One day a gentlemen came to visit her at the Java Center in Bandoeng. He introduced himself as Ecko Veenstra. He told my mother that he and her husband Klaas had been very close. They had worked side by side on the rail road tracks in Thailand. They had been together for three months in Rin-Tin the worst camp on the railroad tracks in Thailand. This camp was later closed because the Japanese were afraid of this camp,too many men died in this camp, and the Japs were afraid that they would contract these diseases, so they closed this camp.My father (Klaas) and Echo Veenstra were moved to Kuie, where my father died of exhaustion and malnutrition.He also told her that her family was informed that he had found her and that they were overjoyed to hear that she and her daughter had survived the prison camps.
He offered my mother to take care of us, and liked to know when she would like to return to the Netherlands. He had connections, so she only had to get stronger and he would book a passage on a ship.So it happened that we were able to leave Indonesia on the 30th of March 1946.
|On top of the gangplank are my mom and me.On this ship I would meet a man, who I asked if he would like to become my father.|
We boarded and got a hammock in the hold of the ship,with hundreds of women and children.We arrived in Ataka , where we had to go on land. Ataka is in Egypt. We had to board a train again. I was so suspicious. Why did we had to go on a train again??I had such a good time on the ship, there was lots of food.My mother told me, because we are going to Holland and because it is very cold there, we have to get some warm winter clothes. I had no idea what that meant. But she said I was getting new shoes and a new dress, so I was getting excited.The train went through the dessert,and stopped in front of two big hangars. There were flags and welcome signs greeting us. We were allowed to pick out a coat,a dress, shoes, socks, underwear, mittens, (which I had no idea what they were for.) My mother told me, your hands will be so cold, that you need socks for them.They also had a band for us and so much food. It was delicious.We stayed there the whole day. The train took us back to board the ship again and now we would be off to Holland.Where ever that was. All I knew was that we had to wear lots of clothes, when we arrived there.
My next story will be about my life in Kolhorn, where I went to school and where I loved it. I also will talk about the struggles and hard times my mother faced .