In those days the south of the Netherlands was liberated by Allied forces, while the north still was occupied by the Germans. The village of Hemmen was at the war front. On September 17, 1944 the Allies tried to force a breakthrough to the north of the Netherlands, with a large-scale airborne offensive (Battle of Arnhem), part of Operation Market Garden. This failed and liberation of the north had to wait until the spring of 1945.
Ida's diary starts September 17, 1944, the day of the airborne landings. She is 33 years old. In the early days of the diary, Hemmen castle, the house where she lives and works, is taken over by the Allied forces, but the Germans remain close. Grenades fall down and bullets whistle everywhere. Initially she's excited about the airborne landings of which she is an eyewitness. Soon she becomes overwhelmed by demanding care towards the fragile elderly entrusted to her and by the huge workload and stress. Nerve-racking evacuations follow. Also uncertainty about the fate of her family north of the front line makes her very concerned. She ends up in Eindhoven and finally in Tilburg where she eventually collapses and falls into a deep depression. That deep, that the liberation of the Netherlands in May 1945 is just a note in the margin of her diary. The last entry in Ida's diary is from June 9, 1945.