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Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 15, a day to remember.

Today it has been 69 years ago that we were free. Freed from our tyrants the Japanese Forces who occupied the former Dutch East Indies.For three and a half years they kept us behind barbwire and high fences. They had driven us from our homes, separated the men from the women and children and tortured, starved, used us for slave labor and raped the women.
Those who survived remember and feel their sufferings at the hands of the Japanese military and their agency still every day.
With pain and sorrow we will remember those who lost their lives at the hands of these barbaric Japanese Forces.
When I see the daily news on TV, I see that history repeat itself over and over again.I see the people being forced to flee from ISIS. I see men,women and children fleeing for their lives, driven from their homes. It's so terrible sad, but at least the world can see what is happening there. I think about my mother how she was forced out of her home and separated from her husband with thousands and thousands of other women and children. Being told by the Japanese forces that they were now the property of Japan and better obey by their rules, otherwise they would be killed.There was no food and water from the United States, no aid from the air. The United States themselves were at war with Japan. We were on our own. It's very sad to see these people now being stranded in refugee camps, but at least they are not terrorized anymore.I see small children and babies in their mothers arms and see myself. I was only one and a half year old and spend the next three and a half year growing up in a concentration camp terrorized by Japanese men, seeing the most awful things. After the war I was terrified of men, and thought I had to bow for them, otherwise my mother would be punished. We were held in concentration camps,captured and robbed from our freedom by the Japanese for three and a half year. There was no TV for the world to see what these barbaric Japanese military did to us.
Every second Tuesday of the month, we demonstrate in front of the Japanese Embassy in The Hague in the Netherlands for recognition for  what their Japanese military had done to us.How many more years we have to do this and continue to feel the pain since the capitulation of Japan on August 15,1945.Japan keeps denying their wrong doings during World War Two.We hope to live and see the day that we can put the past to rest.
Lest we forget!


  1. Only recently I learned that my grandmother Anna, my mother Hilda and aunt Marianne have been imprisoned in Banjoebiroe 10. My mother was 13 years old, my aunt only 2...
    I have never heard their stories - my mother died over 30 years ago. I am happy to read your tale - though it makes me extremely sad at the same time.
    I wish you all the best!

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  3. Hans you can be very proud of your mother. They liked to spare their children of the atrocities they underwent while in captivity during World War Two. The Japanese military were cruel and many women and children died of starvation and brutality inflicted on them. Japan has never been punished for what the Japanese Forces had done to other human beings. They were worse than animals. Animals kill to eat, the Japanese military killed for fun. As many as 15 a day died in our camp. Our parents tried as best as they could to start their life over after the war. The war had left them with horrible scars, which could never be erased from their minds. I hope they rest in peace. We should be very proud of our mothers, who did their very best to keep us children alive under the most difficult circumstances.Japan prospered after WW2, while our parents struggled on. Japan lost the war they were the sinners, although they came out of this war as the winners.When a war is over it will never be over for the victims. Its the innocents who always suffer the most. And as of today the world has not learned a thing, which is the saddest of all.