This is a recording from a Sydney Writers' Festival event at City Recital Hall on 2 March 2020. 

Winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year Award, The Cut Out Girl is the extraordinary true story of Lien de Jong, a young Jewish girl who became one of Holland’s hidden children of World War II.

While her parents were being sent to Auschwitz, Lien was being taken in by a foster family part of the Dutch resistance meant to keep children safe. But after the war, her relationship with the family abruptly ended. Decades later, Bart van Es, the grandson of the couple that took Lien in, wondered: what happened to the young girl his grandparents hid from Nazis? His investigation would change both Bart’s life and Lien’s – and bring to light a dark truth about Holland’s past.

A moving account of resilience, The Cut Out Girl also explores how Holland, once a place of refuge for Jewish people, became a world of betrayal. A higher proportion of Jewish people in Holland died under Nazi occupation than those in Germany.

Bart talks with the ABC Radio’s Sarah Kanowski about this extraordinary story of war-time survival and how saviours can also scar.

This recording is available on all major podcast platforms. 

Sarah Kanowski (Australian)

Sarah Kanowski

Sarah Kanowski presents ABC Radio's Conversations, Australia's most downloaded podcast. Sarah has a master's degree in literature from the University of Oxford. She would like to write books but her children and chooks are too demanding.

Bart van Es (International)

Bart van Es

Bart van Es is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. Catherine’s College. He is the author of Spenser’s Forms of History, Shakespeare in Company, and Shakespeare’s Comedies. He was born in the Netherlands and now lives with his family in England.