A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 15: More Games
(Spinning Tops)

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During the summer, there was always a time for "tolling" spinning tops. It was like everything else: it would come around in cycles - like pleiren, hoopelen, knikeren, slootje springen, etc.

Tollen was a game for which you needed a top made out of wood and a whip - a stick with a piece of rope on the end. To get the top to spin, you could wrap the rope or string around the top, put it on the ground and jerk the rope away, or start to spin the top by turning it by hand. Either way, when you got them spinning, you could keep it going for as long as you wanted to. By whipping the poor thing, you could also move it along at the same time, even jump obstacles.

All different kinds of shapes and sorts and sizes came out during the tollen season. Many were painted fancy colors which gave them a beautiful effect while they were spinning.

The well-to-do kids sometimes came to school with store bought musical tops - everybody stood in awe when those were in action. With those, you didn't have to wrap a rope around to start them. All you had to do was put them on the ground, pull a pin out and away the top went, broadcasting heavenly music. During this season, and as long as them "Bromtol's" lasted, those boys had many friends.


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