Jerry van Dyk was born Sept. 13, 1933 in the Netherlands, in the northern province of Friesland. Jerry saw the beginning of the German when the planes of the Luftwaffe flew overhead on their way to bomb Rotterdam in 1940, and he witnessed the German occupation of his country from 1940-44. His family lived in an agricultural area, where his father farmed and his mother watched the canal bridge. As Jerry recalls, everybody knew everybody in this rural community, and that meant as a young boy he was aware of the Resistance and was involved himself in a number of ways, especially as a scout and lookout. Jerry grew up in the midst of the war; he was aware of the underground and on occasion he saw the German reprisals, moments that had a strong impact on him. He also remembers the refugees that came to his family home during the difficult time of the Hunger Winter, as well as the coming of the Canadian liberators at the end of the war. Jerry chose to settle in Canada a few years after the war had concluded, and he and his wife made their own contributions to postwar Canadian life, including the remembrance of those lives lost during the war.
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