In 1993 I completed my PhD research on the writings of Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), which was later published in an British and American trade edition: Siegfried Sassoon: Scorched Glory (Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, 1997). In true Sassoon-fashion I had ‘stumbled’ (‘stumbling’ and ‘blundering’ are recurring words in Sassoon’s war writings) across his Sherston-trilogy in my first year at Amsterdam University. It led me to his war poetry, to other war poets, and to that whole historical & socio-cultural phenomenon: the Great War and its impact on British society.
It made me wonder what had happened in my own native country, the Netherlands, at the time. I knew it had remained neutral, but at school we had never been told anything about the period, and it seemed to me that in a country that was so near the battlefields of the Western Front and so close to two of the main warring nations, Britain and Germany, the war could hardly have passed unnoticed.
The new book by Wim Klinkert, Samuel Kruizinga and Paul Moeyes, "Nederland neutraal", was presented in the Nassau hall at the Militairy Academy in Breda on 22 may. The introductory speech was made by General-Major Theo Vleugels, Commander of the KMA. Mr Theo Vleugels is very interested in military history and was delighted that the presentation of the new book took place in the historic hall of the academy.
After Wim Klinkert explained how the three writers came to the initiative of the book and explained the cooporation between them it was the turn of Peter Vandermeersch, Chief Editor of NRC newspaper. Mr. Vandermeersch told a fascinating story about his own impressions and experiences related to the Great War in Belgium. He then received the first copy of the book from the 3 writers.
This year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. NRC Handelsblad chief-editor Peter Vandermeersch gave in DWDD a lecture about the remarkable role of the Netherlands during this war. The lecture also turned out to be a good promotor of the book "Buiten Schot" by Paul Moeyes. This spring the completely revisioned edition will appear in bookstores everywhere. Watch the video here: http://dewerelddraaitdoor.vara.nl/media/307320
The website of the Historisch Nieuwsblad (Historic Newspaper) has published an interview with Paul about the importance for the Netherlands of remembering the 100th aniversary of the start of the first World War in 2014. The interview was taken on the 28th of september by Sabine Schmetz.
On april 15, 2001 Hans Olink has interviewed Paul for VPRO radio on account of the first publication of his book "Buiten Schot" about the Netherlands during the First World War.