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Right now, we’re planning to do a production in Holland of the play that Andreas Schertenleib produced, based on my book, “I Live in a Chickenhouse.”

Up to recently, the play was presented in Switzerland and other German speaking countries in Europe.   Now, developments in Holland seem to direct us into a new project.

The new direction came about unexpectedly.  If you read the book, you know, the Graumann and Heppner families were hiding in a camp in the woods near Vlierden in 1942--before we were rescued by Harrie Janssen.  Very close to that camp lives a certain family Verberne, who still are farming there.  Their son, Wils, wanted a metal detector as a present for his 12th birthday.  What a farm boy would want with a metal detector is beyond me, but he persisted to the point that his parents gave in.  He went into the fields with the thing, and guess what he found there?

An unexploded bomb!  Naturally, they went for the police right away, and they removed the bomb safely.  That led Wils to ask why there should be a bomb back there in their field.  So he got an earful about World War II, which caught his interest.  He went and visited all the folks in the neighborhood who could fill him in on that topic, and so he also heard the story of our families who had been in hiding there.

That really piqued his interest and his family supported him in this.  With their help, he set up a little museum in their barn with artifacts, documents, and relevant photos.  I have seen photos of the exhibit, and I’m impressed with how careful and professional it all looks.

Now it appears that his parents also like theater.  They heard from me and Ed van de Kerkhof about the play that Andreas Schertenleib produced in Switzerland.  The Verbernes, Ed, Andreas, and I have been in contact to consider bringing the play to Vlierden/Deurne.  To my surprise, the locals believe that they know enough German to understand the play, certainly so with preparation:  The Chickenhouse book is available in Dutch and is for sale there.

The main obstacle to this project is the cash to pay the travel and professional expenses of the players.  Some quick calculations showed that the take at the gate should bring in enough cash to cover about half the cost.  So we need to look for outside support if this idea is going to be realized.  I’m exploring all possibilities and hope for the best

Happy New Year.


Amichai and Andreas, planning gigs in Switzerland