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At the age of five and a half, Peter Metzlelaar’s life was changed forever.  Here is a portion of Peter’s recollection of his youth spent in hiding.


Sitting across from Peter as he recalled the events of his childhood, I was in awe.

Peter in his youth After years of ignoring his past, devaluing his history’s importance because he was a hidden child, not a concentration camp survivor, Peter revisited the places from his youth and discovered the importance of sharing his story.  He self-published his story in a beautiful soft bound book titled “Impact”.  At the end of our time together, I bought a copy and brought it home to share with my boys.  My oldest, Cooper, who was nine years old at the time, immediately began reading the book and did not stop until he was finished.  He was the same age as Peter was when he was in hiding, but Peter’s life was almost unfathomable.  He has been impacted.   Last year, Cooper met Peter.  He was impacted again.  Peter was real.  Not a character in a story.  Peter was a Seattleite.  Because of Peter and other contributors to The World in My Backyard, Cooper has realized every person walking by has a story.  He is curious and realizing how much there is to learn from the community around him.  Peter now volunteers his time speaking to school children and is recognizing the importance one voice can make if shared.  I thank Peter for his openness in sharing to a broader audience.  My family has been impacted.

If you would like to receive a copy of Peter’s memoir, please email me–

READ MORE–Introduction to Peter Metzelaar




  1. Hi Tara. I would love a copy of Impact for my boys to read. Are your boys still at Montlake? Let me know the cost. Keep up the great work!


    • Thank you Michelle! I will work on getting a copy to you. Last year the book was $15 but I need to double check on the pricing. It is a wonderful book that shares Peter’s experience returning to his hiding places almost 50 years later.

  2. Thank you for sharing this touching story! This is the first of your series I have watched. Thank you for this project. I agree with Cooper, every person has a story within them.

    • Thank you Brian! I am excited to share each person’s story. Every single one has been an inspiration to me and I am constantly amazed how much we can learn from each other’s lived experiences.

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