From Bazooka to  Bosnia: Sixty Years of (non)Journalistic ExperiencesWoodenshoes Publishing House
announces the English release of
announces the English release of From Bazooka to Bosnia: Sixty Years of (non)Journalistic Experiences by Dick Verkijk

About the Book | Reviews | Content Highlights
About the Author | E-mail

Verkijk receives Poland's second-highest decoration

On June 4, 2013, in Warsaw, Poland President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded Dick Verkijk the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the second highest decoration in Poland. President Komorowski stated that Verkijk was receiving the award "for [his] outstanding services rendered for the promotion of Poland's transition to democracy, for acting as a truthful witness to the situation on the ground during the period of martial law and for [his] accomplishments in journalistic undertakings."

Other Awards:

  • On November 16, 2010, the Czech Republic celebrated the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy. At that occasion the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes awarded Dick Verkijk the Vaclav Benda Medal for his, as it was phrased, "significant role in the fight for the restoration of freedom and democracy of the Czechoslovak Republic during the Communist totalitarian Power (1948-1989)."
  • In August 2010, at the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Polish trade union Solidarity, the European Solidarity Center awarded Dick Verkijk the Medal of Gratitude for his (non)journalistic support of Solidarity. In 1980, the then-communist Polish government was forced to accept the first independent trade union in Eastern Europe, thanks to the famous strike in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk.
  • In September 2007, From Bazooka to Bosnia also earned the predicate Outstanding Book award in the Nonfiction History/Heritage category by the League of Utah Writers at their annual awards event. The book received the Our History - Our Heritage Publication Award 2007, and Verkijk received the Gold Quill and Diamond Award for his work.

About the Book

First published in the Netherlands in 1997, this is the amazing story of a Dutch journalist who dedicated his whole career to freedom of the press and respect for human rights.

Dick Verkijk started during the German occupation of the Netherlands at the age of 14 as a co-publisher of an underground paper and ended his career in 1995 after he was expelled by the Milošević regime from Yugoslavia as "an enemy of the Serbian people."

In the intervening years he experienced the German occupation, reported about the suppression in the communist world, defended the rights of the so-called "dissidents" in Eastern Europe and the Soviet-Union, enjoyed the collapse of the communist system and covered the war in Yugoslavia.



Max van der Stoel, former High Commissioner for National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, calls Verkijk in his foreword to this book a journalist "who could not be intimidated" and who had "a rare combination of courage and ingenuity" and because of that "succeeded again and again to gather essential information about the developments within the communist regimes."

In 1997, these memoirs were published in the Netherlands. Dr. Sipke de Hoop, professor at the University of Groningen, wrote in a March 1998 review in the Dutch scientific monthly on Foreign Affairs, the Internationale Spectator, that Verkijk’s "passion has turned him into maybe the best postwar Eastern-Europe-journalist of the Netherlands."

The Polish-Dutch journalist Sasza Malko wrote in the literary supplement of the weekly Vrij Nederland on December 13, 1997: "The book consists of so many stories, meetings, as if hundreds of people have bundled their experiences. Each of us, traveling journalists, has been a witness of a historic moment once. But he was immediately everywhere present. He describes it with an enormous richness of detail. The emotions are fresh, as if it happened a few weeks before, the historic account agrees, and you are overcome by the feeling of recognition: indeed, so it was, so it felt, so it went."


Content Highlights

The author gives a revealing insight into the influence of what he calls the "fashionable leftishers" on the political decisions in the Netherlands and generally in Western Europe of the 1970s and 1980s vis-a-vis the communist regimes.

Verkijk had many collisions with the Secret Services in the communist countries, was several times detained and spent a week in the prison of the Czechoslovakian Secret Service, the StB. He was not only expelled from Yugoslavia but also from Czechoslovakia and Cuba.

He made many TV and radio documentaries on both the communist and the national socialist systems. In this book he throws a new light on the attempt on the life of Hitler on July 20, 1944. He comes with the well-founded thesis that the failure of the assault was not accidental but intentional.

The book is illustrated with dozens of unique photos and documents.