I was born in the Dutch-Indies (now called Indonesia) on the island of Java, on June 3 1941. My father was with the KNIL Cavalry. The Dutch Indies was then a Dutch Colony.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, our lives would drastically change.
The Government of Holland declared war on Japan and the Dutch Indies were soon taken over by Japan. My father was taken prisoner by the Japanese and shipped with thousands of men to Burma to build a railroad track through the jungle; he died of exhaustion and malnutrition. My Uncle was killed on December 14, 1941, after their submarine had launched six torpedoes and sunk four Japanese vessels. Their submarine, the 016 then ran on a mine and all but one man was killed. My mother went immediately to Surabaya to be with her sister, who was pregnant with her second child.
She was never able to return to her home in Bandoeng. In November 1942, the Japanese put all women and children of European blood in so called 'protected' camps. Daily beatings, overcrowding, forced labor, starvation and seeing their friends dying, gradually deteriorated their lives. After the war, returning to Holland, their struggle continued. This group of women and men found their Countrymen and their Government totally ignorant toward their horrors, which they had experienced as Prisoners of war in the Dutch East Indies.
As of today, Holland still does not take any responsibility toward the prisoners of war who suffered immensely in Japanese prison camps and those who lost their lives.
Never did Holland pay any compensation to the victims of this horrible war. What is the difference between the Jews and the gypsies from Holland? The only difference is that they were prisoners of war of the Nazis.
This story will tell about what we endured in those camps and later when we returned to Holland.