Book cover image for: The Last Illusion: Letters from Dutch Immigrants in the “Land of Opportunity” 1924-1930

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

Until now, information about Dutch immigration to Canada has been scarce as much was lost during the German occupation of Holland during World War II. However, Herman Ganzevoort was able to unearth and translate rare letters and articles written by Dutch immigrants during the 1920s, which offer new insight into the struggles the Dutch faced to fit into their new country. The letters opened up the inner dimensions of the immigrants: the reasons for their emigration, their hopes, their fears, and, best of all, their experiences in Canada. These images are not reminiscences screened and filtered by the passage of time but are immediate and compelling. The writers shared their feelings and showed an openness that was uncommon in their culture and time. Their words describe the pain caused by separation and loss, and the sense of shared joy and exhilaration when goals were reached.

Herman Ganzevoort lives in Calgary, Alberta. 

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