May 8th 2019
May 8th there was the yearly commemoration of the Spanish Civil War in Amsterdam.
For an impression, have a look at the video beneath. In Dutch but the pictures should speak for itself.
Grandpa had sailed, grandpa had lived adventures...
But the man never talked about it and so we did not know much in our family. That is, until 2012 when unexpected a diary of grandpa from 1937 showed up. The diary discribes how he as a sailor helped smuggling arms by the ship the Andra to Spain during the Spanish Civil War.
Also in the diary is written how the journey to Spain took almost two months due to an almost-mutiny and a mysterious disappearence of the captain.
After unloading the arms in the Spanish city of Santander, things go terribly wrong: the Andra is intercepted by the navy of Franco, shot at and sunk. Two crewmembers loose their lives in that event, the rest has to endure two months in prison, survive that is. Execution or release, who can say?
As his grandson I have used the diary to write an historical novel with the title (translated from Ducth) Journey to the Spanish Civil War - a story from a war that is bound to be forgotten. So not just any story but one that was real. By the end of 2014 the first release of the novel saw daylight. Medio 2016 a second, slightly adlusted release was there. Writing took me about two years because if you write about history, you have a moral responsability to be as correct as possible. And so it took necessary research, inclusive contacts even abroad.
But it did not stay with just the book...
Since 2016 I attend lectures for adults and guestlessons at schools. I tell people about the real Spain, the Spanish Civil War and the story of my grandfather.
Would you like to know more? Have look around on this site.
Any questions or remarks? Just send me an email.
And I would sure like to see a note in my guestbook.