I am of Dutch descent and was born in 1942 in Kare-es, an interneecamp in Bandung on Java, in Indonesia, then the Dutch Indies. Hence my nickname 'anak bandung', i.e. 'child from Bandung'.
Later, my mother, Nel Halberstadt-Elfring, and I were put on transport to camp Kota Paris near what is now Bogor, and finally were sent to the work camp Kampong Makassar near Batavia (now Jakarta).
We were repatriated late December 1945 and arrived in Holland in January 1946. I grew up and lived there until I met my British husband in 1966. We married, had two daughters and settled down in Hertfordshire, where we still live.
Only recently I have come across my mother's memories, which include her war experiences. I was too young to remember any of it myself.
I am glad to have the opportunity to share these now with others, as I believe that the suffering of the women internees by the hands of the Japanese during WWII has been mainly ignored in the Netherlands as well as in Britain.
The frequent, and ignorant comment was: 'well, at least you were nice and warm there, so it can't have been that bad. We, however....'This was then followed by how bad it had been for them.
Well, no comment!
Now finally this opportunity has arisen to tell her story, people will hopefully be prepared to listen and understand.
This is going to be Nel's story and in essence it is mine too