Een nieuwe tijd
Many books have been published about the disaster. From novels to studies, from children’s books to anthologies. It is not easy to add something new to these, but the announcement of the new book by writer and skipper Corine Nijenhuis is promising. In ‘Een nieuwe tijd – Zeeland na de ramp’, she describes the far-reaching consequences of the flood for the inhabitants of Zeeland. How did lock keepers, porters, boatmen, farmhands and churchgoers fare after the disaster?
With her Zeeland clipper, Nijenhuis sails along the estuaries of the southwestern delta and collects stories from relatives and survivors. She speaks with evacuees from Capelle who were never allowed to return to their familiar village. Furthermore, she meets the owners of shipyard Courage and Allegiance, which was expropriated twenty years after the disaster because the new Delta dike cut right through the company. She also visits a mussel fisherman, who talks about his rescue efforts for the first time.
Nijenhuis feels connected to the region through her grandparents, who were market gardeners in Walcheren. That undoubtedly gives the book a personal dimension. On Feb. 1, 2023, the Netherlands reflected once again on one of the greatest disasters in its history. It’s a suitable moment to remember the victims, reflect on the consequences for surviving relatives and look to the future of the Netherlands.