Adieu Sumber Sewu

In the beginning of June my mother received the bad news that we had to leave Sumber Sewu on the 11th of June 1943. Even my mother had hoped that the war would be over before we had to leave our home at Sumber Sewu.
Now we were all very sad. We had to leave Cora behind, she would stay with Mrs. Sloekers until her parents could arrange something for her.
My mother, Cora and I took all the photo’s out of the albums. My mother had made four rucksacks from new tea-cloths and then she stuck the photo’s in between two tea cloth and so she sew them very tight, one couldn’t see the photo’s from the outside. We have kept them all right through the war, thanks to my mother!

The 11th came closer and closer, our luggage was packed, I was allowed to take my French and English schoolbook with me. We didn’t have place for more.
But the most horrible thing in my eyes was leaving my little white dog, Molly behind, she would miss me so badly, she was always around me. What on earth would happen to my sweet lovely doggy. And then my horse Trip who was always so happy when we went out together. I decided to give Trip to Karto’s son (the head forman), he would take Trip the day I had to leave Sumber Sewu. We had to leave all our animals behind, to me this was a real nightmare. But we were not allowed to take them with us.

We also had to leave Rasmina and Pa Min behind in Sumber Sewu, they were both very sad, we were leaving, and so they lost their job. Especially these two servants were very attached to my parents and the three of us. They were both no longer young, they didn’t know what to do. And once again Pa Min was very angry with the Japanese.

And all of a sudden it was the 11th of June 1943, we had to leave this wonderful plantation.
We had our last breakfast at Sumber Sewu. I kept on caressing my little dog Molly, she knew that I would leave her behind, I felt so terribly powerless and so sad. What was going to happen to my doggy?
Then a truck came , four mattresses, blankets and some pots and pans were loaded on the truck, and two cabin trunks with our clothing and a few other things.
My mother, Henny, Jansje and I put on our small rucksacks and the moment for saying goodbye had arrived. We embraced Cora, we said goodbye to Mrs.Sloekers and her son Jan who were taking our little dogs with them. But for how long?

And there he was, Karto my father’s loyal foreman, with his son and several other Indonesians from Sumber Sewu., they all came to say goodbye.
We had to leave our ever loyal Rasmina and Pa Min, they couldn’t say a word, they stood there crying. We were all crying.

My mother handed Karto the key of the front door, Rasmina had the other keys.
And then Karto stood at attention and called; “Hormat (respect) to Mrs and Mr Van Kampen”.
All the Indonesians stood there at attention for my mother. This honour towards my parents I shall never forget, it made a deep impression on me.

Thank you wonderful Karto, thank you lovely Rasmina, thank you brave Pa Min, thank you to all the Indonesians from the plantation Sumber Sewu.

Adieu beautiful Sumber Sewu, you were my paradise on earth!