Two Slices of Bread: Interned in a Japanese concentration camp-then finding peace at last... at the bottom of the world.
Interned in a Japanese concentration camp-then finding peace at last... at the bottom of the world. You will be moved beyond words, even to tears-a true story of heartaches and triumphs. This memoir traces Ingrid's background and growing-up years, revealing the secret of her succ... read full description below.
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||True Military / Combat Stories
Description of this Book
Interned in a Japanese concentration camp-then finding peace at last... at the bottom of the world. You will be moved beyond words, even to tears-a true story of heartaches and triumphs.
As a young child in Holland, Ingrid's uncle offered her another slice of bread. "Two slices of bread?" she asked, never having been allowed that many before! Her memory jumped to the starvation and cruelty her family had experienced at the hands of extremely cruel captors.
Ingrid Coles was born in Java, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on 28 November 1942, during the Japanese occupation of WWII. Three months after her birth, she and her family were incarcerated in prisoner-of-war camps. Her father died, aged 43, in a prison camp. Her 6-year old brother died of starvation and pneumonia en route to Holland, when the family was evacuated during the Indonesian War of Independence.
Life changed drastically in the Netherlands for Ingrid and her three siblings, who had to learn how to cope with their mother's post-traumatic stress and their own war-time experiences.
However, Ingrid, now orphaned aged 16 in 1958, had a clear idea of her future calling and emigrated to New Zealand to begin nursing training. This memoir traces Ingrid's background and growing-up years, revealing the secret of her successful life in her country of adoption (New Zealand); and how she overcame the hurts and hurdles of the past-even to how she learned to forgive her oppressors.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
Short-listed for Nielsen Top 20 Indie Bestseller 2018
||As an ex-prisoner-of-war during the Japanese occupation of the Netherland's East Indies, aged 16, in men's camps in Pekalongan and Tjimahi, Java, I can honestly say that this book describes and illustrates the hardship and horror of that period (early 1942 to August 1945), which we all endured. A story worth reading. - Hans van Leuven born 02/07/1926, Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia. Retired architect I read this book with pleasure and appreciate the way Ingrid writes about her experiences in Japanese Prison camps and her journey through life afterward. Her flowing style of writing, with sensitivity, tells an interesting story which gives a genuine account at the same time. A captivating book. -Jaap Saathof, ex-prisoner-of-war in Java, retired orchardist, Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand All immigrants have their own personal stories about their life's journey which brought them to the country they now call home. These stories are worth re-telling and preserving, not only as part of the common heritage of the nation they now belong to, but also as part of the heritage and culture of their immigrant community. Such retelling and preserving is one of the objectives of Oranjehof the Dutch Connection, the Dutch national museum of New Zealand. It is part of the multicultural community centre Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, which was ceremoniously opened on 18 November 2017 in the presence of several Government Ministers and a large number of members of the Dutch community of New Zealand. First-hand stories make the past come alive in the imagination of the listener and reader. Two Slices of Bread is an excellent example of this. It describes and evokes not only the life of its author, Ingrid Coles n e Brandt, but especially her relatives come to life as well, such as Ingrid's sister Juliana and her husband Rob, who emigrated to New Zealand in 1951, eight years before Ingrid herself would arrive there--to be welcomed by her sister and brother-in-law. But before Ingrid arrived in Aotearoa, she and her family had to pass through several difficult stages: the Second World War and imprisonment in Japanese camps; the post-war violence between Indonesian nationalists and Europeans; having to adapt to the strange country which was the Netherlands. Ingrid deals extensively with her time in the Netherlands in the decade and a half after the Second World War. This makes this memoir even more interesting and relevant to read for younger generations of Dutch Kiwis: they can get to know the Netherlands as it was during the era when their opa and oma decided to seek a new life in New Zealand. I read certain chapters with a particular emotion. My mother and her family went through similar experiences: the war, the camp, the turmoil and fear so vividly described in Ingrid's book. Fortunately, all survived and two of my mother's five sisters immigrated to Australia. Only twice would they see my mother and the rest of the family again, who settled back in the Netherlands. Their stories are also part of the legacy Dutch immigrants have left to their community and to their new countries. Thank you, Ingrid, for sharing your life and Two Slices of Bread with us! - Rob Zaagman, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to New Zealand
Ingrid Coles, wife, mother, grandmother of ten, retired nurse and hobby gardener, may seem to be an ordinary person, but appearances can be deceiving. Born in Java, Indonesia, in November 1942 she and her family endured imprisonment by the Japanese invaders for almost three years. At liberation from the Japanese, in August 1945, they then faced the Indonesian War of Independence until May 1946, when it became so dangerous for civilians that they had to be evacuated to their motherland, the Netherlands. But, initially, Holland was no picnic either! Ingrid writes about, her family's war experiences, her childhood, her by now widowed mother's struggles to make ends meet on a small widow's pension and the unwelcome response because of their Asian connection. All this made difficult through having to cope as a family when they were all emotionally scarred as a result of their wartime trauma. However, Ingrid, is not daunted by adversity. Orphaned when barely 16, she has a clear idea of her future calling and emigrates New Zealand to begin nursing training four months later. Ingrid traces her background and growing up years and reveals the secret of her successful time in her country of adoption and how she overcomes the hurts and hurdles of the past.