A Reflection...

by Miff Crommelin

The ability of the human spirit to triumph over the hardships of war must be something of a mystery to those of us who have never had to live under wartime conditions. For some Dutch people during World War II, morale was sustained simply by picking up a few pictures and postcards of the Dutch royal family that were dropped in huge quantities over Holland by the RAF. Just knowing that they were safe was cause for people to hope that someday the Queen would return to Holland, and soon things would return to normal.

For others, like my parents, the main source of hope was a frail 'Voice of Freedom' which crackled through the earphones of a well-hidden short wave radio receiver. A little 'time capsule' of clippings, booklets and recorded sounds which my father managed to collect at no small risk to himself and my mother, is hereby reproduced for internet listeners. For those who 'were there', I believe this collection will inevitably stir up a few memories - some painful and others, no doubt, bitter sweet. But for those of us who were born after the war, it will serve as an authentic library of information with the capacity to make us feel as though we too 'were there'.

My reason for assembling this collection is simply for the sake of posterity. If my father felt it was worth risking his life to save this bit of history, then the least I can do is to pass it on to a younger generation that takes freedom so much for granted. Only by preserving history as faithfully as possible can we hope to recognize tyranny and deal with it courageously before it again leads to the kind of carnage and suffering that occurred in World War II.

An album like this also reminds us of man's capacity to carry on living no matter how bleak the circumstances are - as long as a little spark of freedom exists somewhere in the world to kindle a flicker of hope. Perhaps this is what is meant by the scripture verse, "Without a vision the people perish." Indeed, each of us must have something to hope for in order for us to endure our present trials and afflictions.

This album is dedicated to the memory of my parents, and to the memory of 'Radio Flitspuit' - that nearly forgotten band of Dutch patriots who, as late as May 1942, were still operating a clandestine mobile radio station in occupied Holland. Their feeble voice managed to come through the incessant German "jamming" to raise public morale, and to boldly counter Nazi propaganda. Of course they were eventually tracked down and shot, but they did not die in vain. The precious freedom they dared to proclaim in 1942 became a reality once more, and it still remains with us today.