Bartje (Bartels) is the main character in the books of Anne de Vries (1904-1964), a writer of “streekromans” (Dutch language novels, with emphasize on regional history and culture). Which Dutch person doesn’t know the expression “Ik bid niet veur brune bonen!” (“I don’t pray for kidney beans!”)? De Vries was a real Drent, born in Kloosterveen near Assen, the provincial capital of Drenthe. For his work as a teacher in Zeist he moved to nearby Driebergen.
Just before the German invasion on 10 May 1940, on 4 May 1940 the family moved back to Drenthe and settled in Hooghalen. De Vries quickly became involved in the Dutch resistance movement. After the war he left Drenthe again and moved permanently to Zeist.