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Letter to the Editor: Learning from Hepburn
Letter To The Editor

From Diana Vance


To the editor:

This is a time where it may be difficult to confine ourselves at home and wear a mask when we go out, but perhaps the story of Audrey Hepburn, the beautifully thin movie star, can pull us through. Audrey Hepburn and her mother lived in the Netherlands which is a country that abuts with Germany. Audrey studied ballet and became excellent at it even though she was 5’6” tall.

In 1940 the German Army entered Holland and the Dutch were not frightened because Germany was a friendly neighbor. But very soon the German Army took over everything. People could only listen to German radio stations and the people also had to share their food with German soldiers. One by one the German army took away all freedoms.

This gave rise to the Dutch Resistance. Audrey wanted to help them. Even the though the auditoriums were closed, she was invited to give ballet performances in private homes. The audience paid her and she gave the money to the Resistance. She did this in spite of the fact she could be executed.

By mid-1944 the tide was turning against Hitler’s Germany. The Allies, Britain and America began heavy bombing to crush Germany once and for all. Veld, the city Audrey lived in, was bombed unceasingly because it was near an important bridge, Arnhem and it was controlled by Nazis. Audrey was now 15 and she saw her home bombed to the ground. She and her mother took their mattresses to the basement where they hid, defying death. The war, the agony and the hunger went on and on. All Audrey could do was hang on hoping the war would end soon.

In an attempt to ignore the bombings in the evening, they had great fun talking about the foods they would eat after the war was over. But by this time the lack of food was taking its toll. Some Dutch caught, killed and ate rats. Hunger was the worst of all.

Finally, the war ended in 1945 and the Canadian army liberated Veld. Audrey had acute anemia, but her spirit remained unbroken. She weighed 88 pounds.

Our president says we are in a war. Think of Audrey and then look in the mirror and repeat the word “Perseverance.” Hang in there and follow what Dr. Anthony Fauci says. Wear masks and do safe distancing. Unlike Hitler, he wants you to live. You will triumph!