For a Better Life (2019) The Story of the Dutch Emigration from Rotterdam to Quebec City, April 26 – May5, 1952, Aboard the Sibajak
J. M. van Immerseel

This book is set against the background of postwar Netherlands and presents the stories of twenty one families who made the trip from Rotterdam to Quebec City in 1952 aboard the Sibajak. The stories document their lives before and during the war years, the reasons for their decision to emigrate, and their first few years in Canada. The book also describes the social and economic condition of the Netherlands following WW II and the immense struggle by the Dutch government to manage its overpopulation problem, declining standard of living, and the high unemployment rate among its rural population.
For a Better Life also examines the postwar immigration policy of Canada and the debate within the nation that took place about opening up the country’s borders to new immigrants – a debate that finally led to the Netherlands Farm Families Movement in 1947 paving the way for Dutch emigrants to come to Canada.

The book also presents the history of the Sibajak and her courageous captain, Frits de Jonge, whose underground resistance work during the war years supported the families of the merchant marine who were unable to return to the Netherlands for the duration of the war.

For a Better Life is supported by over 400 powerful photographs. Complete with the entire ship’s passenger list and a personal journal documenting the trip from Rotterdam to Quebec City on the Sibajak, the book is a treasure trove of information that readers interested in the Dutch postwar emigration phenomenon will find truly fascinating. Readers interested in the war years will find the photo essay of this time period especially captivating.

The book is well referenced and documented, contains a wealth of information and provides a window into one of the most difficult and challenging times in the modern history of the Netherlands.

HC & PB – 500 pages – richly illustrated – over 400 photographs – English expert text
Human Interest and Maritime history

NOTE: DHL and national postage is included in the prices for US, UK and AUS. CAN price only includes DHL shipment and NOT national postage.

Hardcover – NL € (65.40) | US $ (90.60) | UK £ (62.70) | Can $ (60.00) | Aus $ (131.40)

Paperback – NL € (43.25) | US $ (59.10) | UK £ (41.40) | Can $ (46.80) | Aus $ (86.70)