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Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you know?

My mother and me, my Aunt Eke and her two children were living in the Dutch East Indies when World War2 broke out and the Netherlands declared war to Japan. The Japanese soon invaded the Dutch Indies. The year was 1942  March 8. We had house arrest.Our Indonesian friends did what they could to bring us food and stayed true friends with us. Until the Japs told them that if they were caught, helping the Blanda"s ( white people) they would be severely punished.One day we were called to register with the Japs, and our blood was registered. We were full blood European and we were given a card and a number. This number we had to wear, just as the Jewish people had to wear their stars. This also meant that we were going to be put in Prison Camps, because we were considered a danger to them. In October 1942 we had to assemble on the streets and were taken to the train station, with just one little suitcase each, where they pushed and shoved us in these trains like cattle, with no windows and fresh air, we were told that they took us to protected camps, where we were supposed to be save. From what? from who? from them?We were told that we belonged to Japan from now on,we belonged to the Emperor Hirohito, we owned no houses anymore and we had no country. We had to obey by their rules. We were not allowed to call it prison camps. We were the call it protection camps.But if that was so, why was it that they starved us to death and worked us to death, and tortured us?? If this is what they called protection camps. This was Hell!!!!!It's what my mother told me. I was only 1 1/2 year old at the time and we were in these camps for three and a half years years until the war was over. The Japanese did not tell us until the end of August. Thanks to the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,otherwise the Japs would have slaughtered us all and not a sole would have survived. The date to slaughter us all was set for August 26 1945. Liquidate all Blanda"s ( white people,) Is this not the same as what the Jewish people went through???We were in concentration camps and never in Dutch history is written about this. Why????These dutch women, children and men had to keep their mouths shut. Never did we hear how bad it had been there in that far away land. It was far from the beds of the Dutch. We only now find out what really happened, because our parents left notes and diaries behind for us to read. These diaries and notes were written in those prison camps and they were hidden, even when they arrived in The Netherlands they kept these hidden away for nobody to be seen. Why??Why did Holland never acknowledged that their country men had suffered so badly in the Dutch East Indies.They knew all about  what happened there. I have so many questions.Please Holland can you answer me?
Why was it, that my mother my aunt and all these women and men after world war2 was over, could not return to their houses??? I know.... but lots of people in Holland do not know. Because you are ashamed,it is a black page in your history, which you do not like to be reminded of. It is like opening a can of worms. Soon you will have your wish, because not many people our age and who were there will be alive anymore. Lots of them have passed away. My father died fighting for his country the Netherlands, my mother never received his salary. What did you do with it??? You played another war with the soldiers pay.You have kept that well hidden.I am so angry. My mother and aunt lives were never the same when they returned to the Netherlands. They were never able to talk about it, they had terrible nightmares their whole life.My mother was in hospital one year for an operation. The women on her ward asked if she had been in a camp. Because she got up all the time and told them that she had to try to get some food for the children, and every time the doctor came to see her, she got up and tried to get out of the bed, to bow for the doctor, terrified that she would get a beating. She believed she was back in Japanese camp.My cousin told told me that her mother had ripped up everything what had to do with the time in the Dutch East Indies, even her passport, because she had told my cousin that she had been terrified that she would be send back to Indonesia. She always told my mother we have to keep low profile, let nobody know what we have been through, never talk about it, keep low profile.It was easy, because nobody believed it any way. They had come from Paradise, what did they know about world war2.....? How they must have suffered....Mom, Aunt Eke and all the women , children and men who were there, and all those who had died in these horrible Japanese camps,  I would like you to know that your stories will be told.... we will seek recognition! So all of you can rest in Peace!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sad ~ Dutch government failed its obligattion to the country's military men ( AND their families )who fought and died.French compensated their former imperial subjects in IndoChina who serves in Overseas Foreign Regiments handsomely with one time lump sum amount.France prolly had some billions at the end of WW II.