by Clay Herrmann
During the early years of World War II the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis traveled more than 100,000 miles in 602 days and sank or captured 22 ships. On April 17, 1941 it mistakenly attacked the Egyptian cruiser Zamzam, misidentifying her as a British troop transport, taking captive 202 souls, and sinking the Zamzam. (In the course of events a British war ship sank the German Atlantis a little over seven months later on November 22, 1941).
A young girl embarked on a journey from New York and headed to Africa with her mother and siblings for the purpose of joining her missionary father, was one of those captured. That little girl survived the sinking of the Zamzam and she and her husband Jim Holwerda have been residents of Hot Springs Village since 1999.
Lu Holwerda tells the dramatic story to an attentive audience in Hot Springs Village on October 15, 2015. Her amazing and inspiring presentation is the second session of this year’s Ouachita Speaker Series.
Great Britain was at war with Germany when the Zamzam was attacked on April 17th, but it was months before The United States of America declared war on December 8, 1941 the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor.