Better Health

Recovering from Imprisonment

“The ‘bomb’ enabled me to welcome freedom but also better health.”

“When we heard that we were free, the girls (Tonneke and Monica) and I went to a kind of motel in Ambarawa. I made sure that we had lots of fruit, tomatoes and liver. Tonneke was my nurse when malaria got to me. She wrapped me up, gave me things to drink and watched her little sister, Monica. A malaria attack didn’t last long thank goodness.” We could take the Red Cross train (from Ambarawa)…because we could prove that we had family there. The ‘family’ was my aunt (married to my mother’s brother)...Because of their ‘color’ they could take over the Malang bakery and lunchroom belonging to my uncle.”

Editor’s Note: Anna’s aunt was Indonesian and her cousins were half Indonesian. So they had darker skin than the Dutch. Indonesians were not considered enemies of Imperial Japan. However, the Indonesian government in 1950 estimated that four million Indonesians died during World War II mostly from starvation. During the Japanese occupation, some Indonesians were executed or died in captivity while interned in camps. 

Indonesian nationalists were trained by the Japanese military and then created their own civil militia. After the war, these nationalists decided to reject the rule of the Dutch Kingdom. On August 17, 1945, the nationalist party of Indonesia declared that they were an independent republic. 

An Indonesian revolution against the Dutch occurred after the end of World War 2. Indonesia eventually gained their sovereignty from the Netherlands.