Ineke Kievit - The Parrots of Moshe


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The man's hands are folded. His head bowed, as if in prayer. What answer will he give later? What does he want to say, but also: what should he say? What weighs the most? Protecting his own children, not endangering himself and his family, or is there another option imaginable?

He looked at his wife while the stranger with the small child suddenly stood at the door and asked her: "What would you do, woman? You tell me."

She looked deep into his eyes, was quiet, and said, "No, that's up to you."

He walked out to the stable, took a respite for a moment, in search for solitude, and now he is in the barn among the animals. In the semi-darkness he sees the shiny cow eyes, he hears the pigs grunting, smells the earth in which the softly cackling hens scratch. Furthermore, he is alone with this difficult dilemma.

It is 27 May 1943…

The Parrots of Moshe is a reflection on the search for Jopie, the two-year old kid that went into hiding with Ineke Kievit’s grandparents in 1943. His real name is Moshe, and survived WWII on his foster parent’s courage. He was lovingly cared for by the family, but returned to his own family after the war.

Why did Jopie end up with the Broeze family in the Dutch village of Nijverdal? What did this mean for him? What were the consequences of this period in hiding and the events afterwards on the life of the little Jopie?

Ineke Kievit explores it all, and touches on the big themes of life. What do you do in troublesome times, where is the line between right and wrong? She reconstructs the facts by researching archives and getting in touch with people from her own family and from Moshe’s family. And she experiences the binding strength of the love and people that surround you.

Published in February 2020 | Paperback | 168 pages | ca. 57,000 words
Full English translation available
Dutch edition published by Nabij Publishers

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Ineke Kievit has studied Business Sociology at the Free University of Amsterdam. She is founder and CEO of KBC BV and has almost forty years' experience in time- and self-management. She appeared as an expert on television, on these and other personnel development-related topics. She works internationally as coach, trainer, and organizational consultant. Ineke has also written several books in which she shows the impact that past events from her own family, still have in today’s times.


‘Ineke Kievit started with little information, but learned more through several letters, documents, and the stories of her family members. She even traveled to Israel to meet Moshe. The way Ineke describes her quest and research, you have no choice but to become spellbound by this story. You sympathize with the family, with Ineke’s perspective, with Moshe and his family. And her grandparents receive a Yad Vashem Award for their troubles. I read the book with great pleasure, it moved me, and took a hold on me until it was finished. I can recommend it to anyone.’

The Parrots of Moshe is a beautiful book. A highly recommended book on a child in hiding with Ineke Kievit’s grandparents during the war. Would you have done the same? Perhaps you wish you would, but would you dare to do so? A moving story that is worth to be added to history, 75 years after the war.’

‘What should he do? Refuse a helpless child or endanger his family? “Let the kid come,” father said softly. And that is how two-year old Moshe/Jopie enters the family of Ineke Kievit’s grandparents. He survives the war and goes back to his family. Ineke wonders if he is still alive, and so begins a thrilling and introspective search for Jopie. Ineke has a distinct, refined style of writing, insinuatingly at times, but also spiced with a hint of humor.’

The Parrots of Moshe reads like a thrilling novel. Ineke Kievit tells the story of how the family adopts a Jewish two-year old boy, with all the dangers that entails. It is a great description of people in hard times and how their actions affect a child and his offspring. A accessible and fascinating story.’

‘I read the book in one sitting. Late at night, little Moshe is dropped off at the Broeze family, who have nine children of their own, because the kid is betrayed in another city. He is two years old, his parents are killed, and he is renamed Jopie. Ineke Kievit did extensive research to find out if Moshe is still alive and living in Israel. She meets him and his children, and discovers that the impact of the war has remained with him all his life. The book offers a fascinating insight into life in wartime. Highly recommended.’

The Parrots of Moshe is a compact story about the impact of an early childhood memory on the rest of your life. Ineke Kievit tells the search for a wartime event like no other. By chance she found out that her grandparents had a two-year old kid in hiding in 1943. This book is an account of her search for more information and what the effects are of those childhood experiences for a grown man and his family in modern day Israel. Because the quest is written from a personal perspective, the reader is automatically drawn into the emotions of the author. This isn’t a sober account, you really sympathize with the characters. That is what makes this book special and recommended.’


1. Huizen
2. Jerusalem
3. Nijverdal
4. The Hague

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