Surviving Hell: A Flashback to the Living Conditions of Women and Children Incarcerated by the Japanese during WW II in the Pacific.
Japanese Concentration Camps in WWII
On August 15, 2013 the World Commemorated the 68th Anniversary of the Japanese Surrender, and the End of the War in the Pacific. Without a Doubt, 100 Million Troops and Over 70 Million Casualties Make World War Two the Deadliest Conflict in Human History. Ronny Herman de Jong, in Her Inspirational Memoir “Rising From the Shadow of the Sun”, Gives an Eye-witness Account of the Harrowing Years in Captivity within Japanese Concentration Camps and the Life that Followed Without Fear, Hunger and Death.
Sowing death and destruction through biological warfare and other means, brutally killing men, women and children by the thousands, the Japanese Imperial Army marched south on its way to take the monopoly in Southeast Asia. Countless bloody battles lost and won ultimately led to the Japanese surrender. We read about it in our History books and in the memoirs of heroes who survived.
Living in Japanese Concentration Camps
But the war was not only fought on the battlefields, on the oceans and in the air. Civilians, ordinary men, women and children suffered as much from the brutal treatment by the Japanese while incarcerated in death camps without the possibility of escape, bereft of all their possessions except what they could carry in one little suitcase. Little has been written about the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies and the terrible conditions in the POW camps they established there.
WW2 Japanese POW Camps
Rape, beatings, torture and starvation brought despair, hunger and death, and currently, more than 68 years after the end of the War, not many survivors of that generation are left. Only children who survived can tell the story of the Asian Holocaust – that is, if they remember. One such child, Ronny Herman, three years old when the Japanese conquered the island where she lived, has told the story of her little family, a story similar to thousands of others, in her memoir.
“Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy” brings the horror and losses of World War II on Java off the battlefields and military POW camps and into the world of Ronny Herman, who is barely three years old in 1942 and force her family into prison camps. Ronny’s father Fokko, a pilot with the Dutch Naval Air Force, escapes with his squadron hours before the Japanese submarines encircle the island. Working under British command in Sri Lanka, Fokko’s story is chronicled along the same timeline as that of his wife and children. He does not know anything about their fate for almost four years.
Surviving the Concentration Camps and saving the lives of her little girls
In her diary, smuggled through the Japanese concentration camps at the risk of being kille had it been detected, Ronny’s mother Netty gives an eye-witness account of the Japanese invasion and the lives of women and children incarcerated under the brutal regime of the Japanese. She describes the years of physical and psychological suffering, but also the hope, faith, solidarity and resilience that remain alive among the imprisoned women, who are desperately trying to survive and protect the lives of their children.
.[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”01k6q9MvSpM” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”250″ trthumbnailheight=”200″ trpopupwidth=”500″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”0″ trytcontrols=”0″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”0″]In her memoir “Rising from the Shadow of the Sun” the author blends the story from her mother’s camp diary with that of her father who escaped imprisonment and her own “roller coaster” life after the camps, ending with the in the year 2000 declassified Japanese War Crimes Files, specifying the order to kill all POWs commencing in September 1945. The Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945. But the Japanese Government has never offered an official apology for the crimes committed and has never adequately compensated the victims or their survivors.
When the war was over, a second war ensued in the Dutch East Indies: the Bersiap. The nationalists, led by R. Soekarno fought for their independence from the Dutch for another four years, killing Caucasians and Indos with weapons the Japanese had provided.
Ronny Herman de Jong’s inspirational memoir “Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy” provides significant information about the victims of a lesser-known part of the War in the Pacific.
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There is no doubt about it, many atrocities took place in Japanese concentration camps and it is not often that someone who has experienced life in a Japanese POW camp comes forward to speak candidly about the cruelties she was subjected to. An important fact to remember however is that there is a major difference between the Japanese concentration camps (in Southeast Asia) and the Japanese detention camps (in the United States). Victims of WWII detention camps, although they were relocated and lost many possessions, received an official apology from President George Bush and $20,000 each from the U.S. Government.