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The razzia was a method of "lighning search and seizure" in which the German soldiers would suddenly surround a given neighborhood and sweep through it, searching for males between the ages of sixteen and thirty whom they would forcibly conscript for work in their munitions factories. Every family with young men lived in terror of these sudden intrusions, and many, such as Flip and Nollie, created emergency hiding places in their homes where the vulnerable men could be concealed until the danger was past. Flip and Nollie had rearranged their kitchen for this purpose, enlarging the trapdoor to the potato cellar built beneath the floor, then covering the opening with a carpet and placing the large kitchen table directly on top. This hiding place was not meant to be effective in the case of a thorough, sustained search, but for a "swoop" by soldiers, it was thought to be sufficient. As it turned out, when soldiers arrived on Flip's birthday, Flip and Nollie's two son,s Peter and Bob, hid in the cellar, and though the house was cursorily searched, they were not discovered. Interestingly, when the soldiers asked daughter Cocky where her brothers were, she, unable to lie, told them, "Why, they're under the table," and began to laugh hysterically. The soldiers, thinking that she was taking them for fools, did not look under the table, but left in disgust (Chapter 7).
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