces! The above watercolor is a letter that he sent to my grandmother. Not only is the painting beautiful and the penmanship ornate, the words (written in Dutch) are quite poetic. I knew Opa to be stern, somber, hard working, opinionated and quick tempered but the beauty and tenderness of his words show a softer side that the difficulties of life must have hardened. As a child, I was intimidated by Opa but as I have learned about his life and the amazing things that he and my Oma accomplished, not only during the war but throughout their lives, I am proud to be called their granddaughter.
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Photo shot with SHOTBOX and my Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone.