For this issue of The XPat Journal, we interviewed Marjolein Leopold-de Vos tot Nederveen Cappel, who was born in Indonesia and survived a Japanese internment camp during WWII as a little girl.
To Marjolein, who was little, life in the camp seemed the normal state of affairs. “People sometimes ask me, ‘What do you remember about living in the camp? Do you remember being hungry?’ No, I don’t; being hungry was normal. Receiving food after the capitulation, that I remember – for that was exceptional.”
Looking back on those years, and on all that has happened since, Marjolein comments “As I was only a little girl, everyone assumed that our stay in the camp never had an effect on me. No one in the family thought it was worth listening to me when I tried to talk about it. Adults have no idea of the impact a war has on children. I am almost 80 years old, and my memories of those years are still crystal-clear.”