A Candle Among Writer Marga Minkow’s Books: ‘She Was A Hero’

Met het overlijden van Marga Minco verliest René zijn heldin (foto: Eva de Schipper).

“I’m looking for The Bitter Herb by Marga Minco. I didn’t know it was born here in Ginneken!” For example, a man enters the Van Kemenade & Hollaers bookstore on Saturday. “Here he is! Now I only have two left,” laughs owner Rene Hollarz. The writer’s heroine, Marga Minkow, no longer exists. And even though it was at least 103: “That’s kind of a shock.”

The Breda clerk, who grew up less than a kilometer from the shop, is honored with a burning candle in the shop window. “She is a hero to me. A gifted writer who can express succinctly the suffering of the Jews’ persecution.” says Renee. “I first read Het Bittere Kruid in 1974. It drew me in immediately, because it is soberly written and therefore more penetrating.”

“This book immediately captivated me because it was so thoughtfully written.”

“It was a shock,” the bookseller sighs. “Marja turned 103 on March 31st. It’s such a shame.” During our conversation, Renee is interrupted by a customer. “I’m looking for The Bitter Herb by Marga Minco? I didn’t know it was born here in Ginneken!” Rene laughs and shows the book, which was already in his hands. “Here it is. After this there are only two left. They’re going really fast today!”

“This handbook is really the sixty-second edition,” says Renee proudly. Besides the special story, there is another reason. “The Bitter Herb is on my high school reading list. Because it’s a nice thin book, it’s very popular. And I’m glad about that, because it means that many young people will be reading about the events in wartime.”

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“Because it is such a thin book, many young people read about the events in wartime.”

Oranjeplein, near the bridge halfway along the Ginnekenweg, will soon be renovated and renamed Marga Mincoplein. Desire of Bredase neighborhood residents for years. Marga Minkow was born a few hundred meters away, at 194 Prins Hendrikstraat.

The road to the square will be narrowed and there will be more green spaces. Artwork will also be placed in honor of the author. Despite her advanced age, the author was already recording scripts for artwork. “I would have loved it if she had continued,” Renee concludes. “It’s a shame she can’t experience this anymore.”

Also read: Writer Marga Minkow dies at the age of 103

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