Home | Hobbies | Books | Mutiara Laut | Website Projects | Links

Previous • How it started 1941 • 1942 • 1943 • Tjihapit • Camp Solo • Semarang • Back to Holland

Camp Book Japanese invasion

1943

1-1-1943
This day will always stay in my memory as both a happy, but also a very sad
day. A happy day because it’s a new year, a sad day because Richt’s little
baby has died soon after birth. And Richt just loves small children so much.
We are just back from a visit with Uncle Ot and aunt Nine. Auntie said that
Richt had been very brave. I would never been able to be that brave. For a
moment we were allowed to see the baby, a little boy. It was such a sweet,
beautiful and soft little baby. He was lying on the baby table so sweet, quiet
and pale, his little hands folded together. Two candles and the flowers from
both Roeli and me were at each side. Tomorrow morning he will be buried on
the big cemetery. His father, Henk Offereins, doesn’t know it yet. The baby
looked just like him. It was a relatively big baby, weighing 8 pounds.
3-1-1943
Today is Sunday. We are not going to church today, but are going to make a
trip to Ds. Oberman’s house, halfway to Lembang. He has a beautiful garden
there, full with animals, horses too. There we will have a picnic.
Yesterday morning around 9:30 Richt’s little baby has been buried. I was
allowed to participate too. For me it was the first time participating in a funeral.
It was in a spot were many little children were buried. This was grave number
40. Very emotional!
Tomorrow my lessons will resume again.
10-2-1943
Richt is back home now. She still walks with difficulty. She often goes to the
cemetery and looks after the plants on the little grave. There are only
verbenas, because larger plants are not allowed.
About two weeks ago our entire street has been searched for men. At our
place they found uncle Piet. Both he and Uncle Ot had to come with them. Mr.
Marzynski had to come almost too. Later we heard that they were taken to the
Palace Hotel. A few days ago Chris went to do some errands, but he never
came back. The next day we heard that he had been caught and taken,
together with his bike, to the Zeelandia straat, to the Capellen School.
Fortunately Aunt Amy was allowed to bring him all kind of everything later. For
uncle Bou she has been able to bring a nice little picture from Quirientje and
some more cloths into the building. Both the Bandoengcamp and Karees are
now fully fenced in. The first is still being extended and in the latter, Daddy
sees patients. Yesterday, for the first time, he was not allowed in. On that day
a lot of men from Tjilatjap arrived there. (I believe about 5,000 of them). They
have been lodged into the 15th battalion. Fortunately they looked healthy and
well.
Mr. Rinker, who lived in “Beatrix”, has been fired and is interned too. His wife
and children went into the Camp and now their house stands thus empty.
Today Mr.Thijsse, one of the few people still working at the Pension fund,
dropped by here to pick up the keys. Probably someone from the Gebeo will
26
be housed there, someone who will pay rent, fortunately. Both Daddy and
Paul have just spent last night there. For the last time. In the back of the
garden was an asparagus plant, from which I gave Roeli one.
The day before yesterday, I became a “big girl”. I didn’t like it at all and as far
as I am concerned, it could have stayed away a while longer. However, I am
now already 16 years old. Mom got it on her 15th and Roeli on her 12th year.
Now it’s Heleentje’s turn. Luckily I only felt a little sick.
Tomorrow, on the 13th, the eggs will probably hatch. I hope they will not
become unhappy chicks. I still have one film left for my camera, but I will save
it for the arrival of my little brother or sister. The name is still a big question for
us all. Both Marianne and Peter we like the most.
13-2-1943
Today is not an unlucky day at all. It was a happy day instead. All the eggs,
but one have hatched. The chicks are called Japanese “Bantam fowl”, very
adorable. Both Aunty Amy and Rob went this morning to deliver a package to
Uncle Bou and to another man in Soekamiskin. They were allowed to deliver
almost everything. And now comes the best surprise: they may be allowed to
show Quirientje to her Daddy. Probably they are not allowed to see him
themselves, but they are going to ask if Wieneke would be allowed to bring
her inside. That will make him very happy. I have to go to my lessons now, but
later I will tell how everything went.
It is now 6 o’clock and while enjoying a kwee semprong ( = rolled cookie), I
continue my writing.
This morning everything went splendid. Quirientje, dressed in a beautiful little
pink gown, was carried to her father by a policeman. Than back again and
after that Uncle Bou was allowed in for a minute, but on a distance of about 5
meters. Aunt Amy nodded towards him, to let him know that everything was
all right with her and after that he had to leave. Both Rob and Wieneke were
there with us too. They were so happy, oh so happy. Uncle Bou looked very
healthy. Today is also Chris’s birthday. If he only was allowed to be there as
well, I am sure he would have loved it too.
10-3-1943
Hallo! Hallo! (In Japanese: “Maschi, maschi!”) I’ve got a lot to tell again, but I
have to be careful with paper, because nobody is allowed to buy paper and
pencils anymore. Thus everything has to be in telegram style. Roeli, Heleen
and I moved to the back room, where Mrs. Stevels lived before. Auntie Amy,
Wieneke, Rob and Quirientje are now living in our former room, because the
nursery is occupied. Two women and their babies are now sleeping there.
First, a Chinese woman arrived, that was expecting a baby only at the end of
the month. She got a very tiny daughter of only 4 pounds. The night before
yesterday at about 2 AM, Mrs. van Westen arrived and after half an hour a
well shaped son weighing 3 Kg and 3 ounces was born.
The wall-decoration for Richt is finally finished. It turned out very nice.
About two weeks ago at the Pasteur Institute they collected a kind of seeds
(for making obat). At a certain moment they apparently had enough and said
27
they didn’t want anymore. Consequently, a few men dumped all their collected
seeds. Heleen and Rob sweeped them together and they collected two full
buckets. A few days later they accepted seeds again. Heleen and Rob
decided to bring in their buckets and were paid, after a long wait, 6 Guilders
for them. Daddy wants to buy a swimming pass for it, but they didn’t want that.
We prefered to buy some new fish for our fish tank from the money.
There are rumours, and it is also written in the “Tjahaja”, that big exercises
are being planned. It is a good omen. Aunt Riek told us that a few Japanese
officers complained during a visit to Dr. Leimena, that already too many
people knew about those exercises. That night we slept at aunt Nine’s place
and returning home we encountered a Jap carrying something in his hands. It
looked like a portable phone. At Mrs. Van der Molen they told us that this
particular Jap guarded the siren.
15-3-1943
On March the 13th, Womens prayer day has been celebrated combined with a
church service. Yesterday, Sunday, the sermon was done by Ms. Bron and I
was again chosen to take care of the collection. It looks like I will be allowed
to participate in the Eastern choir.
The women camp has already been closed for a week now. My lessons have
almost all been stopped, except for Math, French and Geography. I have
been just in time to gather a few marks. For five days the town has been
searched by policemen for women that should have been in the camp, but
were not there. They also visited our place. They wrote down Aunt Amy’s
name and they took her pendafteran (ID-card). The ones from both Richt and
Mrs. Wisman have been taken too. Those cards will be returned to them
together with their notice. Not so nice.
The chicks grow very fast and they act sometimes so funny. They now all
have names: Griset, Barbarossa (the red one), and the four Japanese:
Foetsiemoetie, Kelim, Naikkadaksi and Hangkrenghang. (Hang-jerk-hang).
22-3-1943
Mrs. Van Westen has already returned home with Gerard Douwe and the
Chinese woman too, but others are already expected.
Roeli, Heleen and I are doing very well and we like our back room, except for
being humid and chilli. We are busy working on our wall-decoration. It’s going
to look great.
A while ago something has been stolen from the Marzynski family, but
Manidjan, their djongos (= house servant), has chased after the thief and
caught him. He had brutally taken some bed sheets and some blankets from
the window.
I know a funny joke: Once upon a time there was this woman, who told a Jap:
“Heh, do you want to come and listen to the BBC tonight?” The Jap thought:
“Right, now you’ll be busted” and he answered: “Yes please Madam”. That
night he arrived at 8 o’clock and he overheard the BBC radio coming from the
house next door, where Japanese were living. He was very embarressed!
Quirientje became 3 months old yesterday. Time flies!
28
2-4-1943
Yesterday it was April 1st, but not many pranks have been made. It is not the
time for it, although we have to remain joyful. Just now something sad has
happened: one of our white little chicks has been hit by a car. Fortunately it
died instantaneously. I have buried it immediately, in a little grave topped with
an orange flower. I promised myself not to cry, which was very difficult.
Both Mrs. Wisman and Wernie are already in the camp. It is quiet here without
them. Aunt Amy, unfortunately, has to go into the camp as well, to the
Houtmanstraat. She has gotten a good room and a little one for uncle Ies too.
Luckily they are living together with nice people. Both aunt Nine and Richt
have to live in the Tasman straat at the van Gogh’s and across from aunt Cor
van Wijk. They don’t like it at all and are not happy with it. Mrs. Wisman is
interned in the family camp. Perhaps we are going to have to have to go there
too, but Daddy is still here. So we’re lucky. When Aunt Amy went to the
house, I was sneaked in giving myself out as her daughter. I was able to visit
a lot of people there: Mrs. Mayer, Stevels, Aunt Willie Giese Koch, ms Bron,
(aunt Greet from the youth council), ms. Gruis, who was very happy to see
me, and aunt Cor, who was out at the moment. After that I had to go home
and Aunt Amy was already gone. Then I decided to walk decisively strait
through the gate and none of the “stick-roses” stopped me. So I returned
home safely.
We finally sold Mrs. Stevel’s typewriter for 25 Guilders. We still got the radio
and thus we can listen to some beautiful music at night, i.e. Lohengrin.
Today one of my bad weeks has started again. I skipped the last one, but
Mom says that it’s normal.
The fish tank from Wernie is staying over with us, now we’ve got already four
of them.
Today we ate fried fish, carrots and rice for dinner. I loved it. What would they
eat now for dinner in Holland? Would it be like cabbage and dog meat
perhaps?
5-5-1943
Aunt Amy is busy moving today. Most of the barang was send away by two
grobaks. They themselves will leave soon after dinner. We will miss them.
Quirientje is already getting some hair, she is sweet and she laughs a lot.
Yesterday we had a lontong-dinner (= sticky rice, boiled in a package of
banana leaf, closed with a bamboe-splinter), together with the people of the
youth counsel. The morning had both a happy and a serious part. In the
afternoon there were all kinds of performances and stage plays. I recited the
“Cockroaches nightmare”, which was much appreciated. The stage plays and
the conversations were so typical “Indies”, it was sometimes irritating. The
lontong was delicious, but I was the only totok (white Hollander) present. At
around 5 o’clock I returned home and rolled tired into my bed. Now I quickly
have to prepare the food for the cats and then eat some dinner myself. Rice,
sajoer menir (= dish of wet vegetables), with tahoe (paste of grinded soy), and
tempeh (fermented soy paste). Mmmm, delicious!
29
Aunt Amy dropped by just now and told us that everything had gone well and
that most of her stuff was already put into place.
1-5-1943
Today is May 1st. During this month our little baby will arrive. We will welcome
her with joy. Despite everything we have a really good time with each other,
with a good family and with all our possessions, all reasons to be very
grateful.
Aunt Nel has gone back to camp Karees this morning. Last week she became
ill. Now she’s better and she’s got to go back, unfortunately. She has been so
sweet to us. Roeli, Heleen and I each have gotten a broche from her. This
morning, while leaving, she gave us a ginger cake and this afternoon another
cake was delivered, one she ordered from Maison Bogerijen. She is also very
curious whether it’s going to be a “Wouter-Ernst” or an “Amy-Marianne”. I got
a Guilder from her to buy flowers, once the moment arrives. Heleen will go
together with Friso or Paul to stay a few days with aunt Jeanette Meesters,
once the moment arrives, because if not, it will be too busy here. In the
nursery is now a Chinese woman again, together with a sweet little baby. I
was there to share his very first few moments. He is born on Wednesday
morning, at 11:30 (April 28), on the birthday of the Japanese Emperor. His
name I don’t know yet. Later that morning his Dad arrived, wildly enthusiastic
about his son, with a pot filled with delicious chicken. That Daddy is such a
funny fat guy. Any moment now we can also expect Mr. Kong’s wife to arrive
here. Her time is also almost up. Aunt Amy calls her MaYoung and says that
she has to call her son “King”, so he would be called “King Kong”.
Noortje van der Molen has moved to the Heyting lane. Aunt Amy has been
here one last time and has taken pictures of Quirientje, which didn’t turn out
too well afterwards. She and her children are doing well. Rob works now at
the garbage service.
4-5-1943
The little baby hasn’t arrived yet, but both the wall decoration and my hot
water bag sack are almost finished. The crib and the room are both ready.
When the time comes, Aunt Mies van Noppen will come over to help out with
house keeping. Her husband passed away a few days ago and now she
wants to go help other people out.
Mrs. Marzynski has also been away for a little while, she suffered from
asthma. The evening before yesterday, she was again visited by a Jap, one
she knew well, and he flapped out: “We are unable to do anything to the
Americans. We can try and armour ourselves, but it wouldn’t matter, because
the American bombers can carry up to12,000 tons and what are we supposed
to do against that? The Germans are losing also already increasingly and are
withdrawing from Tunis”. Mrs. Marzynski than grabbed the “Tjahaja”
newspaper and glanced in it. “No, those report only our victories. They are not
supposed to know anything about our losses”, the Jap told her. This morning
aunt Jeannette was here and she said, that she had heard, that Stalin in a
speech had said: “Don’t despair and be patient. We will soon start a counter
30
offensive, or better, we have already started it at Topel. All further advances
have already been planned with dates on them and in about 5 months there
will be peace”. That sounds rather encouraging. About Tunis there are many
stories. One or two months ago things were already going better there.
Aunt Amy has sent us a lovely pendant, it’s a family heirloom.
Our chicken “Tufty” is breeding again, now on 6 eggs, a gift from Mr. Pistorius,
one of Daddy’s patients. They are huge, I hope they will hatch well. The
chicken has started breeding on Eastern.
5-4-1943
This morning after Math, I went to see Noortje. She is drawing all of us
children, and right now is redoing my face “as a profile”, because the light is
now much different. They probably have to move again, because her land
lady told her the house has to be vacated by orders of “toean Nippon”. (Mr.
Japan). They just moved in there. Aunt Nine and Richt are now both in the
camp too. They brought way to much barang to fit in their small room.
At Eastern we had a surprise: Ms. Bron was allowed to get out of the camp to
attend the church. We have sung well. Everyone said that the choir performed
beautifully. We have also performed at the PJC (Protestantse Jeugd Club=
Church Youth Club). We got 2 eggs each that day and that doesn’t happen
too often anymore. Yesterday we ate Bami with pork meat, delicious. Bread
we got now and than from van Bogerijen, but it is grey and it feels sticky.
Today we have rice with tahoe (grinded soy paste), Tempe (fermented soy
paste) and ketimoen (cumcumber), some leftover pork from yesterday and
fish broth. I wish to those in Holland a likewise delicious meal.
Now about a few terrible events: Lore Gast, a choir member, and Nora
Anselmo, at whoms place we studied our Eastern songs, both seem to have
bouts of madness at times. Lore has gone totally crazy once, but now she
seems to do better. At Nora it was triggered by a former car accident, but now
she too seems to do a little better.
I saw three drunken Japs for the first time. In a sado, they drove loudly singing
into the Braga Street. Suddenly one of them climbed over the front, toward the
horse. The horse panicked, veered towards the sidewalk, stumbled over the
curb of and fell. After a while they managed to get the horse on its feet again
and drove off to the next restaurant.
I am doing well with my lessons. I still have Math, French, Latin and Greek.
Mom would help me with English, but until now that didn’t work out yet.
I am now the medical assistant at Daddy’s clinic. The first time it was kind of
scary, especially when he had to give injections. At those times my head
turned very hot, but soon I got used to it.
Now another two jokes: When foragers (from our army) visit the camps, Japs,
with their bayonet on their rifles, always accompany them. Once in a while
they punch with those knifes through the bilik (a braid work made out of
bamboo used as a separation wall), to scare away those women standing
there trying to get a glimpse of their men. Once, someone had put a pair of
shoes right under the Bilik. Soon they arrived. The Jap noticed the noses of
the shoes and thought: “Ahh!” and started shouting in his own funny language
31
that they had to move away from there. Thereafter he punched viciously
through the Bilik. The shoes stayed there. So he punched and he punched
again. The longer it took, the angrier he became. Finally he grabbed the
shoes and noticed that nobody was in them. Angrily he threw them over the
fence. We had a good laugh.
The second joke: People said that an American plane had flown over and
dropped a flag, on which was written: “Red, White and Blue, we’ll be there
soon”. After that a Japanese plane came over and with a flag saying: “White
with a red ball, we’re there already”. (Rhyming in Dutch)
It’s evening now. Mrs. Pa Kong just arrived and sat down in an animated
conversation with the other njonja. (=the Misses.) When would it be Mom’s
turn? Our hearts are pounding from expectation.
This afternoon I went to the PJC for the first time, because Noortje invited me.
It was nice. I have decided to return faithfully. We got tea and fudge. They
gave me some fudge for Mom too.
14-5-1943
Hooray !!! Hooray !!! I’ve got a baby brother !!! Wouter-Ernst !!!
Welcome in our midst!!!
On May 14th, in the evening at five to ten you are born. I am so happy, happy,
and happy!
Mom barely was 5 minutes on the delivery bed and indeed, there was our little
Wouter already, looking into the world. Daddy shouted: “A boy, a boy!” And
than we heard suddenly: “Meeh, meeeeh!” And that was him! He was a sweet
little fat baby, with a cute face and a very cute little mouth. Roeli and Heleen
were both allowed to put him into his crib, in which I had put already a nice
warm hot water-bottle. As soon as he laid down, he lifted his little head bit,
opened his eyes a little and looked at me.
Such a beautiful sweet little baby! He has such a perfectly round little head.
Both Roeli and I ran quickly to the Marzynski’s and Heleen ran to the
Klencke’s to tell the news. Soon all of them dropped in and we all were being
kissed, including Aunt Mies van Noppen. She couldn’t stop talking about it.
She was present at the birth and everything went so quick, a record, really.
After the bathing, Daddy, Roeli and I have carried her into bed, while Heleen
cleared the way for us. Wouter-Ernst lies now happily in his crib, while making
sweet little sounds. I can’t stop talking about it. He is just so sweet, delightful
and lovable!
Now I need to tell something about the beginning of the day. This morning,
after feeding the chickens, a Chinese family dropped in to see Daddy.
“Doedoek sadja” (Please sit down), I said.
“Tida, itoe njonja moesti beranak!” an old lady said, pointing to a young
woman with a painful expression on her face. Quickly I called Daddy and he
immediately sent me away to get Moerina. (a midwife). At 7 o’clock the
woman arrived, she went to bed at a quarter after seven, at seven thirty I
32
returned and at a quarter to eight the little Chinese had already been born. A
boy!
Mom gave Daddy a hand because Moertina hadn’t arrived yet. I heard the first
sounds and Daddy said: “Lalaki”. I ran over to the man and repeated it to him.
He smiled wide and immediately looked at the clock. Thereafter I quickly had
breakfast and left for my lessons.
This afternoon we ate a delicious sajoer and deng-deng. (Spiced, flattened
and sun dried beef or deer meat). Between 3 and 5 o’clock I took a nap and
than I took a bath. After dinner, while Friso and Paul were undressing and
preparing for bed, we prayed together, after which Mom asked God for a baby
healthy in body, soul and sprit. After the “amen” she told us that the baby was
on its way.
We then took care of the last couple of things and placed the crib in the living
room.
Mom first went to the bathroom, and than into the delivery room. Both Roeli
and I went to prepare ourselves to go to bed. Just as we returned, Daddy
came flying out of the door yelling: “A boy, a boy!” He beamed from joy. After
a little while, we were allowed in. There we saw our dearest Mom. She looked
good and she even smiled at us. We watched how our little Wouter was being
washed on the baby table. As soon as Mom was back in her bed, we together
thanked God. Tomorrow Roeli, Heleen and I will run into town to tell the news
to all our friends. The film in my camera will now soon be put to good use.
Now I’ve got to go to bed, it’s already midnight.
16-5-1943
What a fabulous time we’re having right now. Even in the middle of all that war
misery we are allowed to be so happy. This morning Mrs. Mostert in her
sermon talked about the life-question: “Do you love me?” I found that very
beautiful. “Nippon” doesn’t allow us to collect anymore; even charity by the
church is forbidden. That’s malicious, really.
Both yesterday and today we had a lot of visitors and gotten a lot of flowers. A
flower basket from: Mrs. Fransz, Dr. van Ouwerkerk, Bimba, aunt Nel, (that
basket I made up), Mr. Schusz and further flowers from the youth counsel,
Mrs. Klencke, family van der Molen , aunt Nine and Richt, aunt Jeanette, Ms.
Geisler, Patma, Endjoem and Roos and Hanneke de Klerk. Cake and pastries
from aunt Mies, chocolates from aunt Nel and a whipped cream cake from
family den Boestert. We are so spoiled.
Both Heleen and Friso are staying with Aunt Jeanette. I have already started
to kind of putting a baby book together. Two race-chicks have hatched today,
two Australors. They are white and black. I just got a glimpse from Woutertje,
nicely sleeping. Yesterday he was nursed for the first time. He knew
immediately what to do, so sweet. His little nails are already clipped for the
first time and the clippings have been saved. He is a sweet little fat boy. Mrs.
Woortman called him a little “trumpet angel”. Mrs. Pa Kong has finally gotten
her first little baby. Last night at 11 o’clock she got a fat, sweet, 8 pound girl.
33
5-6-1943
Woutertje is already 3 weeks old now and grows like cabbage. He is very
sweet. He once already bursted out in laughter to Mom and a few more times
he just smiled a little. His eyes already open all the way. I took already 8
pictures of him. I made one picture of him on the weight scale, very nice. He is
still getting presents, sometimes a pair of pants, than a pair of tiny little socks.
Both Mom and Daddy’s birthdays were nice. Mom really liked the sketches
that Noortje made of us all, beautiful. Daddy got new shoes and socks and
from me a new calendar. For lunch we had rice, chicken and real applesauce.
For tea we fashioned some kind of “stroopwafels” from two fan cookies with
golden syrup in between.
This morning, al of a sudden, Wieneke showed up. She came from the camp
together escorting another girl, who had to go to the dentist. She liked
Woutertje very much. He was of course, the first thing we showed her.
Unfortunately I had to leave soon, to attend my lessons. On my way back I
bought some flowers for her. There was a lot of stuff she had to take back with
her, including eggs from our own garden. They were all doing well. Quirientje
was growing well, but was not fat. Sometimes, she already has such a wise
look in her little eyes.
A few days ago, Richt also suddenly dropped in. She had been ordered to
escort a sick lady to the hospital and had taken the occasion to come and visit
us. She was full of stories. Unfortunately, aunt Nine has a lot of pain in her
abdomen.
Now something sad: Aunt Cor van Wijk suffered already for a long time from
diabetics. About a week ago daddy received a phone call, saying that she was
in serious condition and that she had been taken to Borromeus. A few hours
later we received word that she had passed away. That sweet aunty Cor. I
remember her still so very well. What a pity that uncle Piet was not allowed to
leave the camp. It is also very sad for Bep to remain behind like that. She
looked so sad on the funeral. We went to the funeral as well. She has been
buried in the same field as both Richt’s baby and Mr. van Noppen. We’ve put
some flowers on their graves too. While walking past some other graves, we
noticed 2 graves from pilots. On top of one of those graves a broken propeller
had been placed, on the other a statue of a bent pilot. It is very nice and quiet
down there, only once in a while disturbed by the sound of an aircraft. After
the funeral Bep dropped by for a while and of course she was allowed to see
Wouter. Thereafter she and Mrs. Budding returned to camp together.
7-6-1943
Today Roelie became 15 years old!
The festivities started with the coffee, which she got in a brand new cup. We
have all together sung for her.
After that she received the presents and a whole lot of goodies: lemonpaste
from me, fudge, sweets, chocolate, 3 pieces of nougat, and treacle-wafers. A
very nice day!
This morning early at 4 AM Mrs. Frans showed up all of a sudden and gave
birth to a very fat daughter. I heard her first cry too. A strong little voice!
34
Yesterday afternoon Bimba, (the Marzynski family’s dog), has killed our
chicken named “Grisetje”. She went into the pot afterwards, but it didn’t taste
that good after all. Aunt Mies, who has helped Mom out after Woutertje’s
arrival, has left a few days ago to help another lady out. Now Ms. Cohen
Stuart is staying here, we may call her Jet.
We have heard some positive rumours again: At a minister’s place in mid-
Java, a pamphlet was found, apparently dropped in the garden, in which was
written that the Americans would arrive soon. Further it was written that the
aboriginal militia had to think twice before choosing the side of the Japanese.
Further it seems that they controlled the Aleoeten already. It also seems that
high above Poerwakarta American airplanes have flown over. Now, hope
means life. Would we still have to go into camp?
28-6-1943
The latest news: Makassar has been bombed. In Italy guerrillas are active.
Russia is receiving American reinforcements. We also know someone else
who listens, but I can only tell who that was after the war is over. Roeli’s
teacher, Ms. De Quaasteniet has been picked up, because she was not in the
camp yet and also because she kept an unregistered radio in her house. And
now she has been imprisoned in the O.A.B. (Ons Aller Belang).
Now us “faits divers”: Two more babies have been born already. One from
Mrs. Frans with the beautiful name: Victorine. Further a Chinese little boy, a
very fat one. Immediately after being born he opened his eyes already. Mom
was the nurse. That poor woman has suffered a lot of pain, but now she’s got
a beautiful son.
A while ago all doctors had to report to the town hall, together with the Blanda-
Indo’s (Indonesian with Dutch nationality). They only received a short speech.
They were not allowed to move without reporting it. That was all. Among the
many Indo’s there were also our neighbours from across the street, Mrs. Van
der Molen and Frits Kernkamp, but he didn’t notice me.
In church I found a girl friend from the 7th grade back: Els Ruitenbach. She
had recognized me too. We will continue operating the church choir. The
youth counsel is also going to start a sports club, in which I will not participate.
I don’t think it’s a good time for those things right now. Nora Anselmo,
fortunately, has recouvered now, and Lore Gast has almost recouvered.
Close to us on the Lembang road Mr. Niekerk lately has blown up a gas jerry
can. Quite an explosion. Dicky Ensering has been blamed for the mischief
and has been picked up for it.
The pictures turned out very nice, so beautiful and sharp. Wouter on the
weight scale, on the baby table, with Roeli, with Heleen, with me, with the
brothers, with aunt Mies, with Mom and Dad, Daddy with his three sons, Mom
with her six children and finally one from Mrs. Frans, Mrs. Klencke and Mom
with their babies. Oh so sweet!
Fortunately, Wouter doesn’t cry much and he grows like cabbage. This
morning, by accident, I pinched him. All of a sudden he screemed out loud,
very sad, but luckily there was nothing showing. He can laugh so handsomely,
with his mouth wide open. He smiles to all of us. What he also likes very much
35
is to soar high up in the air, with his belly on Daddy’s hand. Then he is always
very sweet. We take turns changing him and I have bathed him already three
times now. That bathing, he loves that so much.
This afternoon we received a note from Aunt Amy. Apparently, they are
managing well. The camp kitchen is already starting up somewhat. In the
beginning everything around the kitchen took great effort. At Karees that is
still still terrible. That kitchen over there has a 1,600 people capacity, but there
are 4,600 people depending on it. Sometimes they serve a tiny little bit of
meat, an egg and as breakfast some sago porridge, looks just like starch. A
smuggled egg costs 7 cents and a pound of beef costs 90 cents. You know
who also participates in the smuggling? The “stick roses”! People there steal
each others baby food and fight for a dinner roll. But despite those quarrels
they can still laugh a lot.
The latest news: Bandoeng, Semarang and Soerabaja are being warned that
something is going to happen. Makassar must have been bombed severely.
In the “Tjahaja” was written that Ceram and Timor had been attacked. It looks
like the Americans, after all, care a bit about Indie.
On June the 20th people were allowed to bring packages to Soekamiskin
again. We took the occasion to send Uncle Bou the pictures from Aunt Amy
together with some pictures from Wouter. I am sure he has enjoyed them.
Mr. van Voren has just been picked-up and also Mrs. Mostert now has to go
into the camp. Now for the church we have only 2 speakers left: Mr.
Woortman and Ms. Olieslager, but we can still manage. We now all eat rice
with porridge and porridge with rice (together with some vegetables, of
course). On Saturday’s and Sunday’s we’ve got bread, but it’s grey and sticky.
Only on special holidays we got potatoes. One potato costs 1 cent. Both our
Japanese chickens and the Australors are doing well.
4-7-1943
Today is Sunday. Wouter was just baptized during the service by Mr.
Woortman. Wouter looked very fancy in his outfit. Roeli was allowed to carry
him inside. There were more babies waiting to be baptized and imagine: one
of them was called Anton Adolf Benito! It must be terrible to have a name like
that. Before the service started it was my turn to say the prayer. I was quite
nervous, but everything went well.
12-7-1943
Today Mr. Woortman was summoned to the “Stars of the Ocean” and he had
to stay there. That is both very sad for the Woortman’s, but also for our church
services. Now we’ve got almost nobody left. Dr. van Ouwenkerk has also
been taken suddenly to the Kempetai (Japanese Military Police). His wife and
children were released again soon, but had to report at the camp within the
next 24 hours. I sure hope that something similar is not going to happen to us.
Fortunately, we’ll not have to wait very long for peace anymore. The English
and the Americans have both landed in Sicily and in Russia the Russians are
making headway. Here the air raid protection excercises have resumed.
36
Those will last from July 16 till July 25. Bombardments are expected to occur
as well. An article in the “Tjahaja” said: Better be on the alert. By accident or
by coincidence an “orang moesoeh” (an enemy) could possibly be mixed in
among them. Not that we would have any objection against that. A while ago
we had an Australian army tent in our house from a such and such
bombardment unit. Daddy wanted it out of our house as soon as possible.
Our cat is crippled. Daddy has performed surgery on him. Probably he has
been bitten by another animal. One of our Japanese chickens is sick as well.
For the sick chicken we are now receiving good advice from Mrs. Van der
Pitten, a fugitive from Lembang.
Wouter is doing well. This afternoon, for the first time he was allowed to ride in
his cart, and he enjoyed it very much.
 

Previous • How it started 1941 • 1942 • 1943 • Tjihapit • Camp Solo • Semarang • Back to Holland