My Mother’s Story


I was born in October 26, 1938 in Malang, a provincial capital of East Java, Indonesia, at that time called the Dutch East Indies.

For mom & dad had the Dutch nationality, I too was and am still Dutch or Netherlands.

Dad was in the real estate business, had his different investments and also possessed several houses, he rented out.  We were at that time considered wealthy and like many others in those days, we too had our servants.

I have had a very nice childhood here and remembered the times we spent on vacations at the beach or in the mountains.

We also had a house in a mountain city which dad designed himself.  This house even had its own electricity from a small hydro plant.  Dad had a creek relocated and a small waterfall made, a distance away from the house, which was built on top of a hill.  Besides our house pets, we kept some pigs at the bottom of the hill.  I have often watched them play in the mud.

In 1941 my sister Margareth was born.  Having those servants, left mom much time to spend with us, dad too, when he was not on a business trip.

In 1942 when the Jap. occupied the island during World War #2, mom and we 2 children were put in one concentration camp and dad in another.  As it was a common situation in those camps, there was a shortage of food and medicines.  It was a very sad time for mom and dad when, because of the bad conditions, mom lost the baby boy she wanted so badly, by birth.  Dad had to bury my brother himself.  He had to receive the body outside the fence and was not allowed to see mom to comfort her.  After the Japanese capitulated, the Indonesians who revolted against the Dutch took over the camps and we were kept in it until 1947 when we were evacuated to Dutch territory.  We were first taken to Djakarta and then transported to Bandung.

We were finally together again, yet times were still tense as there was still fighting around the city.  Dad had a job as a government official and took care of rehabilitating and rebuilding the villages about.  And although being unarmed he had been taken under fire several times, we thanked the Lord every time he came home alive.  All through this time grandma and grandpa were living with us.

After Indonesia was given its independence by the U.N. we all left for Holland.  First, we were put in a location center where it was decided for us to live in Vlissingen.  Here, my youngest sister Ruth was born.

A few years later, we moved to Rotterdam.  I have very pleasant memories from Holland, we were at last in safety and although having lost all their possessions and because of dads reschooling, we sometimes had to live meagerly, yet mom and dad were more relaxed and after dad became electrician, live was getting better again.  Meanwhile Margareth and I finished the grade and high school, after finishing our typing school we got a job as clerk.  Grandpa died after our arrival in Holland and grandma stayed with us until she passed away.

Although not having any reasons but maybe the overpopulation and crowdedness, mom and dad decided to emigrate to the U.S.A. and we arrived here in 1959.

In the beginning, we had a hard time with the language and the only work dad could find, was janitors work.  The only job I could find was that as cleanster at the Lutheran Hospital.  Later on Margareth and I worked as factory workers with a packaging company.

Meanwhile I became acquainted with my husband, and we were engaged in 1959 and married in 1960.

More information could be obtained from mom and dad who live in Ft. Wayne, who incidentally were married 30 years last May 27, 1967.

One Comment

  1. […] You’ve probably read my father’s and mother’s stories here, and maybe the introduction to these autobiographies. I’m not one for big autobiographies of my own, but I’ll give you a little background in how I grew up being an Indo. […]

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