A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 16: The Music in Our Lives

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To hear music was not an everyday treat. Of course, there was an organ in the church that we would hear every Sunday.

In the 1920's and 1930's, nobody had a radio except the village painter, Jan Berg. He had four girls and no boys. I got kind of friendly with them so that I could go to their house and listen to that funny little man they had in a box with all kinds of levers and spools of wire. Sometimes the painter made the invisible man talk, sing and make music. The most intriguing part was that he did it without winding it up to make it go.

A few other people had a gramophone, but they only got music if they had a gramophone plate and then they had to wind the thing. After a few plates, they had to change the needle.

In 1938, Ma bought a radio and it was one that was totally automatic. All you had to do was to plug it into the 220 volt outlet, string an antenna wire outside and find one of the radio stations which name appear on the dial and you were in business. We had two stations in the land then: Huizen 1 and Huizen 2: short and long wave.

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