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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Petition:246. Monthly demonstration in The Hague

                                      NGO, STATUS ROSTER

His Excellency Shinzo ABE
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 12 May 2015
Subject: How to reconcile


In your address to the joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on April 29th 2015 you paid tribute to General Snowdown for his efforts to reconcile. Sadly you did not apologise nor said sorry for the terror and cruelties of the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy in occupying South East Asian countries during World War Two. Sharing former Japanese Ministers apologies is not sufficient as you continue to honour Japanese war criminals and doubt the coercion of young girls and women in the occupied nations into sexual slavery. Due to the deliberate disregard by the Japanese military in respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed and implemented by Japan prior to World War two, reconciliation is only possible if Japan accepts the consequences of violations by its military

Prime Minister,

Nevertheless in your address you attempted to reconcile with the past in order to go forward into the future. You admitted that Japan and its military brought sufferings to the people of the occupied Asian countries. You failed in your address to mention those who survived the war. The San Francisco Peace Treaty provided Japan with a base to resurrect, as you stated so clearly, from the ashes. The individual survivors including the Dutch from Dutch East Indies are still in "ash" and did not benefit from Japan's post war successes. They continue to suffer from atrocities inflicted upon them, causing permanent mental and physical damages.

Prime Minister,

Today Japan cannot deny its past and must redress the damages done to the individuals. Japan cannot downplay its responsibilities of the past. It is not a government to government reconciliation but a people's one, whereby the Japanese government must honor its apologies in law and redress the Dutch victims. The Dutch from Dutch East Indies are ready to reconcile with the Japanese people. The Dutch victims will never forget what happened to them. Seventy years after ending of World War Two the time is there to reconcile and to redeem Japan's Honorary Debts. We are looking forward for an early reply,

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts.



         My Mothers dreams and nightmares throughout her life.

Why were these soldiers so terrible mean. Why did they terrorise innocent women and children? Sadly these Japanese soldiers were brain washed at an early age of twelve,being only little boys who should have been playing ball and other nice innocent games. But these little boys were military trained all in the name of their emperor Hirohito of Japan, their GOD. THEY WERE TOLD THAT THEY WERE CHOSEN TO FIGHT FOR THEIR EMPEROR AND WOULD DIE FOR THEIR EMPEROR. THIS WOULD BE THE HIGHEST HONOR THEY COULD EVER ACCOMPLISH IN THEIR LIFE.  SURRENDER WAS NO OPTION.
These pour boys had no way of thinking for themselves, this was not taught to them. So is it because of that Prime Minister ABE that you cannot apologise,Is it because that's the way you are brought up. Your grandfather was a war criminal, Is it because your grand father that you honor war criminal's? Our grand fathers and father's and mother's, sister's and brother's suffered during World War Two, because of them.My cousins and I lost our fathers at the hands of these monsters, who were taught to kill. Why can't you apologise for them. Take the blame and remove the shame.Why is it that Japan and of course you Prime Minister ABE can't say the word"I apologise" and will make it right. Is it because that's what you have been taught by your grandparents and parents, to never give in. Keep lying about the past, it might go away, is that what you are telling the young people of Japan today? We the children who were there in those horrible filthy nasty camps, will never forget how we saw our mothers suffer at the hands of these well trained robots, who called themselves soldiers.I will never forget the screams from my mother when she and her sister received a terrible beating because my cousin and I didn't bow. We were only three and four years old at the time. From that day on we were terrified little girls who were terrified that we did something wrong and our mothers would get beaten again right in front of our eyes. Always asking our mothers: Mommy did we bow properly"..I will never as long as I live forget my mother's nightmares, which she suffered the rest of her life, because those "ROBOTS" raped her and her sister while they were in camp Moentilan locked up. They were told day in day out that they belonged to them and had to obey. How can you and your government still deny all these atrocities which were inflicted to innocent women and children.How many more years we have to beg for Justice? How much longer do I have to remind you, that the women in those camp hated your flag the Rising Sun and named your flag the flag with the huge blood stain the middle. When can we honor your flag again? Has your government forgotten that there were plans to kill all Westerns. We, my mother and I, her sister and my cousins were taken to Banjoebiroe 10 on August 1st,1945. It was said that it was best to have as many POWs together in one camp so it would be easier to get rid of them at once. Our mothers heard this during that horrible train ride from the locals , when the train stopped. Many children and young mothers died during that train ride. Young little girls who died in their mothers arms were thrown off the train, because your "robots"(soldiers) were terrified of diseases. These mothers went utterly crazy. You  Prime Minister Shinzo ABE  probably have never tried to stand in their shoes. You were born way after the war and were pampered from day one. Never went hungry, never suffered.You, just like those young boys who were send to war by your government, have been taught well. What kind of nation is Japan, I am asking myself so often. Why are they lying about the past and why do they like to rewrite the past? Could you please answer my question?

I wrote this poem a while ago. It was March 7, 2011 and I send it to

                            Was it a dream which turned into a nightmare.

Was it a dream about that beautiful land of Emerald?
Was it a dream that I remember the sawa's?
Was it a dream that I remembered the tropical sun?
Was it a dream that I remembered the beautiful sunsets?
Was it a dream that I climbed these beautiful mountains?
Was it a dream that I felt so much love in that faraway land?
Was it a dream that I felt so much at home?
Was it a dream that I had so many friends there?
Was it a dream that we were so at peace?
Was it a dream that turned into a bad dream??

Was it a bad dream that Japanese soldiers bombed that beautiful country?
Was it a bad dream that I was taken from my home?
Was it a bad dream that I was put behind barbwire fences?
Was it a bad dream that I lost my freedom?
Was it a bad dream that I was held as a POW for three and half years?
Was it a bad dream that I was tortured by these Japanese men?
Was it a bad dream that these Japs turned this beautiful country into a hell of misery?
Was it a bad dream that we nearly starved?
Was it a bad dream that my friends died one by one?
Was it a bad dream that I had lost the love of my life?

Pretend it never happened
Pretend you never knew that beautiful country
Pretend you never climbed these beautiful mountains
Pretend you never lived there
Pretend you have never loved there
Pretend you never saw these beautiful sawa's
Pretend you never saw these beautiful sunsets
Pretend it was a phantom which broke like glass
Pretend you just woke up...
My Mom at he flower market in Bandoeng. Happy Times.

Was it a bad dream or a nightmare?
Was I in these filthy camps for three and a half years?
Sadly I remember it was not a dream!
I remember the sawa's, the beautiful sunsets!
I remember the beautiful mountains!
I remember the beautiful people, my friends!
I remember this peaceful land!
I remember I was so in love!
I remember my fallen friends!
I remember the hardship in these awful camps!
I remember the hunger and the sounds of the whip!
I remember my friends cries!

I wished I could forget,I try so hard
It has been so long ago, but it still feels like yesterday
I do my best, but remember still the same
And it breaks my heart.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The forgotten mothers of the "War in the East".

Today it's Mothers Day, and this is for you Mom and for all the mothers who suffered so tremendously under the occupancy of the Japanese  during World War Two.You were the forgotten once. As of late I am thinking a lot about you. You were my hero. The unbelievable pain you and all the other mothers suffered during those years is not to describe.
 Not many stories have been told about the suffering of this group. Indeed, when we reflect on that part of World War Two we think, automatically, of these brave military men, of whom there were 132,000. Yet there were 130,000 Allied civilians- predominantly women and children- who also endured appalling privation and cruelty, but whose story is barely known.
Once Japan had conquered South-East Asia, the Europeans, Americans and Australians who had been living there as planters, teachers, missionaries and civil servants were rounded up and trucked away to the 300 "civilian assembly areas"- in reality concentration camps- that the Japanese had created.

Line up, and hand in all your money and valuables.

New internees arrive in camp.
Camp Moentilan were we were taken in OCTOBER 1942.

Our second camp, Banjoebiroe 10.

Our beautiful view.
By far the largest group were the 108,000 Dutch civilians, 62,0000 of them women and children, who were sent to camps on Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Timor. Their ordeal was to last three and a half years and would claim the lives of 13,000, due to starvation, exhaustion and disease. Many people all over the world had never heard about this.
All women and children between the ages of 11 and 60 had to do so called "useful work". In addition to this distressing, undignified and exhausting work, the women were subjected to constant brutality. To look a soldier in the eye, or fail to bow to him instantly would incur a vicious beating that could break a nose, or loosen teeth. At Tenko, or roll call, which took place twice a day, our mothers had to stand for hours in the blazing sun, no hats were allowed and even the elderly and children were not allowed to sit down.Another punishment would be the shaving of your head. This would be done in such a vicious way that the women would simply wrap a scarf round her bloodied scalp and would carry on.
Bowing lessons, all day long.

A severe beating because she did not bow correctly.
Worse even was the fear of starvation. Our mothers would be desperate to keep us alive. They would catch frogs, lizards and snails and boil them in a tin cup on the back of their irons.
Or they would sneak to the fence (gedek) to trade their meager possessions with local people for a banana or an egg. But if the Jap would catch you, you would receive a severe beating or even executed.

By the time liberation came on August 15,1945, the degradation of our mothers was complete. Like the POWs in their loin cloths, our mothers had virtually no clothes, many wearing old tea towels for bras, and sandals fashioned out of strips of rubber tyres. My mother had traded all her bra's for food. I even traded one bra for my mother, while she was near death, at the "gedek". Sadly when I took it to my mother I had received a stone in a " pisang blad"  (banana leaf). Our mothers were like skeletons, so thin, half-blind with malnutrion and huge numbers of children and mothers had died.
Our mothers were heroes and we should never forget what they endured in these camps, thousands of our mothers and their children lived with hunger, disease, cruelty and death, and we should remember their ordeal and their courage. Not only on Mothers day, but every day.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM, wherever you are. I am always thinking about you.


Many years have since past,
But memories forever last.
Women, children in prison camps
Where nobody was able to give them a hand
Put there by the Japanese Regime
With soldiers who were so terrible mean.
Although it is so long ago
My mind goes back to 1944
How we women shed our tears
In that hell three and a half years.
These Japanese were brutal and vicious
Cruel and heartless and twisted.
Endless roll calls, just for fun
Everyday in the burning hot sun.
They screamed "Kiotskay!", "Kiray!", "Nowray!" and waved their whips
And we women knew better than to give them lip.
We kept our wits together
Because our children was all that matter.
When I am thinking about those years,
They come back with so much fear!Swamped by misery, grief and pain
We hoped God would hear his name.
We sang of his glory and begged to be heard,
We prayed, we pleaded, but never a word.
We reached for the last straw in despair
And hoped somebody outthere would care.
Why, oh why was it, that no help came
Did you not hear us calling your name?
Why was it, you let innocent children die??
I will never forget that you passed by.
There was thunder and lighting all around,
I was sure you would strike these Japs to the ground.
We were in so much agony, grief and pain,
We hoped for mercy, but it never came.
There in that horrible prison camp
"YOU" never offered a helping hand
Most women lost their fate,
For thousands freedom came too late!
And when my times comes to face "YOU"
I only have one question...WHY??
Would you let innocent children die??

I wrote this poem in 2012,. I remembered my mothers stories about the time we were in Moentilan in that horrible camp. Where every day children were hungry and died of starvation, while the Japs had plenty to eat.She told me that terrible things had happened in the church, many women were tortured and beaten right under the watchful eyes of God. She told me about the thunder and lighting, and why God would not strike these Japs to the ground.That's when she told me that she was not able to believe anymore.I wrote this in my book as well. "I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW", which I wrote in 2010. How these mothers have suffered , and how they were the Forgotten women of the "War in the East".

But today its Mothers Day, and we remember our mothers our heroes.
Mom you left us 12 years ago, but you are always on my mind. I love you.