Daphne Geismar | INVISIBLE YEARS


A Family Underground in the Netherlands 1942-1945, created and designed by Daphne Geismar. Based on an extraordinary collection of primary sources – narratives, photographs, remembrances, and historical facts – this book literally unfolds the underground world of hiding in Nazi-occupied Netherlands, in a multi-generational, extended family portrait. When Daphne Geismar, acclaimed book designer, was presented with the contents of her mother’s and aunts’ previously closed ‘Holocaust drawers’ she discovered the cornucopia of materials she was destined to open further to orchestrate this book.

For Chaim and Fifi de Zoete, the survival of their close-knit family meant hiding separately, sending their three young daughters Mirjam, Judith, and Hadassah, age 9, 10, and 11 each to live alone in a home that would take them in, while they themselves lived in isolation beneath the floorboards of the vaulted ceiling of a church.  All survived, and their journals, interviews, and letters, and artifacts, as well as writings of extended family members are the fabric of this composite living story, each solitary and all of a piece, forever shaped by invisible existence through a horrific chapter of history.

INVISIBLE YEARS is stunningly created by de Zoete granddaughter and award-winning book designer Daphne Geismar, who has designed and produced books for major museums including The Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, as well as Yale University Press.  Included here is a sample of the design, a full manuscript of the work, the ‘history briefs’ which correspond to the pages of the family documents and records, and the images to be included.  Anticipated is a book 8.25 x 11.75 inches vertical; 256 or 272 pages; 70 images.