audreys involvement in ww2, short summary or link if you've already answered this question? girl imma need it for some project due Tuesday or something I ain't go no time to do things trying to support myself, giving myself a break now but I'll need a helping hand
1939. Preceding the outbreak of WWII, Ella (Audrey’s mother) wrongly considers neutral Holland safer than the risk of staying in England, and moves Audrey back to live with the family in Arnhem. Audrey is forced to quickly learn Dutch, her being fluent only in English at this time. Years later, when asked if she felt more Dutch or English, she said she leaned towards English because I was more English than Dutch when I went to Holland.
1940. In May, German troops and artillery march through Arnhem. Dutch resources are exploited fully by Germany and, in time, virtually all of the van Heemstra family’s property will be confiscated: property, homes, bank accounts, securities, jewelry. Due to her British citizenship, and fear of internment, Ella warns Audrey not to speak English in public: My mother was worried about [my] speaking English in the streets with Germans all around. At this time, in England, Joseph Ruston is among hundreds of fascist or pro-Nazi activists imprisoned without trial - this unknown to his wife and daughter.
1941. Audrey begins her first serious ballet training under Winja Marova at the Arnhem School of Music. She will study there through to mid 1944, becoming the teacher’s star pupil in the process. Food rationing becomes increasingly severe. By spring it is hard to get the single weekly rationed egg, let alone meat; by summer there is no tea of coffee. During winter the fuel shortage means that only one room per home is allowed to be heated.
1942. Audrey’s Uncle and four others are executed by the Nazis purely for publicity and retribution for a Dutch underground attempt to blow up a train. Audrey witnesses other such reprisals in Arnhem: We saw young men put against the wall and shot, and they’d close the street and then open it and you could pass by again…Don’t discount anything awful you hear or read about the Nazis. It’s worse than you could ever imagine. Alexander (Audrey’s half brother) goes underground to avoid being rounded up to work in forced labor for the Germans. Ian (Audrey’s half brother) is caught and is sent to work fourteen hours a day in a munitions factory in Berlin or for all his family knows to his death. Ella and Audrey, now on their own, are taken in by her grandfather, Baron van Heemstra, and Ella’s widowed sister, in nearby Velp.
1943. Despite the occupation Audrey draws herself more deeply into music and dance, finding an outlet for her talents in a series of blackout performances, held in secret with locked windows and drawn blinds. They also serve as a fundraising activity for the Resistance. During the war Audrey also acts as a courier and occasional secret messenger for the Resistance, as children often did, carrying messages and illegal leaflets stuffed in socks and shoes.
1944. Sufficiently advanced in her dancing, Audrey helps instruct the youngest students in the School. She also earns her family money by giving under-the-table private lessons. Eventually, however, food becomes so scarce that it weakens Audrey enough so that she must stop dancing temporarily. The Battle of Arnhem begins on September 17. After several days fighting the victorious Germans order all citizens to leave within twenty-four hours or risk being shot on sight. Ella and her daughter watch the exodus from the relative safety of the Baron’s villa: It was human misery at its starkest; masses of refugees on the move, hundreds collapsing of hunger… We took in forty, but there was literally nothing to eat.
Winter, 1944 - 1945. The fifteen year old Hepburn starts dancing again, giving classes in one of the rooms of the house. But soon, the Germans order everybody out. It was unspeakably hard to turn [them] into the cold night. Even my brother, who was hiding there, had to leave. Audrey appears with other students at Arnhem’s municipal theater in a recital that wins attention from a magazine critic, who writes: “She seems obsessed by a real dance rage, and already has a respectable technical proficiency.“
1945. March, and Audrey barely escapes as German soldiers round up young women to staff their military kitchens. Her hiding place is back at home where she stays indoors for the next month. Holland is liberated on Audrey’s sixteenth birthday, May 4. Audrey would later recall the earlier liberation of Arnhem by Canadian troops: We whooped and hollered and danced for joy. I wanted to kiss every one of them. The incredible relief of being free "it’s something that’s very hard to verbalize. Freedom is more like something in the air. For me, it was hearing soldiers speaking English instead of German, and smelling real tobacco smoke again from their cigarettes. Audrey is now five foot six and weighs ninety pounds, suffering from asthma, jaundice and other diseases due to malnutrition, including anemia and severe edema. Also, her metabolism is permanently affected, leading in future to difficulty gaining weight, as well as erroneous rumours of eating disorders for years to come. Alexander emerges from underground hiding, followed soon by the arrival of Ian who has walked most of the way from Berlin. Audrey would say: We lost everything, of course… our houses, our possessions, our money. But we didn’t give a hoot. We got through our lives, which was all that mattered. Ella reapplies herself to Audrey’s career, and decides to relocate them both to Amsterdam. Audrey starts studying there with Sonia Gaskell, the leading name in Dutch ballet. Audrey can’t pay for the lessons, but Gaskell thinks she deserves a chance, and she becomes a very serious pupil. Sonia taught me that if you work really hard, you’d succeed, and that everything had to come from the inside.