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Camp Book Japanese invasion

  How it began    December 8, 1941

Bandoeng 1941
December 8, 1941:
War! We are at war with Japan! Aweful!
I had slept in and I heard the message from Mom only at eight o’clock.
Although I was expecting it, it still shocked me. This morning, the Governor-
General held a speech: Japan had bombed Manilla and had invaded
Thailand. This meant war with the entire A.B.C.D. – front. We covered the
windows with sheets of paper and covered those further with dark blue paper.
Tonight everything here was blacked-out. Many more preventive measures
were taken. All Japanese nationals were taken into internment. The
mobilisation had started in the outer provinces and was expected to arrive
here soon too.
December 9, 1941:
Attacks to the Hawaiian Islands and also on Guam. Today, mobilisation was
declared here also. We had our last day in school and we all helped to empty
the classrooms. I registered today as a volunteer for the L.B.D. (Air Defence
Service) and became reserve telephonist. (At Sector 8 at the Grote Postweg)
(= Large Mailroad).
Daddy could come home for a minute. That was awesome. He had enjoyed a
good life as a reserve Medical Officer at the Air force in Kalidjati. There he
had also received our Sinterklaas (=Santa Claus) costume. This evening
everything was blacked-out again.
December 10, 1941:
Our school is closed. It will probably turn into a Hospital. Those morons in
Thailand have surrendered. Malakka was attacked and bombs were dropped
on Singapore. The Germans say that this winter they will not attack Moscow
anymore. Is that a lie or the truth? They have lost already quite some soldiers
in Russia. Both Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana have encouraged us
with their speeches over the radio.
December 11, 1941:
Today, everything went as usual. From 1 PM till 3 PM I had my shift at the
LBD. I did almost nothing. From time to time when the telephone rang, Judith
or I answered the call. Judith is a kind, but also a bit bossy Native Indian
Child. Just when we wanted to go home, we heard the wailing of the siren. We
were scared for a minute, but calmed down quickly, because nothing
happened. All traffic stopped in a heart beat, except the occasional army
truck, whether or not hauling air defence artillery. Two aircraft patrolled over
the city. Soon another siren wailed: All clear!

December 12, 1941:
Two big battleships from the British Navy: the “Prince of Wales” and the
“Repulse” have been sunk yesterday by the Japs close to Singapore.
This morning my shift at the LBD was from 9 AM till 11 Am. Afterwards we
had to go to the hospital to get a Typhus-Cholera shot. What did I hate that!
Little Paul’s legs were shaking. At home we had to look for him everywhere for
a while, because he didn’t want to get a shot. Therefore he hid behind the rain
water keg. He had the first turn, which happened with a lot of screeming. Then
I sat down on the bench. I put my tongue between my teeth, to bite on if
necessary, but it was not as scary as I thought.
Both Roeli and Heleen came next, and both held on to Mom’s hand. I became
curious as to how the needle was inserted, but I could not watch very long
before I fainted against Roeli. At first, Roeli thought I was joking, but soon
discouvered it was for real. They laid me down on top of the operation table
and soon I was back again. The nurse gave me some wine and that made me
feel better right away. Because there was no further concern, I was allowed to
bike home by myself.
We may be getting soldiers to be quartered at our home.
December 12, 1941:
No soldier has arrived yet. Mom left for the day with Heleen and Friso for
Kalidjati to bring Daddy some stuff. Last night the siren went off again. What
sounded that scary and hollow! It turned out to be a drill again, but for a good
reason. Nobody told me what that purpose was, though. I had my shift with
the LBD from 7 AM till 9 AM, but not one call came through. Now, a Japanese
battleship had been hit. America has now joined the war against both
Germany and Italy too.


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