The Search for my Father, ex-POW 2226 Remembers
by Maarten van de Loo
Pub Date 15 Apr 2018
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The true story of the forgotten civilian POW’s in the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) during WWII.
Over 16.600 Dutch citizens perished and hundreds of children were orphaned when Japanese forces occupied the country in 1942. This is an important part of history which should be remembered.
As a child I was arrested by Japanese soldiers, together with my mother and brother whilst my father had been taken away earlier. Then, as a 12 year old I was separated from mother and had to fend for myself behind 12 ft-high barbed wire. Hungry and humiliated I was regarded deserving of high security imprisonment , joining adult men.
Hunger made me a scavenger, hunting rats, lizards and other wildlife to survive.
In the fifth POW camp I was emotionally reunited with my father and recounted with him the forced labour I had experienced earlier and the growing resentment towards our enemy.
Two atom bombs in 1945 , dropped by the Americans on Hiroshima and Nagasaki , abruptly ended the war, preventing the planned annihilation of all remaining POW’s by Japanese forces.
A long road to freedom began .