The Dutch East Indies is lost forever

Japanese men and some Japanese women were put into camps, others were transported to Australia where they were interned until the end of the World War Two.

The 10th of January 1942, the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies. The newspapers brought us a lot of bad news. My father had long ago advised me to read some of the articles I liked from the “Malanger” and the “Javabode” starting since I was almost eleven years old, so now I could read all the bad news in the papers when I was at home in Sumber Sewu during the weekends.

Now and then we saw the Japanse planes flying over Java. I found it all strange and very unreal. The only Japanese I knew where those living in Malang, they were always very polite and friendly towards us. But from now on Japan was our enemy.

On Saturday the 14th of February 1942, my father came to fetch Henny and I from our boarding-school for the weekend. We went into town where we did some shopping for my mother and next we went to the Javasche Bank. Henny and I preferred to stay outside watching the people in the streets.
When my father came out of the bank, we heard and then saw Japanese planes coming over. This time they machine-gunned Malang. I saw two working men, who were hit, falling from the roof where they were busy. They were dead, we saw them laying in their blood on the street.
I had never seen dead people before, Henny and I were deeply shocked. Henny started crying, my father took us both quickly away from this very sad side.
We went to Toko Oen, but this time the three of us were not as happy as usual.
On Sunday the 15thof February we received the bad news over the radio that Singapore had fallen into Japanese hands. Indeed, that was a very sad Sunday. Who had ever thought that Singapore could fall? Were the Japanese so much stronger than the Allies?

And then there was the Battle of the Java Sea from 27 February to 1 March 1942.
“The Ruyter” and “the Java” were hit by Japanese torpedoes, they sunk with a huge loss of life. The Allies lost this battle.

The 8th of March 1942, the Dutch Army on Java surrendered to the Japanese Army.

The 9th of March, when we were in the recreation-room from our boarding-school while all the girls were looking through the windows into the streets, the Japanese entered Malang. My younger sister Henny and I stood there together.

They came on bicycles or were just walking. They looked terrible, all with some clothes attached at the back of their caps, they looked very strange to us. This was a type of Japanese we had never seen before. Much later I learnt that there were also many Koreans in the shock-troops in service of the Japanese Army.

The nuns, went to the chapel to pray for all those living in the Dutch East Indies.
But the Dutch East Indies is lost forever.