Written by G. Pauline Kok-Schurgers
From the book cover: “When the Dutch army surrenders to Japan in 1942, nine-year-old Sophia is imprisoned with her mother, younger brother, and two baby sisters in different concentration camps on Sumatra, Indonesia. Her father is sent to work on the Burma-Siam railroad, and the family doesn’t know if he is dead or alive. In this memoir, author G. Pauline Kok-Schurgers narrates a story of hate and torture, starvation and disease, and physical and psychological abuse experiences during her internment.
The Remains of War tells of Sofia’s toils through those years, taking care of her younger siblings and trying to prevent her mother from sinking deeper into depression. Sofia longs for her father’s return and her mother’s attention and love. The gruesome years in those camps, the loneliness, and the loss of dear friends transform Sofia into a silent, inward person, scarred for the rest of her life.
Written from the perspective of a young child, The Remains of War touches the core of human suffering caused by the senselessness and evil of war. The voices of all who died and were left behind without a name or a cross on their graves will be forever silent. This memoir testifies to their courage.”
I hate saying I enjoyed reading this book because it sounds bad to enjoy reading about other’s troubles, but I did enjoy it. I enjoyed it in the way I enjoyed reading Anne Frank’s Diary. I think people need to know these things that happened, good and bad. I was amazed that any of the prisoners survived the terrible living conditions and treatment they received. It hurt to read of what they went through. I had no idea there were other concentration camps during the war besides those in Europe. The ones ran by the Japanese in Indonesia were every bit as evil as those ran by Hitler and these Dutch settlers would have been exterminated if the war hadn’t ended when it did. This is definitely a book that everyone should read even if just to improve your knowledge of WWII. It was brave of Ms. Kok-Schurgers to write the book and relive all thos horrible memories.
I was provided with a copy of the book to read and review.