REMI - English
On 16 October 1942, a family in German-occupied Bloemendaal in Holland finds a baby on their doorstep. They call him Remi, after Nobody’s Boy. They cannot save the baby. The Nazis take the foundling to the Jewish nursery in Amsterdam, opposite the Hollandsche Schouwburg (The Dutch Theater), from where the deportations to transit camp Westerbork are carried out. Remi stays there for six months and becomes the darling of both the nursery staff and a German guard.
Meanwhile, Remi’s mother is arrested and murdered in concentration camp Sobibor. His father and his 12-year older brother Eddy manage to survive the war, but at his hiding places Eddy was often as alone as the boy in Hector Malot’s book.
Long after his father’s death – who was never able to talk about the fate of his wife and child – Eddy begins to search for his little brother. Only in 2002 does he finally find out what really happened to him.
In this twin biography, journalist Frank van Kolfschooten reconstructs the two brothers’ history.
‘Remi, the most well-known war-time baby in the Netherlands, was everyone’s favourite at the Jewish nursery. That sealed his fate.’ NRC Handelsblad
‘Jewish baby Remi became a foundling in 1942. His older brother, left unaware, kept looking for him until 2002. This book describes the heart-rending adventures of the two Jewish brothers. Very moving.’ Het Parool
‘A well-written, tightly composed book, based on extensive archive and literature research. Despite the sad subject this is a gem.’ Nederlands Dagblad
‘A book about a little boy that will leave no-one unmoved.’ Trouw
‘A highly readable salute to this Jewish family. Beautifully written! Recommended!’ Reformatorische Omroep
‘Due to the imaginative writing style accompanied by the photographs and letters, you get a good sense of the situation. It feels as if you’re in that time period. An intense, but moving story!****’ Thrillzone.nl
‘An impressive book that is also a good read. The reader is dragged into the story and you sympathise greatly with the boy. A must-have for your bookshelves!*****’ TracesofWar.nl
‘Want to read something worthwhile, then look no further than REMI by @kolfschooten. My oh my, straight into the heart!’ Bookseller Inge Happé on Twitter
‘An impressive book about the lives of very ordinary people in one of the darkest periods in recent history.****’ Recensie.nl
‘Impressive reconstruction. Remi is a story that helps you remember and sympathise! I read things in Remi that I hadn’t thought possible. The story is written from Eddy’s point of view and you can feel his pain and loneliness. As a reader you are moved by everything that happens to him.****’ Hebban.nl
‘A tightly composed reconstruction, filled with photographs, of a highly dramatic war-time history. An impressive book.****’ EO-Visie
‘Together with the conversations with survivors, this war-time history is also a passionate post-war book.’ Leeskost.nl
‘The well-written story is a moving account on multiple levels, not only of a local part of the Shoah, but also of the attempts at processing it all after the war.’ Dutch Library Services
‘Van Kolfschooten excels at polite curiosity and compassion without any tears. This is how he grants the reader every opportunity to be moved.’ novellist Adriaan van Dis
‘Frank van Kolfschooten has brought to life a heart-rending story about a little foundling and his big brother in times of war; highly compelling.’ Jan Terlouw, author of Winter in Wartime and former Vice Prime Minister of the Netherlands