Book: We Survived
Author: Nell van de Graaff
Genre: Autobiography / War history
This book is the story of how Nell, with four young children including a baby, survived three and a half years as a Japanese POW.
She had no idea where she would end up or if she would see her husband again. Against terrible odds, she willed herself to survive for her loved ones.
It is a story of great courage and moving accounts of endurance and hardship.
In the book Nell also illustrates the amazing devotion and sacrifice of her Indonesian servants in keeping her and her children safe. After six months with the Indonesian villagers, she and her children are taken to a civilian women’s prison camp. They spend three years of hardship under the most appalling circumstances imaginable in the camp.
Her husband John was a Captain in the Dutch Army and was also taken prisoner and sent to Changi prison before being transferred to the Burma Railroad.
The joy of their reunification after the war was a graphic contrast to the depths of despair they both must have undergone. It is a tribute to the strength of the human spirit in the worst of times.
The story of how Nell and her family survived their time in the prison camp, is told without any bitterness or anger. It speaks only of the calm wisdom of a true survivor.
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