Tag Archives: Football

Europe 1940 to Euro 2012

Whenever possible, Holland’s Heroes attempts to take current events and link it to the story in Jew Face.  Sometimes it is an obvious connection, sometimes it is a stretch requiring imagination, and occasionally it is a connection that in its insignificance is mildly entertaining and sometimes even funny or ironic.  This particular post falls into that last category.

Over the next 5 days the champion for Euro 2012 International Football(soccer) tournament will be crowned.  The semifinal matches are as follows.  Today, Spain against Portugal.  Tomorrow, Germany against Italy.

The book Jew Face is the story of my parents Nardus and Sipora Groen, primarily surrounding the events taking place between 1940-1945.  My mother’s maiden name was Rodrigues-Lopes.  A Dutch Jew from Spanish-Portuguese descent, my mother spent 5 years either hiding or running from the Nazi killing machine with the help of my father Nardus Groen.  This book chronicles the events that took place as they lived through the time when Germany occupied Holland.  One of Germany’s allies during World War II; Italy.

I think the irony is obvious.  The not so obvious question, seeing as these countries are very different countries today is, who would I like to see win this thing.  I will keep that answer to myself.  At least for today.

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Sports, destiny, and remembering a father

With today being 5 years since the passing of my father, Nardus Groen, in a blog that speaks of the book Jew Face and Nazi Germany’s occupation of Holland between 1940-45, you might ask yourself why this post talks about a Football (Soccer) game. Here’s why.  I remember calling my parents in Holland during times when I was living either in America or Israel.  My parents always warmly welcomed my call and had time to speak with me.  With one exception.  When there was a football match on my father was busy and would instruct me to call back at a later time.  It didn’t  have to be an international match between the Netherlands and a rival nation.  If Ajax of Amsterdam was playing, or one of Europe’s elite teams were on the television, there was very little that would pry him away from the television.  It was a passion of my father’s as it still is today for my mother.  So with that in mind, on June 13, 2012, exactly 5 years after my father’s passing, it is impossible to ignore the fact that today, Holland must defeat Germany in order to have a reasonable shot at surviving the first round of Euro 2012 Football Championships.  It’s exactly what my father would have wanted on a day like today.  That and of course a Dutch victory over Germany. And maybe that will be what actually happens with the help of one special fan who is remembered with love and respect watching and cheering on from a very special place. Go Holland!