Two Slices of Bread
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.
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.