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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Through the eyes of a child.

Februari "45. Moentilan. N v/d Molen.

What are these eyes telling me? What have they seen? I know these eyes did see some awful things.My Mom tried so hard to erase these horrible things from my mind, but these eyes did see. Moentilan was a terrible place for young children. Children saw their mothers being beaten by these horrible Japanese men, just because they did not bow deep enough.Some things will stay with you forever. Sometimes you are not sure. I asked my mother so many times about the things which were in my head. She always said:"You must have had a bad dream try to forget". Adults think that little kids will forget, but they don't. I speak from experience. Although the memories are very vague, they are there! I was only four years old, but things are buried in my mind. I remember seeing women hanging on trees. The"Japs" told us to throw stones at them. I could barely throw. I remember I threw some gravel. Then I remember my mother yelling at me, and how mad she was. I cried and cried, because my mother was never mad at me and she never yelled at me.Now I understand she was not mad at me, but very angry at the Japanese who would make little children do this.

On August the first we had to move to another camp.We were only allowed a little luggage. Just a few clothes. We had to get onto these trucks and were taken to the train station and loaded into these train cars as if we were cattle. My mother got separated from her sister and her kids.We were taken to Banjoebiroe and later she heard from her sister, when they met again in Holland that she and her two children were taken to Ambarawa. Banjoebiroe was an old prison , with lots of cells. Most of them were occupied already by lots of women and children. This camp was so overcrowded, the women did not understand why they were brought here.We were put in one of the barracks. There was barbwire around this prison camp and walls.We were skeletons, and very hungry. They were starving us to death. The commandant from this camp was the worst yellow "Jap" I heard my mother telling her sister, when they were talking about it, back in Holland. He was a sadist, and loved to use his belt or bamboo rod. We were like zombies, walking ghosts.We knew something was going on.Rumors went through the camp. Some women believed that the Japanese were going to kill us all.
And they were right. We were to be killed on August 26,1945 in the name of the Emperor Hirohito of Japan. This murderer was invited to the Palace in the Netherlands in 1971, and I will write about this in another blog.What a sad day that was for my mother. I remember because she called me. We were living in Canada by then.She was so upset and in disbelief.

This is a quotation from Lilian Sluyter, support group Stichting Vervolgingsslachtoffers Jappenkamp (SVJ)
It was the start of August 1945. Rumors were circulating, that in the first half of 1945 mass liquidations was at hand. The mothers were wondering how the Japanese would do it. Just leave them alone, and let them starve? Or let them free in the Jungle? How naive we were. But then how could we know about "weapons of mass destruction"? Banjoebiroe and Ambarawa were cramped with women and children.On hindsight, the concentration of women and children was undoubtedly meant to be able to handle the planned total liquidation as efficient as possible. Was the Imperial Marine Fleet which was sitting in the Javanese waters and which was completely fitted out for chemical warfare, perhaps the chosen tool for DIE-DAY? According to a newly classified Imperial order of August 24th it was commissioned to destroy all equipment and documents on board the vessels. The fixed prisoners liquidation was set for August 26th 1945.

will continue:

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