Military Monday – CRASH ’40-’45 Museum Speaking Engagement

I recently confirmed another speaking engagement in the Netherlands this fall.

Saturday, October 24, 13.00 (1:00 p.m.)
The Liberators. Reconstructing Army and Air Corps World War II Military Service
During 1944 and 1945, thousands of men and women serving in the U.S. Army and Army Air Forces, fought to defeat Germany and liberate Europe. Their stories are those of life and death, hope, friendship, love, memories of those left behind, and dreams of the future.

Many questions surround the service history of these men and women. How does one conduct research from Europe? What records are available and how can they be accessed? How can individuals connect with families of the fallen, the sweethearts, or who shared their homes during the war? And finally, how can we preserve their stories?

This program will be held at the CRASH ’40-45 Museum in Aalsmeerderbrug, Netherlands.

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

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Military Monday – WWII Research from Europe

Faces of Margraten 3 May 2015

Faces of Margraten 3 May 2015

I’m working on several projects currently in preparation for my return to Europe to give several presentations on World War II research and writing. If you live in Europe and have conducted research on World War II or adopted graves, I’d love your feedback to the following questions. Thank you for your assistance!

1. Why did you start adopting graves or doing research on U.S. soldiers?
2. Are you involved in any organizations for grave adoption or research in Europe?
3. Have you traveled to the U.S. to meet veterans, families, or do research? When and what did you do?
4. What difficulties have you encountered attempting research from Europe?
5. What have your research goals been for each soldier?
6. Did you meet your research goals? How long did it take?
7. What resources did you use to locate information? Family members, Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, websites, libraries, museums, National Archives, European archives, U.S. based researchers?
8. What have you done with the research? Created a website? Written a book? Given a talk?
9. Tips for interviewing veterans – what do you have?
10. Best museums in Europe for WWII research and viewing of artifacts.
11. Best archives in Europe for WWII research.

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

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Military Monday – The Forbidden Zone Book Review

Borden bookOn my trip to Europe, I spent time at the In Flanders Field Museum where I saw a quote by Chicago Nurse, Mary Borden. She spoke of treating the men, or what was left of the men, during World War I. Her quote moved me so I investigated her when I returned home. Mary was a Chicago heiress who set up her own field hospital. She wrote a book called The Forbidden Zone which was published several years after the end of World War I.

Her book is filled with short stories with immense description of life during the war as a nurse. Stories of the wounded, the dying, and the dead. Such description, I felt I had a great deal to learn from the way she wrote. It is similar to the way I write, only I felt she had greater metaphors and descriptions. So much to learn from her writing.

If you are interested in reading about the experiences of a nurse in World War I, pick up a copy of her book. It is a short read and gives you a glimpse into the hell that was the war.

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

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