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Larry Martin's WW2 - Amy Bakker: Trapped behind the Bamboo Curtain

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Saturday, November 09, 2013, 10:00AM

 

Amy Bakker was born in 1920 in Java (now Indonesia) of Dutch and Javanese parents.  Around March of 1942 the Japanese attacked the island of Java.  Amy's husband Paul Bakker was taken prisoner and was sent to do slave labor on the Burma Thialand Railroad.  She didn't see Paul again for over 5 years.

 

After the war the Indonesians constructed a "Bamboo Curtain" across the island which kept Paul and Amy apart for another year and half after the war ended.  All the while, Amy was left alone with absolutely NO income to raise two daughters alone.  She was under the constant threat of rape or death.  She was also responsible for her younger brother and father.  The only clothes Amy had for over three years were two dresses.  After the war Paul and Amy were forced to teach the Indonesians how to run their rubber plantation, after the seven years they were kicked out of Indonesia and sent back to Holland with no money.  They came to America in about 1957.

 

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