Identifying Photos

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A day of remembering


Today I picked up my Mother-in-law, Wilhelmina Reynen, to take her to my granddaughter's School for grandparents day. We had a lovely day and Shakira was thrilled to have us both there. After a church service and morning tea we went into her classroom where they made handprint trees.
We used Shakira's hand print and then great Nana's.

Mien Reynen (nee Toonen) with Great Granddaughter
Shakira Frost
After we left the school we met Shakira's mother for lunch before we then headed to the Gold Museum in Ballarat where there is currently an Ann Frank exhibition.

Mein was born in Holland and was there during WW2. I asked if she remembered much about the war.
Oh yes!
She went on to explain that where she was, Grave, Noord Brabant everyone was well off compared to those living in the North of the county. "We had food and were able to go to the near by farmers to get fresh milk etc." She also remembered that the soldiers came there at some stage and a woman had just collected a jug of milk from the farm when a German Soldier approached her and demanded the milk. She threw the jug, smashing it on the ground saying "if I cannot have it, you certainly can't!" The soldier was shocked and the woman walked away. Mein said she was brave to do this.

She went on to say "My mother used to get shoe boxes and fill them with potatoes, bread, sugar, etc. these would be taken to the red cross who would then deliver them to her brother who lived in Amsterdam. They never even peeled the potatoes as this would be a waste."

Mein had told me in the past about how they would see the soldiers come down via parachute. She would then go, with others, to collect the chutes as these were made of silk and made beautiful dresses.

We entered into the museum where there was a video just starting, telling the story of Ann Frank. I think this was made more real for me as the whole time Mein was saying how she remembered that, or she had been there. She had in fact been to the Ann Frank house and was able to add to what the video was telling us.
It adds a new dimension when looking at something and getting comments from someone who has lived through some of the experience. Our day ended with a visit back at Tara's new house with Pizza enjoyed for dinner with her girls Shakira and Zali.