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Het tweede schot:
Een familieverhaal uit bezet Friesland by Aletta Stevens

Translated by Meritha Paul-van Voorden

Published in the Netherlands by Noordboek, 2019
Paperback, 256 pp with b/w photos throughout, end notes, bibliography and index
Price: €19.90

Ruim veertig jaar lang weet ze nauwelijks iets over Johannes – Joop – Doedenias Schweitzer, haar oom die tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog in het Friese Elahuizen om het leven kwam. Niemand in haar familie spreekt over hem, en pas nadat Aletta Stevens naar Engeland is verhuisd en zelf moeder is geworden besluit ze uit te zoeken wat er met haar oom Joop gebeurd is. Het tweede schot is het verslag van de zoektocht van Aletta Stevens, waarbij ze zich baseert op persoonlijke getuigenverslagen van mensen die Joop hebben gekend, op ongepubliceerde brieven, en officiële oorlogsdocumenten. Nadat ze aanwijzingen ontdekt voor Joops betrokkenheid bij het verzet ontwikkelt het verhaal zich tot een levendige reconstructie van die fatale nacht van 4 augustus 1944.


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Auteur Aletta Stevens groeide op in en om Rotterdam in een gezin met een Indonesische vader en een Nederlandse moeder. Na haar studie Engels aan de Universiteit van Sheffield is ze in Engeland blijven wonen en werken als vertaler, schrijver en lerares. Haar boek over Joop Schweitzer werd eerder in het Engels gepubliceerd.

Vertaler Meritha Paul-van Voorden heeft bijna haar hele leven in Rotterdam gewoond. In 2001 verhuisde ze naar Engeland waar ze afstudeerde in Translation in Theory and Practice aan University College London. Na een verblijf van vijf jaar in Zwitserland woont ze sinds januari 2019 in Londen. Naast haar vertaalwerk is ze ook docente en columnist.

Het tweede schot was launched at Van der Velde bookshop in Sneek, Friesland, on 3 May.

Aletta and Meritha were interviewed live on Radio Spannenburg by Lucas Hoogkamp in the programme Gaastnijs on 4 May, Dutch Remembrance Day. You can listen back here:

After visiting the graves of Joop Schweitzer and his parents, Aletta and Meritha took part in the silent procession to the peace monument in the Frisian village of Elahuizen, opposite the street named after Joop Schweitzer and just metres from the farmyard where he was killed.

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Book publication – Looking for Uncle Joop:
A Long-Lost Story from Nazi-Occupied Holland

Published in London by Ashgrove Publishing, 2017

231 pp with colour and b/w photos, Dutch timeline, bibliography and index

Price: £10.99

An old tennis racket, a skating medal, one monogrammed cigarette case: newly discovered mementoes of a life – of a relative no one talked about.

For more than 40 years, Aletta Stevens knew very little about Johannes Doedenias (Joop) Schweitzer, her uncle who died in the Second World War. Starting with a hopeful internet search, she decided to find out what really happened to him. In this book she draws on personal testimonies from people who once knew him, unpublished letters, and official war documentation, as well as revisiting her own upbringing in 1970s Holland. 

JOOP Amazon cover.jpg

After uncovering evidence of Joop’s involvement in the Resistance, the story builds to a vivid reconstruction of what took place on the fateful night of 4 August 1944 in the Nazi-occupied Dutch countryside. Out of tragic events came an uplifting experience amongst the local people who never forgot Joop Schweitzer. Looking for Uncle Joop is a story about family history, how the truth can be hidden for so long, and the continuing importance of both memoir and remembrance.


See and for five-star reviews, as well as the following family history magazines:      

Who Do You Think You Are? (August 2017)
Family Tree (October 2017)
Your Family History (August 2017)


Author Events

4 May 2017: launch at Balk Town Hall, Friesland, the Netherlands.
18-19 May 2017: signing at Institute of Translation conference, Cardiff, Wales.
7 June 2017: introduction and signing at Alkmaar Café, Bath, North-East Somerset.
17 September 2017: readings at Dutch community in London event ‘Boeken en bollen’ at Trumpeters’ House, Richmond, opened by Dutch Ambassador.
28 September 2017: Skype Q&A with Swiss reading group: LOGIC.
22 February 2018: illustrated talk with Q&A and signing at Trowbridge library, Wiltshire.
17 March 2018: 'Making a Memoir' talk and writing workshop at Drawing Centre, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. 
April 2018: publication of my Dutch-language article in Neerlandia Nieuws, Vereniging Neerlandia.
24 April 2018: meeting with Frisian publisher to discuss Dutch edition of ‘Looking for Uncle Joop’.
5 May 2018: illustrated talk to Dutch community at Dutch Ambassador’s residence, London.
18 May 2018: helped set up Bath branch of Society of Authors.
July 2018: publication of my illustrated background article in newsletter of Anglo-Netherlands Society.
15 September: talk to Western Group of Institute of Translation & Interpreting, Watershed, Bristol
21 September: joint appearance with Dee La Vardera in ‘Weaving a narrative in non-fiction writing’, a discussion with the Bath branch of the Society of Authors, led by Diana Cambridge.
December 2018: publication of article 'Chance Encounter Near Sintra' in The Author, the journal of the Society of Authors.


Aletta Stevens is a member of the Society of Authors and is available for illustrated talks.

Buy a signed copy directly from the author

UK - £12.99

Europe - £16.99

Rest of World - £18.99

Paperback & Kindle version available from - click here

Kindle version available from - click here

For an article with background information on the writing of the book, click here

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