He Called Me Elly

Original title: Hij noemde me Elly

Publication Date:

April 2024



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. Dutch


Commercial Fiction, Historical Fiction, WWII

He Called Me Elly

Original title: Hij noemde me Elly


De Wind aptly describes how Elly miraculously escapes from transports, how she manages to make it every time. But it is also a story of love and resilience. — Het Parool

WWII-novel based on the remarkable life story of Holocaust-survivor Elly Vleeschhouwer-Blocq. 

Against the increasingly grueling backdrop of an occupied Amsterdam, 16-year-old Elly Blocq falls in love with Wim Vleeschhouwer, the chairman of the table tennis club. But one cold winter evening in early 1943, two members of the Dutch National Socialist (NSB) are at the door: Elly has to come with them. Wim is distraught and decides to go with her voluntarily.

The two end up in Camp Vught. Because Wim speaks German, he falls into the camp commander’s good graces and manages to get not only himself but also Elly on the list of the Philips-Kommando – a working place that enables the Dutch electronics company Philips to fool the Germans and protect Jewish prisoners from deportation.

In the summer of 1944, the curtain falls for the Philips-Kommando after all. Elly is put on a transport to Auschwitz. And while she fights for her life in degrading conditions, it is negotiated from high up in Berlin that the Philips-Kommando does not have to go to the gas chamber. But after three months in Auschwitz, Elly has to be transported again. How long can Philips save the group?

He called me Elly is the miraculous story of a woman who survived eight concentration camps thanks to the love of her husband and the protection of the Dutch electronics company Philips.

Marketing Information

  • English sample available
  • The author spoke at length with Elly Vleeschhouwer- Blocq (now 99 years old) for this book, which was published 16 April 2024
  • Elly Vleeschhouwer-Blocq survived eight concentration camps after joining the Philips Kommando during her time in Camp Vught
  • The Philips Kommando is relatively unknown, but saved the lives of many Dutch Jews