Innocence Denied: A Holocaust Childhood

Johannes Krane’s Heart-Wrenching Story of Survival & Hope Amidst the Holocaust

Innocence Denied: A Holocaust Childhood by Johannes Krane is a riveting memoir about a 10-year-old boy who, along with his family, fought for survival during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during WWII. Johannes and his brother, Dick, engaged in perilous and illegal acts in order to survive and support their deaf and mute parents. And while they were successful in saving their family from death and starvation, the ordeal stripped them of their childhood innocence.“We grew up knowing only a world of war and crime” – Johannes

The Motivation Behind Penning the Tumultuous Past

In his memoir, Johannes recounts the horrors they witnessed at the hands of the Germans during the height of World War II. For many years, he did not speak of the traumatic past. However, after reading Anne Frank’s diary, Het Achterhuis, he felt an uncanny resemblance to his own life as well as the story of a 13-year-old childhood friend, a Gypsy girl, who met an appalling fate at the hands of the Nazis.

Johannes has included his diary entries, newspaper clippings, and voice recordings saved over the years. Most of the book takes place during the bitter, harrowing winter of 1944 to 45 in Nazi-occupied Holland. “It took me many years to write this book, and I have often asked myself: are we not tired of hearing war stories by now, specifically, World War II chronicles?” The author begins his memoir with this question, admitting the profusion of stories that have been recounted about this period in history. And yet, because both of his parents were deaf and mute, he had a unique viewpoint on the war.

“I wrote this book late in life. Dick and I were planning to write it together, but he passed away before we were able to start. I felt obligated to tell the story, and I think that Dick would be pleased that I have done so in the pages of this book,” says Johannes remembering his brother who always wanted to share the struggle to save themselves and their family from the grips of war.

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