Don’t miss the next meeting of the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society to be held at Porter Town Hall. Former French teacher and local author, Janet Carper will talk about her recent book:
“THE WEIDNERS IN WARTIME: Letters of Daily Survival and Heroism Under Nazi Rule”
Meeting at 2:00 p.m. – program to follow at about 2:30 p.m.
This is the compelling true story of a close-knit family, told through the numerous letters they wrote to each other under harrowing conditions. Devout Seventh Day Adventists originally from the Netherlands, they were scattered through Europe as the Nazis invaded and cut off normal avenues of correspondence, commerce, and travel.
They wrote hundreds of letters (mostly in French) to each other, filled with details of conditions they faced, worries about family members and friends they had not heard from for a while, searches for much needed food and clothing and seeking trusted friends and acquaintances who might be traveling and could carry letters for them. Some of their news was in code to avoid the suspicions of Nazi censors. Through it all they struggled to assess their best options as they faced unprecedented challenges and danger of arrest.
By the end of the war, family members were involved in the resistance movement and found ways to shepherd those in danger of Nazi arrest to safe havens – putting their own lives in jeopardy. Jean Henry Weidner is now known as the hero of the Dutch Resistance. After the war he moved to the U.S. and created a foundation to preserve this amazing collection of all he family letters he saved. What better way to share this incredible story than through the publication of a book? Although many of us know Janet Carper as the French teacher at Sacopee Valley High School for many years, Janet was selected to translate and prepare the letters for publication. She was chosen not because of her teaching career, but for her superb knowledge of the French language, French culture and her interest in history. Janet has done a marvelous job of selecting, translating, and annotating the letters so that the book becomes cohesive whole. Greatly adding to the story are the additional explanatory materials included. A must read!
This promises to be a fascinating talk as Janet will describe her role in bringing the book into being. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.