Robert Matzen: credit Annie Whitehead Harvesting Light PhotographyRobert Matzen has gained a reputation as one of today’s top authors in popular biography; for his latest book, Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, he lived in Audrey Hepburn’s footsteps in the Netherlands, interviewed many who knew her, and dug deep into Dutch archives to uncover secret information, resulting in a eye-opening look into the hidden past of an icon. Dutch Girl is Matzen’s eighth book and the third and final installment in his "Hollywood in World War II" trilogy, with previous releases including the award-winning and critically acclaimed titles Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 [2013] and Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe [2016].

Regularly appearing in international press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Hollywood Reporter, and PBS, Matzen’s previous print work includes many articles about classic films and he maintains a popular blog at

Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War IIAbout Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II

Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands.

According to her son, Luca Dotti, “The war made my mother who she was.” Audrey Hepburn’s war included participation in the Dutch Resistance, working as a doctor’s assistant during the “Bridge Too Far” battle of Arnhem, the brutal execution of her uncle, and the ordeal of the Hunger Winter of 1944. She also had to contend with the fact that her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first two years of the occupation.

But the war years also brought triumphs as Audrey became Arnhem’s most famous young ballerina. Audrey’s own reminiscences, new interviews with people who knew her in the war, wartime diaries, and research in classified Dutch archives shed light on the riveting, untold story of Audrey Hepburn under fire in World War II. Also included is a section of color and black-and-white photos. Many of these images are from Audrey’s personal collection and are published here for the first time.

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