Ausust 15, 1945
Japan formerly surrendered
Join in this stark celebration of the beginning of the 66th year to commemorate the liberation of Japanese Concentration Camps in the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftvl2Utvkxo
Don’t let the empty screen bewilder you, by the end of the day wreaths from other countries (including Japan), organizations, flowers from survivors, from survivors’ families and the power of personal stories will fill the day and the scene.
On this day, in1945, and the days and weeks to follow all Japanese camp inmates, slave laborers, POW’s and civlians had a renewed hope to survive.
Like all of life, liberation was not an event but a process. The liberation process proved to be slow and fragile, many still died after liberation.
My father’s family was told of liberation at camps Tjiapit and Tjideng after Augsut 15, 2011.
My father, Kess Jobsis begain his journey after a short delay, to find family, a dangerous journey for a scare-crow thin fifteen year old boy — as there was no allied forces presence yet to establish safety. Fortunately they were reunited and left for the Netherlands December 1945. Like so many, they never saw their home (on Billeton island) again.
Most survivors would never go “home” again to homes in the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia. Instead they established homes, usually with nothing but the few items they left the camps with. These uprooted homes were formed in The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia (and for some eventually Canada, America and other countries).
Please join me in celebrating this portion of our Greatest Generation, and the generations since.
(not every child in this photo survived. The children include most likely Herman Jobsis, Kees Jobsis and Mechtelien Jobsis, who all thankfully did survive, along with their older brother Gerrit Jobsis who almost starved during Nazi occupation in the Netherlands)