Book cover image for: Last Illusion

The Last Illusion: Letters from Dutch Immigrants in the "Land of Opportunity" 1924-1930

Edited and Translated by Herman Ganzevoort

$24.95 CAD / $28.95 USD

238 pages, 1 illustration

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-013-0 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-381-0 (Institutional PDF)

November 1999

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About the Book

The story of Dutch immigration to Canada is illuminated using rare primary sources that offer new insight into the struggles, troubles, and triumphs of Dutch settlers in the 1920s.

Information about Dutch immigration to Canada has been scarce and difficult to find as much was lost during the German occupation of Holland during World War II—Until Now. Author Herman Ganzevoort has unearthed and translated rare letters and articles written by Dutch immigrants during the 1920s which offer stunning new insight into the struggles the Dutch faced in their new country.

These letters open up the inner dimensions of Dutch immigrants: their reasons for the emigration, their hopes, their fears and best of all, their experiences in Canada. Their experiences are recounted not as reminisces or memoirs screened and filtered by the passage of time, but are immediate and compelling. The writers share their feelings and show an openness that was uncommon for their culture and time. Their writing vividly portrays the pain caused by separation and loss and the shared joys and exhilaration when goals were reached.

The Last Illusion powerfully and sensitively illuminates the world of Dutch settlement in Canada, shedding new light on a story of immigration that has too long gone untold.

About the Author

Herman Ganzevoort lives in Calgary, Alberta. 

The Last Illusion was published as a part of Legacies Shared

Priase for The Last Illusion

This marvellous gem is full of wonderful bits of information about life in Canada in the 1920s . . . Ganzevoort deserves a polite round of applause for rescuing these forgotten contributions from the obscurity of a disintegrating archive. 

—J.I. (Hans) Bakker, Dutch Crossing

Table of Contents

De Vrije Socialist (The Free Socialist) 2 July 1924
De Arnhemsche Courant (The Arnhem Journal) 17 January 1925
De Avondpost (The Evening Mail) 12, 14, 15 January 1925—Emigration to Canada, by a Canadian Immigrant
Hoogeveenshe Courant (The Hoogeeven Journal) 23 Dec 1925
De Niewe Tilburgshe Courant (The New Tilburg Journal) 29 December 1925, 16 March 1926, 25 March 1926, 26 March 1926
Haagshe Post (The Hauge Mail) 24 April 1926—The Canadian in a Higher Vocation
De Arnhemsche Courant (The Arnhem Journal) 4 February 1928—A Word of Warning
Het Vaderland (The Fatherland) 10 March 1929 to 3 January 1930—ON Canada’s Devil’s Island
De Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (The New Rotterdam Journal) 19 October to 13 November 1927—Lost Amoung the Ruthenians
Dagplad Van Arheim (The Arnhem Daily) 1 December to 15 December 1928—An American Scene in the Far North
Schuitemaker’s Purmerender Courant (Schuitemaker’s Purmerender Journal) 18 April 1925 to 12 November 1927—J.R. van der Meulen: Canada is a Funny Country
Leeuwarder Nieuwsblad (The Leeuwarden News) 4 April 1927 to 11 April 1929—Frans van Waeterstadt: The Last Illusion
De Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (The New Rotterdam Journal 28 September 1929 to 1 June 1930—Toronto the Beautiful