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* The Love Story Of My Mom And Dad

Updated on January 29, 2017
Titia profile image

I've always had an interest in war time stories and try to imagine how life was at that time. I don't think I can get even close to reality.

Synco Schram de Jong and Geertje (Muys) Meijst married on October 21, 1939
Synco Schram de Jong and Geertje (Muys) Meijst married on October 21, 1939 | Source

My Mom And Dad's Love Story Unwrapped

My mom and dad got married on October 21, 1939, just before the start of World War 2. Not the most romantic time for a young couple, but they had fallen in love a few years before and they didn't want to wait any longer.

I'll start with a little history about both before they met each other. I don't have many photos of my mom when she was young, actually only two. One as a toddler and one when she was 10 years old. I don't know if there have been other photos, never heard of them and never seen them.

I have more photos of my dad as a youngster, because his mom made a photo book for each of her four childeren.

Thanks to the eldest sister of my father, who has kept every single letter written to her or from her sisters and brother to their parents and thanks to their daughter (my niece) who is working on putting them on a special website in a timeline, we have a pretty accurate view about how they lived and thought during the WW2 and how they coped. I got her permission to use whatever I need for this article.

Nothing from this artical may be used in any way without my permission

Synco Schram de Jong

Synco Schram de Jong, 5 months old
Synco Schram de Jong, 5 months old | Source

My Dad Synco Schram de Jong Was Born On March 9, 1910

My dad was born in the city of Nijmegen in The Netherlands as the eldest son of Grandpa and Grandma Schram de Jong. He got three younger sisters, Heleen, Coos and Arina.

My Dad's family moved around quite a lot in those days as his father (my Grandpa) was the Director of the Postoffice and he got assigned to different cities every few years.


Photos Of My Dad As A Little Boy

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Synco  (right) with his mom, his sister and his granddad.Synco with his mom and little sister HeleenSynco and Heleen on their dad's lapSynco drinking tea with his sister HeleenSynco with his sisters Heleen, Arina and Koosje
Synco  (right) with his mom, his sister and his granddad.
Synco (right) with his mom, his sister and his granddad. | Source
Synco with his mom and little sister Heleen
Synco with his mom and little sister Heleen | Source
Synco and Heleen on their dad's lap
Synco and Heleen on their dad's lap | Source
Synco drinking tea with his sister Heleen
Synco drinking tea with his sister Heleen | Source
Synco with his sisters Heleen, Arina and Koosje
Synco with his sisters Heleen, Arina and Koosje | Source
Synco Schram de Jong 22 years old
Synco Schram de Jong 22 years old

My Dad 22 Years Old

He Studied Art In Amsterdam

My dad had developed a skill for drawing and painting and went to the Art Academy in Amsterdam.

That's where he met Nico Wilbers, who became his brother in law when Nico married my Dad's sister Heleen. Nico started a school for advertising drawings and my dad was a teacher there for a while. I think it stopped when WW2 came around the corner and my dad was mobilized and had to go underground later on.

Little did he know at the time this photo was taken (Dec. 6, 1932), that he would become my dad 12 years later on Dec. 7 1944.

I inherited a lot of the drawings he made in his early years. His parents had moved to the city of Zierikzee. This little village had a beautiful church tower which my Dad could see from his bedroom window. I have a few pencil drawings of this church.

Pencil Drawing Of The Church Tower In Zierikzee - 1929

Church Tower of Zierikzee - drawn by Synco Schram de Jong at the age of 19 years.
Church Tower of Zierikzee - drawn by Synco Schram de Jong at the age of 19 years. | Source

Geertje (Muys) Meijst

Geertje Meijst
Geertje Meijst | Source

My Mom: Geertje (Muys) Meijst Was Born August 24, 2011

My mom was born in the city of Amsterdam near the district called Jordaan (mostly a Jewish district). She had an older sister Lenie and a younger brother Gerard. Her dad was a chemistry teacher at an institute. Later on they moved to Groningen.

At the age of five years, my mom got acute youth rheumatism in all her joints and in order to keep her constantly warm, they put her from her neck down in a sack made out of blankets for one whole year.

The doc had said to her parents that she would not grow old. Well, he couldn't have been more mistaken. My mom passed away on April 21, 2013 at the age of 101 years old.

I have only one photo of my mom when she was a toddler. Her Dad always called her 'my little mouse' and she kept that nickname her whole life. Only close family knew her real birthname.
Mouse in Dutch is Muis. Later on my mom pimped it a little to Muys. So I will refer to her as Muys, because that was the name everybody knew her by.

Muys At The Age Of 10 Years With Her Sister Lenie

Muys Meijst 10 years old with her sister Lenie
Muys Meijst 10 years old with her sister Lenie | Source

My Mom's Family

From left to right: Grandpa Meijst, Grandma Meijst, sister Lenie with her husband Leo, grandma's sister Aunt Nettie, brother Gerard, sitting: my mom
From left to right: Grandpa Meijst, Grandma Meijst, sister Lenie with her husband Leo, grandma's sister Aunt Nettie, brother Gerard, sitting: my mom | Source

Courting is exiting

My Dad courting my Mom
My Dad courting my Mom | Source

My Dad Had Humor And Wrote Little Booklets To His Fiancé

As my mom was called Muys (Mouse) and my dad was an artist with humor, he used to show his love in word and drawings.

It was in December 1935 that my Mom and Dad met for the first time. My mom studied to be a nurse and she was invited by one of the other nurses to go to a dance party. She actually didn't want to go at first, but they convinced her that she needed a break from her study books. On that party she met my Dad, who was studying at the School of Art in Amsterdam. He was a painter. It was love at first sight.

My Dad, being an artist, send little drawings and poems to my mom on a regular base.

I've combined two little booklets into one and wrote my own little rhymes, because the lines my dad wrote were very personal.

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They fell in Love

the minute they set eyes on each other

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1939 WW II Mobilisation

My dad in army uniform with my mom in their garden with the dog Omar, a wedding present from my dad to my mom.
My dad in army uniform with my mom in their garden with the dog Omar, a wedding present from my dad to my mom. | Source

It Was A Hectic Time For Courting In The Late 1930s

It was on the treshold of WW2 when my mom and dad were courting. Not the most pleasant time for a young couple in love.

In august 1939 The Netherlands got mobilized and my Dad had to go to the province Limburg and was stationed in the villages Voerendaal and Gulpen. My mom visited her fiancé occasionally. In Gulpen my dad was housed in a real castle, the Castle of Neubourg.

My Dad and Mom Got Married

wedding mom and dad
wedding mom and dad

My Mom And Dad Got Married On October 21, 1939

My mom and dad decided to get married in 1939 and from the letters my dad's mom (my grandmother) saved, I learned it was very difficult to find a place where they could get married due to the mobilisation going on and all.

Finally, after pulling some strings, they could get married in the townhall of the City of Middelburg where my granddad was head of the Postoffice at that time.

October 21, 1939 Middelburg

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939
Muys and Synco, October 21, 1939 | Source

Just married, but living apart?

My Dad Got Mobilized In 1939

So they were married now, but living apart, because my dad had to perform his duty in the mobilized Dutch army. My mom came over to Gulpen occasionally to visit my dad and one day the countess, who lived at the castle where my dad was billeted, invited my mom to come over and stay at the castle so my mom and dad could be together for a longer period of time.

My mom told me that one day they were on a group bycicle trip and they happen to cross the border with Germany by accident. All the men in the group were captured by German soldiers and were taken away. Lucky for them it wasn't war yet and all the men were released again short time after.

They stayed in Limburg until the capitulation when the German Army attacked the Netherlands on May 10, 1940 and World War II was no longer a threat, but a fact.


The Castle of Neubourd in Gulpen, The Netherlands
The Castle of Neubourd in Gulpen, The Netherlands | Source

After The Capitulation

Krispijnseweg Dordrecht
Krispijnseweg Dordrecht | Source

After the Capitulation of The Netherlands

After the capitulation of the Netherlands in May 1940, my dad had to go underground for the rest of the war, to avoid being captured and send to the workcamps in Germany.

He managed to make a hiding place in the attic of the house in Dordrecht where they lived after they got married. That part however is another story which I will unwrap another time.

It's here and you can read the following up in World War II - Surviving the hunger winter of 1944

A War After The War

1946 -1949 Indonesian Independence War

1946 Dad left to go to war in Indonesia
1946 Dad left to go to war in Indonesia | Source

4th Garde Brigade-Grenadiers

My Dad Was A Major In The 4th Garde Brigade - Grenadiers

After the Japanese surrender, the (provisional) government in Indonesia declared on 15 August 1945 the Republic of Indonesia's independence. After the Japanese occupation The Netherlands wanted another transition to the future of the former Dutch East Indies. Five battalions Grenadiers and five battalions Hunters took to the 1946-1949 Police Actions section.

Ultimately The Netherlands, under international pressure (read: United Nations and the United States), gave Indonesia its independence in 1949. Over 200 Grenadiers and Rifles didn't return to The Netherlands and are buried in the Military cemetery Menteng Pulu. In addition to various awards for bravery and exceptional performance, all were distinguished by the distinguishing 'For Order and Peace'. In 1977, by Royal Decree, the Guards Regiment Grenadiers, Guards Regiment and the Hunters, the standard inscriptions 'West Java 1946-1949' and 'East Java 1947-1949' were awarded.

On April 15, 1950 a Memorial book was published called 'Oost Java' (East Java) in which the story of the 4th Infantery Brigade in battle is described. This book (and also the cover) is illustrated with the drawings that my dad made in Indonesia between 1946 and 1949.

Oost-Java, book about the Indonesian Independent War 1946-1949, illustrated by Synco Schram de Jong
Oost-Java, book about the Indonesian Independent War 1946-1949, illustrated by Synco Schram de Jong | Source

60 Years Later

I Took My Mom To The Castle Of Neubourg

60 years after World War II ended, I took my mom to the Castle of Neubourg. However we couldn't go in because it was under a major contruction and the whole Castle was fenced in. Mom told me stories of how she helped giving birth to a lot of babies in the time she was staying there. Sometimes in cellars due to the bombing.

I Took My Mom To The Castle Of Neubourg

My mom at Castle Neubourg 60 years after WW2
My mom at Castle Neubourg 60 years after WW2 | Source

An Amazing thing happened

Update November 13, 2015

Yesterday I noticed I had a new comment on this article, but it was only a link, so I didn't aprove it immediately because I thought it was one of those spam links. Strangely enough it was a link to a wellknown Dutch internet market place, called Marktplaats, a bit comparable with eBay, but just for the Dutch people.

So I put the link in Bing and to my surprise a painting of my Dad popped up. A lovely painting of two hydrangia flowers in a glass bottle, signed and dated 1933, still framed in its original frame.

I immediately contacted the seller and now it's mine. Thank you with all my heart, Vlatko Milosevski, for giving me the opportunity to purchase one of my Dad's early paintings.

I'm not allowed to put a link here to that market place, but this guy is selling more lovely paintings and drawings for a very reasonable price, so if you want to see them, just put "Vlatko Milosevski op marktplaats" in your browser and it will pop up as number one.

My Dad's painting is problably one of the many my Mom had to swap for some food during the Hunger Winter of 1944 .

My Dad's Still Life of Hydrangeas in a glass vaze

Painting Hydrangia by Synco Schram de Jong
Painting Hydrangia by Synco Schram de Jong | Source
Painting Hydrangia by Synco Schram de Jong
Painting Hydrangia by Synco Schram de Jong

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    • Titia profile image
      Author

      Titia Geertman 6 months ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Hi Ineke Kroon,

      You're almost my neighbour LOL, I live on the other side of the Westerschelde in Waterlandkerkje, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Thanks for liking my story about my mom and dad.

    • profile image

      Ineke Kroon 6 months ago

      Hi,found your site through relatives of yours (that are relatives to me as well, Marianne Jobse is my cousin, Leif is her son). Love this story! I live near Middelburg in Holland and know the town hall they maried in very well, Beautiful building, try to google it and you will see why it's famous. Kasteel Neubourg is in a part of Holland that is near Germany, The name can be best translated as; New castle. The name is old Dutch and partly dialect (Neu means new, bourg is 'castle'). Beautiful story. Inspiration for me to make a similiar story about my parents, thanks! Ineke Kroon, Vlissingen, Holland.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 16 months ago from USA

      I love this page! Family history is real history, as lived by real people.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 16 months ago from California

      This could so easily be a book, with the other parts of the story all combined into one. Enjoyed reading, and what luck to have that message about the site that had one of your dads paintings. How exciting!

    • Joe Fiduccia profile image

      Joe Fiduccia 2 years ago from Monroe County, PA

      I give you a log of credit for being willing to share this story with everyone. Opening up like that isn't something a lot of people are willing to do. Nice job. What a great read. -Joe

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Fantastic story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      A marvelous love story. Quite fascinating.

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 3 years ago

      Great lens and some old and wonderful pictures. Lot of Love and history. Thank you for sharing your stories. Jonathan

    • Helen 110 profile image

      Helena George 3 years ago from Scarborough, Ontario

      Thoughtfully put together and makes a super nice read.

    • profile image

      perryning 3 years ago

      Wow, don't think my love story is as good as that but still look out for it when its published. Little-China-Girl

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Thank you for such a wonderful article.

    • Carthage LM profile image

      Carthage LM 3 years ago

      What an amazing tribute to your parents. You have packed so much information and beauty into one lens. Great work.

    • ToolHire LM profile image

      ToolHire LM 3 years ago

      Love, love, absolutely love your lense! What an amazing story and brilliant pictures! Thank you for sharing! :-)

    • Jboixv profile image

      Jaxier 3 years ago from Montreal

      beautiful, I love it, I love to see old family pictures and also I love very much to read this kind of stories also, woooo, that´s great, wonderful.

    • Leiping profile image

      Leiping 3 years ago

      Good job on writing this story.

      Oh and nice to see some Dutch people here :)

      Tot laters.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      Such a lovely tribute to your parents, with fascinating photographs to illustrate the story. This is one of the huge bonuses on this writing platform - to preserve and present family stories.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you for sharing the extraordinary love story of your parents and congratulations on your well deserved purple star!

    • missBorokwa profile image

      missBorokwa 3 years ago

      this is so interesting. thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

    • homepage101 profile image

      homepage101 3 years ago

      fantastic, Bedank

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 3 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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