When the Tulips Bled

Dirk was barely out of his teens when Hitler’s war descended from the dawn sky onto his father’s tulip fields near Haarlem. All around him a network of Nazi collaborators rose up and within five days, the cruel betrayal of Holland was finished, and so was the teenage innocence of his generation.

Yet they were the first to voice their distaste of the occupation as Hitler stripped their country bare. An old printing press at the university run by his lifelong friend, Harry was all that stood between them and capitulation. Only then came the Nazi fist – labour camps, intimidation, withholding of rations, and the suppression of Jews.

Forced into hiding, Harry introduced Dirk to the dangerous world of the Resistance, urged on by Radio Orange broadcasts from London. Hitler extracted an ever higher price for Dutch stubbornness, plunging Holland into an evil cycle of hunger, rebellion and retribution, meted out by the Gestapo in league with their Dutch Nazi bully boys like his old school nemesis, Nik de Groot.

Neighbours disappeared without notice, unspeakable acts became routine, trust and loyalty became as thin as a food coupon. Starved into submission, life spiraled downwards into a pitiful existence that became the shame of both sides in WWII, forging memories that would take a lifetime to reveal.

For Dirk and Maya, thrust into adulthood well before time, their illicit love was all they had left…

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