She was Dutch, born in Jakarta on Java 81 years ago, the child of a girl who fell in love with Ferdinand a married man, who was part Serbian, part Czechoslovakian, which was all the information she could find of her father when years later she searched, and searched. So, my Mum-in-law was heartbreakingly given up to be adopted by the Matron and her husband, of the nursing home where she was born. She must have led an idyllic life on the island, described as paradise on earth, with it's green rice-fields, distant mountains and tropical sunsets, that is until the second world war wrenched that life-style from them, flinging her and her adopted mother into one of the horrendous concentration camps formed by the Japanese invaders, whilst her adopted father and older brother were separated from them to be sent to one of the men's camps. The death rates in these camps was between 13 and 30% and as a consequence her adopted father sadly died there, only a few days before they were liberated.
She didn't speak a lot about her time there, and always answered our questions with,
"I can't remember a whole lot except to say, I remember the hunger. The terrible hunger - I was always hungry. And I can remember having to stand for long hours in the baking sun at roll-call. And I remember the Japanese."
She could not be in the same room or on the same side of the street with someone Japanese even after sixty years.