Dutch Girl

Audrey Hepburn and World War II
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,265 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. According to her son, Luca Dotti, "The war made my mother who she was."

Audrey Hepburn's war included participation in the Dutch Resistance, working as a doctor's assistant during the "Bridge Too Far" battle of Arnhem, the brutal execution of her uncle, and the ordeal of the Hunger Winter of 1944. She also had to contend with the fact that her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first two years of the occupation. But the war years also brought triumphs as Audrey became Arnhem's most famous young ballerina.

Audrey's own reminiscences, new interviews with people who knew her in the war, wartime diaries, and research in classified Dutch archives shed light on the riveting, untold story of Audrey Hepburn under fire in World War II.

Also included is a section of color and black-and-white photos. Many of these images are from Audrey's personal collection and are published here for the first time. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Robert Matzen (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Dutch Girl

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Beautiful story about a beautiful life

Learning of the extreme hardships of the Dutch people during the war, it's not hard to see how those informed Hepburn's interests and sensibilities as an adult. I knew she had studied ballet but not that she studied it as long as she did or that she taught younger students. Her lack of a father seemed to affect who she chose to marry and neither marriage was very happy.
It's definitely a good read for those interested in WWII from the perspective of daily lives as opposed to battles.

40 people found this helpful

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Never knew this part of Audrey Hepburn's life.

Very interesting and compelling story. Gives a great insight into pre war Europe and the occupation. Shows the effects of the war in ways you wouldn't imagine.

23 people found this helpful

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I thought I knew her

There was so much here about Audrey Hepburn that I had never before learned. I knew she was a dancer but not that she was so passionate about dance. That she was born the same year and close to Anne Frank was also a surprise. The war years were terrible to her an yet she survived. What an elegant lady she turned out to be.

40 people found this helpful

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Humble champion for civility

Audrey championed human rights albeit she was repeatedly forced into sub-human cricumstances during German occuptation of Velp and the surrounding areas where she grew up dancing. Truly inspirational!

18 people found this helpful

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War

This book gave us a glimpse into Audrey Hepburn’s youth and how it affected her in her adulthood. It was often sad and horrifying. It showed how war can affect one years after the experience. Also can everyday bravery can carry you thru.

32 people found this helpful

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About the Dutch - not Audrey Hepburn

This was very disappointing. I expected it to be an in depth account of Audrey Hepburn's early life but it is not. It's more a historical offering of how the people of Holland were affected by WWII. It goes on for hours about the fate of people who knew Audrey's family, but not about Audrey herself. In this book, she is only an afterthought, sprinkled into the conversation in minuscule doses of insignificance (e.g., she was considered tall for a ballet dancer). Here in the US, Audrey Hepburn was always known as a very private person and someone who chose not to discuss her life or the repercussions of the war. Because she remained tight-lipped about those early days, there is nothing this author can offer to the reader other than what Audrey has already told us herself - she helped out at the hospital, and she taught ballet to local children. The only thing I learned from this book is that Audrey's mother was enthralled by Hitler and remained his supporter into the Occupation. Perhaps that is why Audrey chose not to speak of those early days, and the reason this author has nothing to offer us in this book. If you are looking to learn about Audrey, you will be sorely disappointed with this selection.

12 people found this helpful

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Really wonderful "read".

I had no idea Audrey Hepburn had endured such a life before Hollywood. The narrator did a wonderful job of putting us in the story. The story was written well and it was quite easy to follow.

17 people found this helpful

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A very good World War II story

I find her Dutch past so very interesting. Her mother and father’s Nazi involvement was very surprising. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for her for having such a mother. I think the author did a very good job of describing the dutch occupation and the horrors of war.

25 people found this helpful

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Great courage in the tumolts

Admiration & informative of WWII devastation Audrey\Netherlands incurred. Well written & we should not forget.

7 people found this helpful

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Good story, poor narration

The story of Audrey Hepburn’s life during the war is interesting. Many of the references mirror what I have been told by my parents of the WW2 war experience. I wish they had a Dutch narrator as it is virtually impossible to understand the references to Dutch names and towns. The Narrator tries but makes the names and places sound painful.

52 people found this helpful

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  • cuckfield
  • 07-29-20

Fascinating Audrey made rather dull

Too much unnecessary detail bogged down the story of her early which could have shorter and therefore more interesting. Could not be bothered to finish it. A shame as it was my first Audible download.

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  • Professional Gypsy
  • 08-27-19

Masterpiece

A masterpiece about remarkable persons living through hell. More than just a biography, it's a epic struggle through Nazi occupied Netherlands and a side of the war very rarely talked about. Wonderfully relatable thanks to the truthful and somber browns eyes and smile that is revered around the world. Brilliant!
The narrator did a great job with the dutch and encompassing the emotion of the story.