Amarte Fonds


Lieke Kézér

Károly is the story of Lieke Kézér's grandfather. Between 1920 and 1930, over sixty thousand Hungarian children came to the Netherlands on the so-called children's trains to regain their strength. Hungary was one of the big losers of World War I; most of the children were very malnourished. They were supposed to return home after three months, but many of them stayed in the Netherlands forever. Among them was Károly Kézér. He was 11 years old when he was put on a train in Budapest in 1921; he would never see his parents or his siblings again. Károly Kézér ended up with a host family in Vorstenbosch, Brabant. Once an adult, Károly became a farmer, married and had fourteen children. During World War II, he was an active member of an underground group that offered help to people in hiding. In July 1944, a Jewish couple with their teenage son and a young man were brought to his farm. They stayed there until the end of the war.

Lieke Kézér has written two novels: De Afwezigen, awarded the ANV Debutant Prize as well as The Bronze Owl in 2017, and De Verloren Berg, published in 2019.