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Camp Book Japanese invasion

1942

1942.
19-2-1942
Much has happened. Singapore has fallen and also Palembang, Balik Papan
and Banjermasin. Today for the first time, Bandoeng has been bombed. At
first we were all outside watching, when suddenly there were gun shots.
Earlier we noticed a whole lot of air planes, but we assumed they were ours.
We ran quickly into the bomb shelter. What a loud ordeal was going on in the
air! It smelled like burning and a lot of grass, leaves and bamboo rained down.
We huddled together, each with a small piece of rubber in our mouth and
cotton plugs in our ears.
Mister Stevels (the father of the family evacuated from Batavia and now
staying here), heard that 3 Japanese bombers had been hit and shot down,
and that there was a lot of damage on Andir, and also that a bomb had fallen
on Riouw Street. Ot van der Brug told us that it must have been at least18
bombers and 50 fighters. One man was hit by a bomb and killed on the spot.
Later we went to Andir to look for ourselves, but we were not allowed in.
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Aunty Ina wrote that she perhaps would come over to us.
20-2-1942.
Today there was air raid alarm from 9:30 till a quarter past ten. After that
another one followed from a quarter to one till 2.00 PM. Nothing happened.
21-2-1942.
Again an air raid alarm screamed. Now there were some Japs around, but
luckily they didn’t drop many bombs.
22-2-1942:
Three times an air raid alarm, but nothing happened.
24-2-1942:
Today, all of a sudden, they all came out of nowhere. They bombed Andir. We
heard the explosions and watched as smoke Colums raised from the direction
of Andir.
2-3-1942:
Four days and no air raid alarm, but the Japs tried to land this time. Today the
siren went waled again. And again we heard shooting.
This morning at about 10 o’clock an army vehicle stopped in front of our
house. Someone got out and guess what? It was Daddy! He had walked,
together with a few other people, all the way down from Kalidjati to Lembang.
There they were able to catch a truck and so they have been able to reach
Bandoeng. They had walked for 19 hours! They had to leave in a hurry
without being able to pack anything with them, because the tanks, all of a
sudden, bursted into Kalidjati.
This afternoon there was another air raid alarm. The fighter planes were
chasing each other. Little Paul was shaking in his boots. Both Roeli and Roos
had to take a sip of water to calm down, but here, luckily, nothing happened.
3-3-1942:
Some 52 Japanese planes flew over, neatly in formation. I could watch
everything happening because I was sitting down in the Klencke family bomb
shelter. From those 52 airplanes, only 18 returned. They dropped a few
bombs on Andir and took off. Big smoke Colums bellowed up from the airport.
The air defence batteries rattled continuously.
4-3-1942:
Today there was air raid alarm from 9 AM till 9:15 AM. I crawled into our own
“lobang” (hole, a hole to crawl into for cover), because that one is open.
Daddy has been able to sleep in and gotten some rest, but his leg muscles
are still stiff. Later some 25 Japanese aircraft came over, but nothing
happened. At 2 o’clock the siren went off again. Now it became serious. There
was an inferno of explosions. Afterwards, both Roeli and I found each a small
piece of shrapnel, which we both put into our rumpus box.
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Behind both the Juliana Hospital and in the direction of Andir we saw a lot of
smoke billowing into the air. According to the stories we heard, substantial
damage had been done. In these days we live actually more under than
above the ground. In the morning our “barang” (= luggage) goes into the
bomb shelter and at night it comes out again.
5-3-1942:
Today the record has been broken: 7 times air raid alarm! Only in the
beginning a few bombs fell close to the ACW building. The air defence
batteries did what they could. Too bad they didn’t strike much. At 7 PM. the
“all clear” signal finally sounded.
6-3-1942:
Today, fortunately, there was only twice an air raid alarm. The Japs were busy
above Lembang. That must be as good as bombed flat by now.
7-3-1942:
It was alarm the whole day. The siren only sounds at imminent danger. This
afternoon they were still busy above Lembang. There is not much left of it,
except for Kajoe Ambon, where Mrs. Haas with her 9 children used to be, but
they left for Bandoeng prior to the attacks. Both Roeli and I were planting
“djagoeng” (= Corn) at about 3:30 PM, when suddenly we heard 5 bombers
approaching. We ran at once to the room of the Stevels Family and yes, there
the fireworks started. They flew right over our heads, so we were really
scared. 5 Bombs fell right in our neighbourhood, at the Nijland road. Later
they returned for another strike. Next to the Government house a smoke
column rose in the air. Roos, Idoen and some other servants were right in the
middle of it, because they had gone to the “pasar”. (= Market). Fortunately
nothing happened to them. But they still brought us some shrapnel. Mom was
very nervous when they flew over again. Downtown in the city there was a lot
of damage. A bomb fell also on the aloen aloen (a central field in the village or
town), where a lot of bomb shelters were located and therefore caused a lot of
death. An aunt from Rietje Ensering was also hit, next to the railway station.
Here, at our place, a lot of shrapnel rained down on our roof, probably coming
from the air defence batteries.In the evening we heard that the decision to
surrender had been taken, because it could not go on like this.
8-3-1942:
Exactly three months we the war lasted and now already comes the
surrender. This morning we heard the Governor General talking on the radio
and he told us that it would all be for the best. Fortunately the air raid alarm
sirens stopped. In the afternoon the troops entered town. They seized a lot of
houses on the Nijland road, among others the one belonging to Fietje
Notenboom, who was sequently escorted to Mrs. Marzynski’s home, next
door. Mom ordered us immediately to pack our bags again and to go and sit
down in Roeli’s and Heleen’s room, but they were too scared to come over.
Already for a few days a few army vehicles remain parked in front of our
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house. Some of them carried also horses. Last night they were released. We
were allowed to take one. We picked the nicest one and we also got tack, 3
sacks of “gabba” (= unpealed rice), and 1 sack of flour. Daddy, together with
Mr. Stevels, secretly drained some gas from the tank. We called our horse
Bango, a very sweet animal. All the green in our entire back-yard has already
been bared. This afternoon I watched two Japs going by, one on horse back
and one on a bike. They look filthy in their brown outfits.
27-3-1942:
Rietje Ensering had her birthday on the 23rd, Ot van der Brug had his on the
25th and yesterday Pimmie Stevels had his birthday. He had a nice birthday,
as far as the circumstances allowed it to be nice. We now have an additional 7
people lodging in our house, namely: aunty Willy, and uncle Guus Giese Koch
together with Gwen and Witha. Now there are fifteen of us here, but it is a
cosy hodgepodge.
Fietje returned already to her own home. Our horse, this morning has been
taken by Idoen to Immanuel, because we were probably not allowed to keep it
anyway.
With Janneke everything seems to be all right, as far as we know, but they are
no longer living in their own home. All over Java a lot of “rampok” and
“rampas” (= robbery and looting) has been happening, especially by the
natives. We are not allowed to listen to the foreign radio stations anymore, but
we are doing it anyway. Ssst! The enemy listens too! In this time I am very
suspicious. Especially towards the natives, who behaved so disappointing.
Now one sees the Japs everywhere, it’s full of them, wherever you look.
16-4-1942:
Remember I told you about the trucks parked in front of our house? Now, from
one of those trucks came a tub and a suitcase full with clothing, pictures en
silverware belonging to a lady out of Lembang. There were also baby cloths
among them, together with a baby book, in which we found her name. Since
than we have asked and searched everywhere for Mrs. Kraak (which was her
name), but we heard nothing. This morning she called Mom, after she found
out that her barang (= luggage) was here and she was very happy to have it
back. They came at 11 o’clock to pick it up and they were very grateful. Her
husband was among those who had joined the fighting at Kalidjati. She was
very happy that we still had some of her belongings. It was also a pleasant
moment for us.
Yesterday afternoon an airplane came over very low and than we saw a piece
of black paper coming down, followed by a whole lot of small pieces. It looked
like they were dropping pamphlets, but at a closer look, the paper was
burned, so we didn’t pay any particular attention to it. Fries went after it
though and I climbed on the roof to see if there was a fire somewhere. But I
didn’t see anything. Mom, in the mean time, deciphered the writing on the
paper and what was written on it? “To the committee of the Medical
Missionaries” followed by a whole lot of tjerita (= story), signed by v.d.B. (van
der Brug). Oh, oh, we had a good laugh about that one!
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Today we heard that they dropped some real pamphlets, on which was
written: “Keep up the good spirits” “In 2 weeks you’ll be free”. We also heard
that both Batavia and Kalidjati have been bombed flat. Pamphlets also were
dropped at Soerabaja, reading: “Keep up the good spirit. We are coming to
liberate you soon, Keep your bomb shelters ready”. That gave us some
encouragement. Oh yes, I’ve got to tell you something else. About a week ago
both Daddy and Mr. Stevels were picked up to be escorted to the Camp. In a
hurry, everything was packed. Mister Stevels headed straight for the Camp,
but Daddy first tried to get into Immanuel, which was successful, until now.
There we can also visit him. But starting Thursday, we were not allowed in
there anymore. Yesterday Ds. Oberman stopped by and told us we were
allowed to go there again, but some time later Daddy called and told us that
“Komarsi” was not allowed visits yet. (That is our secret codeword for Daddy
and for the radio we say our codeword: “the socks”.)
From Janneke I lately received a letter, in which she wrote that everything
was OK. She had picked up a few Japanese words already. Her father and
the boys had gotten some beer and cookies from the Japs. I quickly wrote her
a long letter back, including a picture of the three of us on the horse. I think
she will like that.
18-4-1942:
Today Mom was allowed in the hospital together with Friso, but she told us
that the visit didn’t turn out that nice at all and that she felt not welcome there.
Just a minute ago Uncle Ot dropped in and told us that Tokio, Jokohama,
Kobe and another Japanese city had been bombed.
20-4-1942:
Hurrah, hurrah!
A Prince is borne!
It’s Orange, it stays Orange, and it is Orange above all!
“Even if our little prince is so small and tiny…”
(We don’t know for sure yet, but I hope so much it’s true!)
This afternoon, when Mom was away to the hospital to visit Daddy again,
Uncle Ot dropped in. He said to little Heleen: “Shall I tell you a secret? Juliana
has a son!” What were we happy. At a kwarter to seven Mom came home and
she shouted: “Did you guys hear it already?” She heard it from Mr. de Groot.
All of us pinned on orange bows. And the next day we are going to have
princessbeans (= haricots verdes) for dinner.
22-4-1942
This afternoon Mom, Roeli and Heleen left to visit Daddy and at 7 o’clock they
hadn’t returned yet. A little while later we got a phone call, saying that they
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would stay there, because Daddy had to leave for camp tomorrow. What a
disappointment! What will Mom cry again. Tomorrow, I’ll go with Mrs. Stevels
to the Camp, together with both Friso and Paul. We had to take 4 small
containers with bread, cheese, butter and djeroeks (= kind of citrus fruit) with
us. Mrs. Stevels will arrive shortly to sleep over, together with Pimmie and
Truusje.
23-4-1942
This morning we left early. Not Mrs. Stevels, but Uncle Ot accompanied us.
That was better anyway. At Immanuel we helped packing as well. At 10
o’clock Nippon time the Japs would arrive, so that’s 8:30 our time. At 8:30 all
medical doctors had assembled at the anti-opium pavilion. About 15 minutes
later 4 little Japs arrived on 4 little bikes and shouted: “Wo, wo, woa!” and
more of such unintelligible stuff. The 6 Doctors were frisked for weapons,
followed by an inspection of their luggage. They pulled a pocket knife from
Daddy’s pocket, but he was allowed to keep it. All luggage went into 2
sadotjes (small carriage, in which the passengers sat back-to-back), but all
the doctors had to walk. One of the Japs aimed his gun at a mantri (Nurse) to
scare him. Another one was stroking Heleen’s hair, from which she pulled
herself away quickly. Friso had a small can in which chlorine chalk had been
stored. One of the Japs opened it suspiciously, only to find it empty. What an
embarrassment!
At 9 o’clock they left. We secretly agreed that Zeger Bonebakker would follow
them to find out where they were going. At 11 o’clock he returned hot and
tired and told us they were headed for the Kampement street in the East of
Bandoeng. But in the evening Mr Stevels called and a moment later: Daddy!
Thus they landed in the Opvoedingsgesticht. (= the re-education centre).
Good that they are all together and that they are able to call once in a while.
26-4-1942
Today is Sunday and this morning we went to church. There was a youth
service and Ds. Oberman, a young minister, held the sermon. He was talking
about us children being the salt of the earth. After the service I went home
with Richt. A while after we came home, we suddenly heard: “Boom! Boom!
Boom! Boom!” It sounded like they were shooting or bombing. We ran
outside, but nothing happened unfortunately.
The messages about the birth of a little prince looked less and less credible.
Some even say that Tokyo had spread the rumour. One of the soldiers wrote
to his wife: “Nice that the Orange (tree) has a new little fruit. I like the colour of
the oranges standing out amidst the berry bushes”.
Yesterday morning Daddy called to say that everything went all right. All of a
sudden Mr. Stevels cut in with: “Now it’s enough”. He hastily said goodbye to
his wife and hung up. A little later he called again and said that the reason for
the break was that “the sun was shining into the window”.
The hair from all soldiers was shaved off, to prevent them from escaping. (The
officers were spared, fortunately). “Just like trumpet angels”, joked one of the
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soldiers. All the Dutch flags and pictures of the Royal Family have to be
turned in, but I refuse! I couldn’t miss them!
Mrs. Buziot, a friend of Mrs. Stevels, expects a baby. It looks like the stork
perhaps has been interned as well, since he is so late.
Aunty Nine ans Uncle Ot have been able to visit Ot in Tjimahi, a little while
ago, which made them very happy.
The evening curfew now has been set at 9:30 PM. At April 27, 28 and 29 we’ll
have to fly that damned Japanese flag again on a black and white pole. We
used our broomstick again.
Lately I biked passed the Juliana hospital. There, a few Japs were busy taking
pictures. I had almost already passed them, when I heard someone calling:
“Non! Non!” But I just kept going and played stupid. Roeli, this morning
thumped his nose towards a Jap. The Jap didn’t understand the gesture and
saluted back. We both had a good laugh about that!
28-4-1942
Today is the first day from the three days that we are ordered to fly the flag for
the birthday of the Japanese emperor. Our flag is planted up front in the
middle of the Bougainville. (= a climbing flowering plant)
In the time that Aunty Willy and Uncle Guus Giese Koch were still living here
with us, we purchased 6 little chicks to raise. Two died almost immediately
and the third we ate today. Now there are only three left. Our gray cat had to
mate three times this week. Once with Trix van de Bruggen and once with
Billy from the Bonebakkers.
The story of the arrival of a new prince, I don’t believe anymore.
Our Baboe (female servant) has been to town today and told us that there
was way less rameh (= partying) going on than there used to be during the
birthday of the Queen or the Princess. The streets were empty, all you could
see were Japs. Henny Ensering is teaching me roller skating now, she’s
Rietje’s sister. I hope it starts raining soon, that would make the colour of
many Japanese flags run and that would stop the Japanese festivities.
No sign from the stork yet for Mrs. Buziot.
3-5-1942
Today is Aunty Marie Smalbraak’s birthday. I wonder how she is doing.
Mom and Mrs. Stevels now alternate going to the Camp at the Daendels
Street. Until now I always went with them. The day before yesterday I went
with Mrs. Stevels and we encountered a group of soldiers from which Mr.
Stevels coincidentely was one of them. How happy she was! He too! Just
before that happened we had bought a big piece of tobacco from Uncle Guus,
which we cut in small pieces and laid those pieces on the road here and there,
along their route. They picked them all up. We were even able to talk to them
once in a while. Daddy was inside and he was all right. They pushed flat carts
carrying food baskets. Both yesterday and today there were no acquaintances
among them, but we were able to give some stuff to the garbage men to pass
along. Yesterday we were able to pass on Daddy’s pair of reading glasses.
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A little while later we heard the Bosman whistle tune. We scanned the building
and from the thirteen’s window, we noticed a hand waving. We
enthusiastically waved back! Today someone was waving too, but we didn’t
know who it was. Among the garbage men are also Aussies. (= Australians)
They come latest and are half naked. But they are such jokers!
I gave them two pieces of goela-djawa too. (= Java brown sugar in big
pieces). Captain Willing, the man who always escorts the soldiers, is very
kind. He said that if he had the same watch tomorrow, we would have a good
chance to deliver our packages and that we should keep up our good spirits.
Yesterday morning I was roller skating again together with Henny, close to the
Japanese school, when suddenly: Puff… there I sat on the ground. One of the
roller skates had come loose from my shoe. Henny already came towards me
with the wrench and I stumbled towards her. All of a sudden a Jap called us
and pointed toward his camera, obviously with the intention to make a picture
of both of us. But I pointed towards the roller skate that Henny was fixing and
he started to wait at the side of the road. We decided to take off in the other
direction. What a disappointment for him!
6-5-1942
Today is Aunty Emy’s birthday. Congratulations Krijgertjes!
The last time I forgot to tell that the Japs have visited us too. A truck full with
those yellow ones stopped in front of our house and they got out. I was sitting
in the living room and thought: “Are they heading for us or not?” And yes,
about nine of them entered into our house and the rest, luckily, went over to
the house across the street. I called Mrs. Stevels and asked the Japs: “Mau
apa?” (= Want do you want?) They answered: “Mau doedoek”. (= We want to
sit down for a minute). But in the mean time a few smart asses went around
the back, entered the back alley and sat down over there. Soon the rest
followed. So, all of a sudden we were stuck having those 9 Japs in our house
and Mom was not home. I repeated my question another time and than they
asked: “Es. es”. (= Ice). They probably meant ice. We gave them some ice
water and after that they sat down and talked quietly to each other. They
petted the cats somewhat, but to no avail, because the cats didn’t really liked
them to much. Uncle Ot was very concerned about us, but there was really
nothing to worry about. We had lunch in the back room. Mom wasn’t too
shocked either when she heard about it. At about 3:30 they finally left with a
friendly: “Trimi kasi” (= Thank you very much) leaving a lot of ashes and a
terrible stench.
The day before yesterday, Henny, Rietje and I (Roeli had just left for home),
were again roller skating in front of Pasteur, when suddenly a Jap (a higherup
with 3 stripes and 3 stars), walked up to us for the third time. “Three times
is a strike”, I thought, “Now it comes”.He asked us for permission first, but
when we pulled back, he first took a picture of Rietje, who was sitting leaning
with her back against a tree. He took a picture just when she was thumbing
her nose to him, which made us laugh. Then it was both Henny’s and my turn.
Perhaps he took a picture of me while I was crossing the road. But in the
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meantime a few more Japs joined them and we were pictured without further
questions together with 3 Japs. Brrr… We decided to allow them do it, to avoid
them coming after us again the next time. After that episode they luckily left us
alone. At home we didn’t tell anything to the little ones, avoiding the risk they
would tell others.
That afternoon I went with Mom to the Male Camp, but we didn’t see anyone
we knew. There was an annoying guard accompanying the garbage people,
which prevented us from passing any packages on to them. One Lady tried to
shout a hello to her husband, but was chased away by the Japanese guard.
Accompanying the Aussies that moron from yesterday was there today again.
A cute Aussie smiled to a girl and wanted to joke with the guard. And what did
the jerk? He slapped the Aussie in the face and chased the girl away. That
Aussie pulled a sorry face, because he couldn’t return the treatment. We all
felt pity for him.
Yesterday I was busy hanging the laundry to dry, when … Hurray! there was
Daddy! What a happy surprise! Especially Mom was so happy! The 6 doctors
from Immanuel were released. It was a real pity for the others, who had to
stay behind. Great, daddy’s home again! He was shaved bold, but in time that
will grow back again. Everything went well in the Camp. Did they have enough
to eat? Yes, but all the time they got rice with soup and than soup with rice.
In the morning they had only a jam sandwich. The mood had been good
among them. Yesterday afternoon I have been there together with Mrs.
Stevels. We arrived just while Mr. Stevels was outside hauling sod. With fear
in our hearts we have been able to sneak three packages on to him. When
they left, they shouted: “De mazzel en de goochum” (Literally: “prosperity and
wisdom”, a corrupted good luck wish of the Jewish “brooche” which means
“blessings”. It should therefore mean: “Good luck and prosperity”.)
Fortunately Daddy has shaved his moustache off. There, he’s just coming
home!
14-5-1942
It’s Ascension Day today. We went to church this morning. Uncle Ot read a
good sermon, but I liked his last week’s sermon better. Today is also his 25th
anniversary of becoming a missionary. In his honour we’ve sang a song after
the closing of the sermon. It was song 103:4, but instead of “we” and “ours”,
we sang “him” and “his”.
“Oh stay close to him with
Your blessings, merciful Lord.
And send down on his roads
Your aid and your goodness”.
Uncle Ot was emotional, I believe, but he didn’t show it.
I have a disturbing infection in my finger, which hurts badly once in a while,
especially this morning, when I had to soak it into hot bicarbonate water.
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30-5-1942
Last Sunday and Monday it was Whit Sunday and Whit Monday, and we went
to the Easter church, where missionary teacher Woortman held his sermon.
Daddy came too. We ended up sitting all in the back rows, but we were able
to follow everything well.
Tuesday, Mom came with a proposal, which she and Daddy had worked out.
Their plan was to move into the hospital. Roeli started crying right away, and
later I did the same. We had a thousand and one objections. I started to make
a list of the pro and cons. Most cons I now find ridiculous. I now have settled
down a little, besides, Daddy thought me a little saying that goes like: “What
ever happens may not be what I want, but what is good for me”. Which is very
much to the point. We don’t know yet whether or not this plan will succeed.
But it looks almost certain and it will bring big changes to our lives.
The birthdays from both Mom and Daddy were celebrated nicely, with all
kinds of presents. Daddy got two pictures he lost in Kalidjati, being the
“Bongenaar” picture and the “Bridesmaid”. He was very happy with them.
About a week ago Henny walked again past the Japs School at the Pasteur
road. They called her saying: “How do you do?” She kept walking ignoring
them. Suddenly a Jap caught up with her and handed her an envelope. She
looked inside and what did she find? The pictures a Jap had made from us,
namely the ones which showed us together with two Japs. Those I ripped up
right away. The picture from Rietje thumbing her nose, turned out nicely. On
one picture I was standing slanted while saying something. Fortunately Henny
just covered half her face with one hand. I still have to smile as I recalled that
silly situation. The roller skating has now ended. We were not allowed
anymore. Now Henny and I go play tennis. I am surprised at what skill I’ve still
got.
Yesterday I went to Mrs. Hazewinkel, the horse lady. Bango is now called
Petertje. Together with An van Son I helped her with the care taking. They
now have ten beautiful horses and she lives there too. There were also a
couple of boys, boldly run away from Soerabaja. She didn’t want to keep them
there anymore, because of their bad manners.
26-6-1942
Today we heard a well known sound again: the siren. I was exited when I
heard it, but nothing happened. Probably it was just an exercise. It happened
around noon, just while I was busy frying “croquettes”. Last Sunday though,
something real happened. Five Japanese fighter planes started shooting all of
a sudden. (Also a well known sound). They turned around just above us and
went south, returned and started shooting just as they flew over us. First we
thought it was an exercise, but later we heard that two American scout
airplanes had been spotted. Downtown a few people were hit by projectiles.
We realized we had been standing outside watching it happen.
Last week I have been sick for four to five days. I had all kinds of red dots
spread over my body. An “irritema” Daddy called it. The infection in my finger
is a lot better now and the nail is luckily still there, alive and well.
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The Laboe-ajer plant (= a climbing plant bearing pear shaped fruits) is going
to be gigantic. Next door, at Mrs Klencke’s, we also planted two new sprouts.
Mr. Stevels is now together with Uncle Ot in Tjimahi and consequently Mrs.
Stevels doesn’t hear much from him anymore.
Lately a fortune teller came knocking at the door and asked if he was allowed
to tell our fortune. Mom told me to say “No” to him. Before he left he said to
me: “Your sweetheart thinks about you and you will have lots of luck later. I
will read your hand to tell when you’ll get engaged”. I answered: “Oh but that
is still way ahead”, but I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. Daddy and Mom
laughed about it later too. If that guy had someone special in mind, who would
that be? I must admit that he made me curious now.
I received a letter from Janneke, auntie Hettie and Wieneke together. They all
are doing fairly well. We still didn’t move into the hospital yet, because in
Poerwakarta, the Bajoe Asih hospital has been seized by the occupation
forces and all Europeans had to leave. I sure hope that something like that will
not happen here too.
During this time we are still attending some lessons: one hour Latin, one hour
Greek, one hour French language, one hour Shorthand writing, two hours
English, one hour crafting, one hour Social studies and one hour Geography.
Saturday and Sunday we are off the whole day.
It’s now half past eight and I still have to say good night to both cats and to
bring them to bed.
11-7-1942
Both yesterday and today I’ve been busy, because Endjoem was sick.
Therefore I had to do the laundry. Next week we have a holiday, from
homework, at least. That makes Heleen’s birthday occur during the holiday.
She develops into a pretty girl, I would almost say she’s beautiful, in my
opinion. She looks a lot like aunt Alwy with that dark hair, those dark eyes, red
lips and that beautiful light skin. But I am not envious, I am happy for her. To
bad that Roeli is not a bit prettier. What am I saying. She is sweet, and tells
funny jokes.
Mrs. Stevels has accompanied Uncle Ot once to Tjimahi. They have spotted
Mr. Stevels there, but he almost didn’t dare to look at them. He did manage to
throw an empty cigarette package filled with notes in their direction. On July 8
people were allowed to deliver packages to the camp, an occasion many
women took advantage of.
There are stubborn rumours that all men will be interned now, but that has not
happened yet. Sometimes women, who are getting to close to the foragers, (if
only to watch them), are locked up for up to four days. Also they are
sometimes openly beaten in the streets. Once Uncle Ot has been beaten too.
Also Ds. Oberman has been beaten once. I overheard a story from Mrs.
Stevels that went as follows: In Batavia there was a fortune teller, who
predicted that Japan would attack the Indies and that Java would surrender
on March 8. Some day a woman came to her while crying, because her
husband was sat also behind the kawat (barbed wire), and she didn’t know
15
what to do. She was out of her mind of desperation. The fortune teller
conforted her saying: “Now, don’t be afraid, those damn Japs will be gone
soon and between July 29 and December 29 everything will return to normal”.
The woman wore a coat and after the fortune teller had finished, she showed
the liner of the coat and it had a swastika on it.
She was a member of the Gestapo. After that incident, there was a Japanese
guard posted permanently in front of the so called fortune teller’s house. I
have heard now so many predictions, that I don’t believe any of them
anymore. Every day now the siren wails as the 12 o’clock noon time sign,
Nippon time. This is always a welcome and “optimistic” sound.
Lately I dropped in at Solveig Polner and by coincidence she was home. She
of course had to remark that I had to let my hair grow longer, because she
found it too short. But that is none of her business. She told me that Henk
Zwart is now in America and also that she’s been unfaithful to him. She also
said that Henk Scheffer was probably in Tjimahi. How does she always find
out about those things?
Both Janneke and the Mayer’s are all coming over to live here. For us is that
nice, but not for them, because they have to leave all their furniture behind.
Mr. Mayer has been picked-up and interned as well. What sad for them!
12-7-2602
The date is Japanese, for them it’s now the year 2602.
Today it’s Sunday. This morning Ds. Keers performed the sermon. He’s
always able to make the congregation laugh once or twice. His sermon spoke
of Paul and Gallio, a Roman governor. On one thing I took offence though,
because he said: “In Rome the Jews were always excused, yes, annoying
people always seem excused”. I knew there were at least one Jewish boy and
one Jewish girl present in the church today.
He made us laugh, when he said: “In these days, many people float on the
waves of the ocean (he meant the rumours of course), because when it is a
good rumour, they are on top of the waves and very happy, but if it is a bad
rumour, than they are down and under the waves”. He also said a prayer for
the men in the Camp. Also for them we will always remember and honour. He
meant The Queen of course.
Tonight we will go and sing at Uncle Ot’s. A story will be read from the book
“Sunday”. Those are beautiful stories. I am planning to copy a few of them.
6-8-1942
Yesterday it was August 5, Princess Irene’s birthday. She celebrated her third
birthday. We still know only very little from them. The whole royal family looks
now so much more distant, than when they were still in Holland. But we hope:
“The Netherlands will rise again”.
Roeli, Heleen and I have been sick. Heleen suffered the longest and I the
shortest, luckily. Tomorrow the Mayers will move in with us. Their barang
arrived this morning here already. The rooms, after much arranging and
rearranging, are ready for them now. Lex, Robbie and Peter will be getting my
room and the Mrs, Janneke and Ruth will be getting the Garage room. It will
16
be packed, but the more souls, the more joy, as the saying goes. I like it that
they are joining us, but Roeli and Heleen are not so happy. Roeli and I took a
moment to plant the lettuce and the cabbage this afternoon, just before dark,
because it was overdue. We now have nine vegetable beds in the back yard
with: bajem (spinach), tomatoes, djagoeng, lettuce, cabbage, katjangpandjang,
(long type of bean), celery, parsley and beets. The laboe-ajer (pear
form fruit, containing a lot of water), in Mrs. Klencke’s back yard does really
well.
Today, Daddy came home already at 11 o’clock and gave us a hand.
Sometimes I can be so happy that we have got him still close to us. He is very
skinny, but fortunately his tongue is not so red any more.
7-8-1942
The Mayers have arrived in tact and are happy to be here. Both Janneke and
the Mrs. have lost a lot of weight. Mom and I picked them up at the railway
station and I found a sado for them quickly. The others all came on their
bicycles. The sado was packed. Janneke and Ruth have already told us a lot
of their experiences. They dealt a lot with the Japs. This morning the boys
were all sitting in the front of the house, when a Japanese officer passed by.
Robbie got up on his feet, saluted and sat down again. But those manors, we
told him, we didn’t appreciate. Almost every day we hear heavy explosions
coming from the direction of Andir. These are likely no exercises, but probably
the sound of blowing things up. Mrs. Mayer, fortunately, has been able to
bring a lot of groceries with her, among others, flower, for which she paid Fl.
3,30 per kilogram over there, but which would cost Fl. 8 per kilogram over
here.
My desk is now located in the office, next to the bookcase, and beside the
stuff from both Janneke and Mrs. Mayer being there too, it is still spacious.
16-8-1942
Today is Sunday again. We have been to church. Ds. Tichelaar spoke about
“tact”, but no “tactics”. After church we sat down for a while behind V. and W.
It was nice and cool out there and finally when we biked home along “Beatrix”,
a cup of delicious chocolate was waiting there for us. After that I finished
reading the book “Call those Shoenamitische”. I think it’s a nice and beautiful
book. Mrs. Mayer though it to be too serious for me. I have also read the
book: “the little stone man”. That one I enjoyed even more. I just learned to
knit and I have already made a pot cloth (to pick up a hot pot with). But I still
made a lot of mistakes.
Now comes the great joyous and pleasant news: Richt van der Brug is
pregnant!
I am so happy for her, she loves children.
And do you know who else? Aunt Amy. What will Chris, Wieneke and Bob be
excited about the news, especially Wieneke. We were especially not allowed
to tell anything to Uncle Bou, who is imprisoned in Bandoeng and who
perhaps will be released soon. She really looked forward to tell him the news
herself. That I can imagine. And than number three is Mrs. Klencke. I already
17
knew about that one and besides, it starts to show now. Sometimes I can
really long for having a baby myself already. Therefore I am sometimes
embarrassed that I didn’t start my periods yet. Now I see Richt also in a total
different light. Just a while ago she was still a girl friend and now she’s almost
a mother. I can imagine how excited she is and how happy. I don’t know if
Henk in Tjimahi already knows what’s going on.
Mom has edicated us girls a little while ago about “cohabiting” What an
ingenious design is the human body. Mom also informed both Roeli and
Heleen, but I can hardly agree with that, despite them seem to know already
about it. Sometimes they pop questions, which are only based on curiosity. I
find it disturbing when they talk so lightly about such a beautiful and holy
thing. “That is not tactful” as Ds. Tichelaar just mentioned lately. “Tact” is for
me the same as “feeling”.
The Mayers love it down here. They also start to look better. Mrs. Mayer has
now plenty of time to rest and recover from her illness.
From the laboe-ajar rack a whole chunk has been cut off, so that one can now
easily walk by.
Sometimes I can really feel so happy and so satisfied, because I still have
everything, I am not sick and because of a lot of other reasons.
13-9-1942
I didn’t tell anything for a while. In the mean time I have been sick again, with
a high fever, after which I felt very weak for a long time. After me Roeli got
sick for a short while. Than Janneke followed and now it’s Daddy’s turn.
Fortunately he is already feeling better and in the morning he goes and lays
down in the garden from aunty Nine and uncle Ot., because it’s so nice and
quiet there. He is rather tanned and therefore he looks healthy.
Already for some time we bring food to the people of Bronbeek. At first three
native boys would help too, but after a cache of weapons was apparently
discouvered (as the rumour goes), a few police officers were posted at the
gate and the boys were not allowed in anymore. Bronbeek is kind of a little
village by itself. It consists of three parts: The original Bronbeek, the Indies
Bronbeek and the Bronbeek for the old age people. My shift is three days a
week. The people are always very happy when one comes in. They get rice,
sugar, katjang-idjomeel (= flower made from green soja seeds), coffee, soap,
lard and sometimes some extra stuff. Hereby a few of their names: Bloemhof,
Manders, Tjowa (a blind family), Henke, Groot-Oonk, Boerigter, Wolters,
Thomas, Knuifer and the rest I forgot. When we go there, we have to go past
a lot of Japs. One time one came up to me and wanted to grab my arm, but
luckily I veered away just in time. That guy had such dirty, ugly, black hands!
A little while ago people said that a transmitter had been discouvered through
the stupidity of a couple of boys. While guarding the transmitter they suddenly
opened fire at a couple of cops. As the story goes, those boys were later
tortured and they had to tell the names of their fellow spies. A very stupid act!
A few days ago Solveig dropped in for a minute, but I was just very busy with
my room. She borrowed the book: “Flierefluiters oponthoud” (= freespirits
18
halted) from me, because she only knew the first part. She was also looking
for someone who would lend her a microscope. This morning she had found
one. She was so excited!
Do you know who is in town? Maart Dake. All by himself he came all the way
from Modjowarno (Located on East Java, at that moment almost
unreachable), to see how things were going here in Bandoeng. I didn’t see
him yet. Both Janneke and I have now lessons every Wednesday and
Saturday, from Mrs. De Vries. On Wednesday we’ve got French and Saturday
English lessons. For French I am now learning: “Mon petit Trott” and for
English: “Pinocchio”.
Our chickens are laying their last eggs. Behind the car they lay them in a
crate. The lettuce, cabbage, beets, katjang pandang, parsley, celery and six
djagoengs are growing beautifully. The laboe-ajer has become smaller again,
because the people, who repaired the sewer, have ruined a whole piece of it.
A lot of Japs have left Bandoeng again, because I saw a couple of schools
empty again. This morning from Richt we heard some beautiful news: 1. Italy
has capitulated, 2. the Turks have given access to the Dardanelles to the
Allies, 3. America has given Japan an ultimatum, in which the Japs have to
withdraw before September 25 untill Singapore. It was announced by San
Francisco. We hope it is true.
This morning Rietje, Roeli, Heleen and I went to the Easter church. Too bad
Mom couldn’t come with us, because Uncle Ot read a beautiful sermon. He
talked about: “Love your enemies” and also that we had to forgive each other
not 7 times, but 70 x 7 times, because God forgives us so much as well. And
also he said that all hatred has to go from our hearts, to make space for joy.
Sometimes I got tears in my eyes. He started his sermon with a story about a
Chinese girl in the Japanese war. Perhaps, one day I will copy it in this dairy.
After the service there was a collection for the “Pa van der Steur foundation”
and they collected 96 Guilders. That’s a lot!
20-9-1942
Time flies! We are now already for six months interned and it feels much
shorter! The rumours that on September 25 everything is going to change, I
don’t believe, but we keep our hopes up. Someday the liberation will happen.
It is for sure remarkable that the Japanese here have become a lot more
polite towards us Europeans. The beatings have diminished significantly. We
almost don’t notice them anymore, only their aircraft, who sometimes fly over
all day long.
Last night we had a quarrel with Mrs.Stevels. I don’t know yet what she is
going to do, staying here, or leaving. Pimmie sometimes can be very
annoying too. And she blames others, especially Friso.
Our chickens are now, I believe, in heat and Daddy doesn’t want that. He
allows only one and by the other we have to stop it or “Koelpoorten”. (= ?)
That’s how the Flemish farmers call it.
Today is Sunday. We went to the Easter Church, where Ds. Oberman read
the sermon. He talked about taking responsibility for your sins and that you
had to look at yourself in the mirror of the gospel and that many people, now19
a-days, throw that mirror away. After the church we sat down for a while at V.
and W. Roeli and I have both afterwards been practicing on a small back
road, riding two bikes at once. In the end my arm was lame.
1-10-1942
Last night for us a big event happened. Not a world shocking event, but a
personal event, which I will remember for the rest of my life. Only RoeIi,
Heleen and I know about it until now. Mom put us to bed last night and sat
down with us, waiting for Daddy to come home. That doesn’t happen that
often, because usually Daddy returns home late. But this time he came early
and asked: “What would you prefer, having a little brother or a little sister?”
We voted for a little sister. And than Mom told us that she was expecting a
baby due for next May. First we could hardly believe it, but than we were so
happy, so excited! I was so emotional; I had to cry a little for joy. They asked
us to start thinking about a name already. That night it was late before we fell
asleep.
What will it be fun this time to be allowed to help with the baby’s cloths and
also to make toys and a woven wall decoration. We can look forwards to an
exciting time. The next week is Paul’s birthday and after him, it’s my turn.
11-10-1942
Last Sunday Mom has joined us to the Easter Church to listen to Ds.
Oberman. In hindsight she’d probably better not done that, because the next
day she didn’t feel well and we feared for the life of the baby. But thank God,
after a week of rest she feels good enough to both join us for the meals at the
dinner table and she can sit on the couch again.
This morning we also went to the church again, where Ds. Keers now does
the service. It was so crowded that we had to stand on the balcony. There
were now also two Japs in the church. We saw them sitting next to Ds.
Oberman, a head officer and a soldier. Louk Woortman sat also next to a
couple of Japs and told us that they each put a 5 Guilder bill in the collection
bag. That seemed unbelievable to me.
Talking about Japs: last Tuesday at two o’clock, three Japs walked up to the
house. I had to answer the door and instantly called Mrs. Mayer, because she
knows how to deal with them. One of them spoke Maleis reasonably well and
asked if a doctor lived here, who could give injections. Then we called Daddy.
The Jap had his own obat (medicine). Daddy gave the injection and told him
to return in two days to receive another one. He was very happy that he didn’t
have to pay. They said “tabe” (goodbye) to me, but I purposely didn’t answer.
They never came back though.
Now the big surprise of the day: the chicken without the tuft (I’ll call her the
“bald one”) has gotten chicks. They are such lovely little creatures. They have
a brown stripe over their backs. I was petting the chicken this afternoon and
heard little sounds. And there they were! They came one by one out from
under the feathers. They are such little darlings. I am busy fashioning a coop
from the big crate. Now the run too has to be finished quickly.
20
Daddy has purchased a monthly pass for the swimming pool this afternoon for
all of us. Wednesday we’ll go swimming already! Awesome!
18-11-1942
Mom, fortunately, is better again. I will first tell something about things that
happened here in town. A women’s camp is under construction, and it has to
be finished before December 8. It is being built in the eastern part of town,
about confined by the Houtmanstraat, the Tjitaroemstraat, the Riouwstraat
and the Grote Postweg. On the map from Bandoeng you can see that the
houses there are the closest to each other and therefore it is the easiest area
to put a fence around.
Further, all remaining men would be picked up and interned. It’s nice that
Daddy is still home. But I just heard that about 70 Doctors already have been
called. On top of that also Mr. Zijlstra, Mr Vlaming (my German teacher), and
Mister Wisman have been called. Uncle Ot, luckily, has not yet. Now I still
have lessons from: Ms. Gruis (Latin and Greek), Mrs. Eyf (English), Mrs.
Heydeman (French), Mrs. Franke (Dutch), Mr. Vlaming (German), Mr. Zijlstra
(Social Studies), and Mr. Suyderhoud (Geography). After we go into the
Camps, we perhaps may be able to get instruction in larger groups, and not
so sneaky anymore in those tiny groups. Heleen has now lessons too and
follows those of the first grade of HBS (= Dutch equivalent of High school),
which means that she’s skipping the 7th grade of elementary school. She only
has some difficulty with math. Roeli still has lessons from Ms. De Quaasteniet.
20-11-1942
This morning Mr. Wisman left, but a little while later, he came back. I don’t
know why. Along the Irene Boulevard, houses are being vacated too, namely
for the benefit of aboriginal people (the Prarindra, as this bunch is called). I
heard the same thing about the Beatrix Boulevard. It would be a shame if they
would put those dirty natives into our beautiful house. It’s all done just to upset
us. This morning I had lessons at the Riouwstraat and there they were also
already busy modifying houses. On the front doors papers were affixed with
Roman digits. We had our last lessons there now, in room “V”, with a “6” next
to it. That meant that 6 people had to live in that room. The room dimensions
were about 3.5 by 4.5 meters. Plus all of their barang (= luggage). You could
see a lot of moving trucks and “grobaks” (= big Ox drawn cart) driving back
and forth. Further there were a lot of “toekang-botols” (= buyers of all kind of
everything, “botols” = bottles) busy to buy left overs. It was a real
pandemonium. We too are already sifting trough things, to see what we would
like to take with us, for example books, but also other stuff.
Now I want to tell something about the garden and the animals. The bold one
again has gotten 4 chicks, but unfortunately, two of them died already. They
are trampled on by the mother perhaps. The other offspring seems to be
doing well and some are already getting some feathers. “Tufty’s” nest didn’t
hatch, unfortunately, but she already laid six more eggs again. They are
beautiful large eggs.
21
Now there’s something sad. Our small Parrot “Starbuck” has died. But we are
still OK with it because he was already sick for a long time. Now we only have
“Akka” left and he is very sweet. We fashioned a nice little grave with flowers
on top. The cats are doing well, especially “Bontje” (Fuzzy), is very sweet. The
garden looks untidy. The lettuce, cabbage, djagoeng and the
Katjang-pandang, are taken out.
As domestic help first we got Sadeli and later Oedi, but he was so bad
mannered, he always stared at you and chuckled about the silliest things.
Now we’ve got Wagimin, he seems a neat little guy. He wanted us to call him
“Mini”, but we objected, because that’s how Mrs. Mayer is called too.
I had my birthday too and I’ve gotten a lot of presents: slippers, a dress, a
skirt, hair ribbons, a chunk of chocolate, a soap bar, a package of butter, a
little photo album, a Pinocchio book, and some other small stuff. Janneke
didn’t want anything for her birthday, but she got about 20 packages anyway.
Friso’s birthday is in 4 days from now.
For Richt we are making a woven wall decoration. It promises to be a nice
one.
I am now also part of the youth council of the Easter Church and that makes
me feel rather important. We already had a meeting, but only a few members
attended, probably because it was raining so badly. I also already collected
once and it went well. Important news is that all the European Doctors from
Immanuel have been fired. Daddy now has a private practice.The office is
now transformed into a clinic. He has a reasonable amount of patients.
Yesterday we got another typhus and cholera inoculation. Luckily I didn’t feel
sick afterwards. There has also been some kind of an epidemic of the five day
fever again. During the last one I was sick all the time, but this one has
passed me by. Now Heleentje is sick again.
All Church ministers have been picked up and interned, except both Ds. De
Bruin and Uncle Ot, fortunately. At Richt you can clearly see that she’s
pregnant. At Mrs. Klencke and the lady across the street too, but at Mom only
a little bit. She said that Daddy told her the baby would arrive in April already.
9-12-1942
Yesterday it was December 8, exactly a year ago since the war started here.
The Japanese had a big celebration with many speeches. From December
5th, we are in a situation of permanent air raid alarm, something even the Japs
seem to be concerned about. The Jap, who sometimes visits Mrs. Marzynski,
said: “Ini boekan main” (This is not a game anymore). First we had a
continuous Air raid alarm until December 10th, but now they have extended
that again. Aman, a chauffeur we knew already from the past, also said that in
the Kampong all people knew that it was serious now. The first two days the
siren went off often, but since the day before yesterday, not anymore. Almost
no airplanes came over either.
Both Richt and Aunt Riek had beautiful news too: America said: “Japan has
brought us a surprise on December 8, and this year we will bring them a
surprise”. The Queen had spoken too. They knew everything about the
Camps here and the time of revenge was near. Some high up Japanese
22
officer had also said in a speech that they didn’t realize that America and
Australia were so strong and that these days of celebration in fact were no
celebrations at all, but were very serious instead. In Europe everything seems
to go well, as in Africa. People say that all men will have to leave Tjilatjap. The
women camps are making progress. Daddy was also called in already, but
returned with a release note. Therefore we don’t have to go into a Camp yet
either, fortunately. Brantastraat 2, room 2, was assigned to us already. Both
Mrs. Mayer and Mrs. Stevels were assigned each a very tiny little room,
together with their children, but after a lot of protest they now have a small
house at the Nangkalaan. They already have furniture too there, from, among
others, Ms. Gruis. She will stop the lessons now for about a month. After that
she hopes to continue. She too has to go into the Camp now. Mr. Zijlstra has
been picked up and my German teacher too. Some lessons we got now from
other people. All of us, luckily, are all right.
From Ruth we discouvered that she secretly snacked cheese from the fridge,
and now we call her “Cheese mouse”. The chicks from “Boldy, Kiki” and
“Kuku” are growing up already and in a week time Tufty’s eggs will hatch. (8
eggs).
In about a week Richt is expecting her baby. Mrs, Klencke a week ago has
given birth to a darling son: Peter-Jan. I was allowed to see it on the first day
already, a sweet little creature!
We didn’t celebrate Sinterklaas (= a kind of Santa Claus), but we had a
pleasant evening together, played (board) games, ate some sweets, among
them self made “taai-taai”. (= a typical Sinterklaas evening snack).
From Pimmie Stevels we heard a funny phrase. While waking up, he called
his mother saying: “Mammie, Ik heb niet piest in mijn gebed”. ( he meant to
say: that he didn’t piss in his bed but it came out as: free translated: “Mom, I
didn’t piss in my prayer”).
21-12-1942
Both Mrs. Mayer and Mrs. Stevels have gone off to the Camp together with
their noisy offspring. We now enjoy the silence. There were rumours that the
women from both Soekaboembi and Buitenzorg would be sent over here, but
at first we didn’t believe that so much. At the time we thought it would concern
aunt Nel Alers, but we didn’t think at all about auntie Amy, who was in Toegoe
at the time. Three days ago we suddenly received a phone call, that she was
at our railway station and had to leave for Karees, but that she much rather
would join us instead. That was certainly an option, now the Mayers and the
Stevels had just left.
In the afternoon, after lunch, Daddy, Roeli, Heleen and I all went to Karees.
There were a lot of women and children there, small ones and big ones. That
Karees was located at the Boerangranglaan, a side road from the
Papandajanlaan. Roeli had a flat tire again. Her bike we parked at Mrs. Van
der Does’ (You know, from the painter) and we borrowed another one. Then
we started our search. At first we didn’t find anything and then each started to
search the streets seperately by themselves. I turned the corner of my street
and – surprise – I spotted them right there sitting in a sado. In a second one
23
was their entire luggage. First I followed them to their room, which was
assigned at Galoengoenglaan 5 and then quickly back again to the others to
let them know. They all were so happy. They were assigned an unpleasant
small room, without any windows and Uncle Les got a tiny little hide-out for
himself. After that they went home with us. How had Bab grown! We now call
him Chris. The next afternoon aunt Nel appeared suddenly, who had been
sent to Bandoeng too. She had been forced to leave Louk behind in a Camp,
which she felt awful about
The next day, yesterday, (Sunday), exactly on Wieneke’s birthday, auntie
Amy gave birth to a darling little baby girl. She was called Quirientje, after one
of her mother’s sisters. A funny name! At the same day two eggs hatched and
two chicks were born. We were in cloud seven and we ate “beschuit met
muisjes”. (= biscuit with mice). (= a typical Dutch treat, given at a birth to the
family). And today we had cake, because we couldn’t get them yesterday.
What is such a tiny baby ever sweet and beautiful. I was allowed to see it
already and yesterday afternoon the crib was put into our room, because the
baby was crying so much and Auntie Amy had to rest. She was so sweet. She
weighed 6 pounds and three ounces, half an ounce more than Peter-Jan from
next door. Richt would prefer to have a baby girl too. The wall decoration is
getting there. I gave my hot-water-bed-bottle-cover to Auntie Amy and she
was very happy with it.
A while ago Daddy has purchased a beautiful painting picturing Wanajasa
from Mr. van der Does. Together we sneaked it into the house. Mom was so
surprised when she saw it!
31-12-1942
Today it is the 31st, Thursday, the last day of the year. Today is New-Years
Eve and tomorrow is New Years Day. Tonight we can still eat some
“Oliebollen”. (= Typical Dutch sweet snack for New Years Eve). From a
Chinese, one of Daddy’s patients, we even got two bottles of Anker beer.
Would people in Holland still have such plentiful supplies as we have here?
And perhaps in Holland they think the opposite. Soon, for dinner, we’ll eat
carrots and fried fish. And this afternoon we got cakes from auntie Amy,
Mmmm!
Yesterday we have been scared for a while, because Daddy had been called
to appear in an empty building (The Geographic Service). I accompanied him
and we stayed there for a long, long time. What a lot of men were there! I
cannot remember to have ever seen so many men together in one place. Mr.
Wisman, who went a little earlier, had put his barang (= luggage) aside. But
Daddy, smartly put his barang down as much forewards as possible, and
therefore his turn was much sooner. During al the time he was inside, I was
very worried, but soon his barang appeared from inside a window, followed a
few moments later by himself. Daddy even got a ride in the car from an
acquaintance. Then, I quickly biked home. It was a happy home coming. Mr.
Wisman didn’t return home though.
Richt’s baby still hasn’t been born yet. The afternoon before yesterday,
Wieneke, Roeli and I have visited her and brought a little container with some
24
Lemon ointment. She’s been for more than a week in Borromeus now and the
baby still didn’t want to come. On the two Christmas days, we’ve eaten both
our Rooster and the fat chicken from Dhoematiar.
Now it’s a quarter past twelve: January 1st 1943. I am quickly going to bed
now. Both Friso and Paul didn’t last that long. They fell asleep on the couch.
Happy New Year!
 

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