From the book
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Wednesday November 8th, 1916. With a moderate Southern western wind, a mere 9 degrees Celsius and a little drizzle, it feels very cold. But despite the cold, the Groenewoud ‘homestead’, that little apartment located in the ‘Madurastraat’ (Madurastreet), is filled with ‘rays of sunshine’ and is warm and cozy. The apartment is filled with party decorations and party balloons. The almost two-year-old Hendrik Dirk Johannes, known as Henk, who was born on Sunday, November 29th, 1914 stands by the window and is watching the street below. It won’t be long before Mam and Dad will be coming home. They will be bringing home a new baby. Henk is wondering whether they will bring back home, a new baby brother or a new baby sister. When he sees his father and mother coming around the corner pushing a pram, he jumps up-and-down with excitement. As he hears Mam and Dad carrying the pram up the steep small steps, to the third floor, of the ‘Madurastraat 130’ (Madurastreet 130), he rushes to the front door. He can hardly wait for Mam and Dad to come in. And there it is, a new born baby. He can’t wait to see what is in the pram, under all these blankets. It is a little baby brother. His new brother is called Jacobus Jr. Although named Jacobus, after his father, his parents call this lively little boy, Jaap or Jimmy and sometimes Jacob.