Dr. Jan Poll Off Incredible Dr. Polo Grown up in the Netherlands. And he credits his early years with a deep love for animals and a common-sense approach to what he brings to life. Here’s more about the incredible vet and the childhood that helped shape his destiny.
Dr. Jan Pol lived in the Netherlands under Nazi rule
Dr. Pol In His 2015 memoir, Never Turn Your Back on the Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet, reveals his family’s experience living under Nazi rule during World War II. Everything the Pol family owned was in the eyes of the authorities: their farm, their house, everything.
“During the war, we were not allowed to own anything; Everything belonged to the occupier,” wrote Dr Pol. “All the production was for the benefit of the occupier. These TVs were not Nazis; They were the real thing. These people were very dangerous.
“They’ll come and inspect your farm, and if you’re caught hiding anything, the best thing they can do is put you in jail for a few years.”
How his childhood made him an incredible vet
As a child in the Netherlands with five siblings, life may not have been easy, but Dr. Pol remembers it as a happy time during which he found his calling.
“We were all expected to work every day,” he wrote. “We had all the farm animals – we had about 20 cows, which we milked by hand; We had horses and chickens, turkeys, geese. We’ve always had big dogs, still do. I learned from my father that if a farmer does not have respect for an animal, that animal will not work for him. He used to tell us, ‘If you don’t treat an animal right, that animal also won’t treat you right.’”
By age 12, “I decided I wanted to be a vet. I still remember that day. It wasn’t because I thought I could make a successful career as a vet. I didn’t worry about it.” ; I became a vet because it was the only thing I ever wanted to do.”
Dr. Pol’s family risked their safety
The family hid a calf or other livestock to make sure they would have some kind of food for their future. They will help even the most vulnerable people in their city.
“At the time, it wasn’t just livestock we used to hide,” he recalled. “For a time, we sheltered a young Jewish boy who was somewhere between my age and my next eldest brother, who was seven years older than me. There was also a Jewish family hiding in a small shed in our woods, who was no more than a deer-blind. All the local people brought food for him and the Nazis never got to know about him. . . My parents never turned down a person.”
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