A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-111

Federal and State Taxes approved!

After one hiccup, when I could not e-file because they said there was one more update available, I could file both taxes. The State was approved on the same day and the Federal a day later. Mission accomplished – early!

The War is raging on.

How is it possible that anyone can destroy a whole country and kill thousands of innocent people without being stopped? If I was in charge of the United States and NATO, I would close the air space over Ukraine, like President Zelenskyy is begging us to do. They are expecting an all-out Third World War? For all the people involved, this IS an all-out Third World War. They are powerless as long as Russia can bomb the country from the air. Negotiations have proven to be useless. It does not matter to Putin that he is accused of War Crimes. He is, in his isolated quarters, invincible. But I am not in charge, and that’s good!

L’Histoire se Répète 

You know, seventy-seven years ago, I was a refugee, just like these thousands, together with my mother and little sister. We had survived four years of bombardments, killings, starvation, diseases and punishments. Four years! The Japanese had finally surrendered. But we were not safe. Another war broke out, with young freedom fighters terrorizing the land, killing thousands.

I am quoting some pages from my book Rising from the Shadow of the Sun, based on my mother’s secret journal:

“In the Salvation Army Hospital the ambulatory patients were allowed to go outside during the day, but had to be in bed at night by nine o’clock. One night a few days after my visit to the girls, we heard loud screaming outside. It was coming closer—alarmingly closer. We sat up straight in our beds and saw, dimly lit by the outside lights, a group of shouting natives wildly gesticulating and running around our pavilion. They were waving bamboe roentjings, bamboo sticks with sharply whetted points dipped into a strong poison, over their heads. Stabbed in the stomach with one, their victim would die a very painful death.
We knew that the natives, especially the groups of extremists, freed from the colonial yoke (although it hadn’t been all that bad), now considered us their enemies. We weren’t safe anymore, and were afraid that while they kept yelling and running around our pavilion, they might at any moment come storming in to kill us all. A thought flashed through my mind: Will I die here, now? So close to our reunion? And what about the children? One flash, one brief moment, I was so scared. Then suddenly the yelling stopped.

The door opened and in came the director of the hospital in her white uniform with red epaulets. She said, “Don’t be afraid, ladies. I talked to our gardener, who is with them, and they will go away.” What a relief. We didn’t sleep too soundly, however, because we understood how dangerous the situation was for us all. The director had been able, by her authority, to calm down the wild group of natives for the moment. This time. There was no Dutch government to take charge of the situation. There was no government at all; it was chaos, dangerous for the Dutch, and I was no longer in Heaven. Two days later, the patients from the camps were called together and a British officer told us the situation in Semarang had become extremely dangerous for us. We had to be evacuated to Batavia that same day! My first question was, “What about the children?” I was assured that they would be brought to the harbor too. I collected the few possessions I had. We were not allowed to take a suitcase; only very small purses or parcels were allowed. The officer who took us to a waiting truck seemed nervous and in a hurry. His nervousness was not without reason, we heard later, since he knew what had happened in Soerabaja under the same circumstances. We got in quickly. With Ghurkas, their rifles ready, in all four corners of the truck, we drove through the city to the harbor at full speed. We were in British hands, protected during that dangerous trip by Ghurkas. They were strong fighters from Nepal, dark-skinned, and wearing turbans, who formed a courageous and useful division of the British army. We safely reached the harbor district after our wild drive through town. Not until later did we hear about the bloody massacre in Soerabaja, and only then did we understand the nervousness, the rush, and the fast ride. We could have been stopped and killed by extremists.

At the harbor a large hangar with mattresses on the floor served as our shelter for the night. We would not be leaving until the next day. Going inside, my legs still swollen from edema, I stumbled and fell over a threshold less than an inch high. A nurse treated the wound with a yellow powder, which was new to me: sulfa powder. Evening came and the children had not yet arrived. We all had mosquito nets over our mattresses on the floor and slept soundly, exhausted after the commotion of the day. The next morning I stood on the lookout for my children, determined not to leave until they arrived. Finally, by noon, a truck full of children appeared. There they were, holding hands; in their other hand their few little possessions. Oh, the joy of seeing each other again! Preparations for departure were in full swing and I sat the girls down for a moment on a suitcase. An Englishman with a camera filmed them: two little war victims.”

Do you see the resemblance with the war that is raging today? I was a little girl, sitting on a suitcase with my little sister, waiting to get on board of a ship, being filmed by an Englishman with a camera. Like CNN does in Ukraine today.

In World War Two, the Japanese wanted to conquer Southeast Asia. When the war lasted too long, they came with a liquidation plan.

Among the papers that survived the fire at the headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army in Taiwan, set intentionally at the time of surrender in order to destroy all evidence, top military secret documents were found…. One, designated as Document No 2710, certified as “Exhibit O”, was the Order to kill all the POWs, commencing in September 1945. This Order was given to the Japanese Army on August 1, 1944, a year before the end of the war! ‘to…annihilate them all and not to leave any traces.'”

Had the bombs not been dropped on Japan in August 1945, I would not have been here. The Japanese planned to kill men, women and children incarcerated on the densely populated Island of Java by putting poison in the rice: A method that would not leave any traces. Think about it. Poison in the rice. It would not leave any traces.

Support Ukraine 

The only thing I can do for the war in Ukraine except pray for a quick ending is financially support these heroic people, fighting for the land that they love. And I have. Through the INC, the International Rescue Committee. https://www.rescue.org. There are several other venues through which to give. Won’t you please join me? Every amount helps. Think of all the blessings we have and of the situation these millions of refugees are in: scared to death, homeless and powerless, without possessions, other than what they could carry.

May the war end soon and may you be safe.

Until next time,










1 thought on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-111”

  1. Ronnie you are so right. I also was thinking of our time DEI during the war and bersiap time. Het is vreselijk what is happening now in the Ukraine.🙏🙏🙏and donations
    Samaritan Purse


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