Chaim Nussbaum- The Rabbi who escaped the Nazis and survived theBurma Railway

Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum was born in Lithuania, but  grew up in Scheveningen in the Netherlands.  His story in World War 2 is a remarkable, some people just have a very strong life force. After he got  married  he returned, together with his wife, to his country of origin, Lithuania. When the Nazis invaded Lithuania inContinue reading “Chaim Nussbaum- The Rabbi who escaped the Nazis and survived theBurma Railway”

Wim Kan’s World War 2 years.

Anyone living outside the Netherlands or the Flemish speaking part of Belgium will probably have never heard of Wim Kan. It is actually not that easy to describe what he was, his title was cabaretier ,which is French for Cabaret performer. But I think the term ‘stand up comedian’ would be more relevant nowadays, evenContinue reading “Wim Kan’s World War 2 years.”

Edda van Heemstra aka Audrey Hepburn

There is one myth about Audrey Hepburn I have to dispel, she was not British-Belgian. In Belgium as in many other European countries you don’t automatically obtain citizenship just because you’re born there. You get the nationality of your parents, usually the nationality of the Father or sometimes the Mother. Audrey was born on MayContinue reading “Edda van Heemstra aka Audrey Hepburn”

December 2 1975 Terrorist attacks in the Netherlands.

On December 2, 1975, 7 South Moluccan terrorists hijacked a train with about 50 passengers on board in open countryside near the village of Wijster, halfway between Hoogeveen and Beilen in the northern part of the Netherlands. The hijacking lasted for 12 days and 3 hostages, including the driver were killed. The terrorists were seekingContinue reading “December 2 1975 Terrorist attacks in the Netherlands.”

The Pig Basket atrocity

We all know about the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime and they are truly awful, mostly even hard to fathom, but we should never forget the crimes committed by the Japanese regime, very often they were just as evil if not worse.. One only had to look at the rape of Nanking or atContinue reading “The Pig Basket atrocity”

1740 Batavia massacre

In September 1740, as unrest rose among the Chinese population in Batavia(nowadays Jakarta in Indonesia), spurred by government repression and declining sugar prices, Governor-General Adriaan Valckenier declared that any uprising would be met with deadly force. On 7 October, hundreds of ethnic Chinese, many of them sugar mill workers, killed 50 Dutch soldiers, leading Dutch troops to confiscate all weapons from the ChineseContinue reading “1740 Batavia massacre”

Helen Lotichius-Sokolowski-Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies, the Japanese occupier put 100,000 Dutch people in camps. There were separate camps for prisoners of war, for men and boys ages ten years and older and for women and children. Helen Lotichius-Sokolowski was sent to the women’s camp Banjoe Biroe 10, near the city of Semarang onContinue reading “Helen Lotichius-Sokolowski-Stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

A treasure with so little worth but yet so much value.

These were once the toys, clothing and medicine of Hugo Steenmeijer, the child of a ddDutch father and an Indonesian mother. When Japan occupied the Dutch East Indies in 1942, his father was sent to work as a forced labourer on the Burma Railway. The Japanese imprisoned Europeans in internment camps. The 150,000 people nativeContinue reading “A treasure with so little worth but yet so much value.”

Hugo’s box

These were once the toys, clothing and medicine of Hugo Steenmeijer, the child of a Dutch father and an Indonesian mother. When Japan occupied the Dutch East Indies in 1942, his father was sent to work as a forced labourer on the Burma Railway.   The Japanese imprisoned Europeans in internment camps. The 150,000 peopleContinue reading “Hugo’s box”

The Jesselton revolt

Jesselton revolt was a multiethnic uprising on the occupied island of Borneo in October of 1943. The revolt was led by a guerrilla force mainly consisted of indigenous Suluk people and ethnic Chinese. The rebels were mainly armed with spears and Indonesian swords called parang, with little or no firearms. The Kinabalu Guerrillas were ledContinue reading “The Jesselton revolt”