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MEANT TO BE by Roslyn Franken
In this true story of might, miracles and triumph of the human spirit, author Roslyn Franken reveals the unforgettable true story of her parents, John and Sonja Franken, two unlikely survivors of World War II.
While John, a young Dutch naval recruit in the Dutch East Indies, is captured at sea by the Japanese and must fight for his life as a POW, Sonja is taken by the Nazis from her home in The Netherlands to endure the horrors of Auschwitz and a series of other Holocaust concentration camps.
Remarkably, John survives the Nagasaki atomic bomb, and miraculously, Sonja escapes death in the gas chambers on three separate occasions. After they suffer endless tests of faith and fortitude at the hands of their brutal captors, the war ends and the two are brought together in the most extraordinary of circumstances to rebuild their lives as one based on love, trust and commitment.
When Sonja is diagnosed with cancer and John suffers a massive heart attack, they triumph once again by calling on the same daring and determination that enabled them to survive the war. When diagnosed with cancer at 29, Roslyn turns to her parents’ examples of daring and determination as inspiration in her own fight to beat cancer and become a long-term survivor.
How did John and Sonja survive their captivity? How did they meet to find enduring love? What did Roslyn learn from her parents that can help us all live better lives? The answers to these questions and more are what make up this powerful story. MEANT TO BE will capture your heart, uplift your spirit and open your mind to new possibilities, leaving you both spellbound and wonderfully inspired with universal messages on how to live a better life and make our world a better place.
THE LITTLE CAPTIVE by Lise Kristensen
This is a devastating portrayal of a child’s loss of innocence to humiliating cruelty, a unique and heartbreaking memoir of a child’s imprisonment in a Japanese POW camp during World War II. ‘1942: It was towards the middle of the year when my friends started disappearing…’
On the island of Java, the stirrings of the Second World War in Europe and the angry-looking man called Hitler seem a million miles away from Norwegian-born Lise and her siblings. Then one day, her friends and neighbours start to disappear, and she begins to realise that they are not safe after all. Through ten-year-old eyes, Lise tells of her family’s two-year imprisonment in POW camps and the brutal treatment received at the hands of their Japanese captors.
For respite from the rat-infested floor of their shelter they adopt a blue door, which sits on concrete posts in the ground. They live on it during the day as young Lise plots ways to protect her family from disease, starvation and the desperate behaviour of fellow prisoners. This is a little girl’s heartbreaking tale of survival.
(Formerly published as THE BLUE DOOR)
FAITH BEHIND THE FENCES by Kelly Dispirito Taylor
The usually sunny skies of Sumatra are black with the acrid smoke of an oil field fire. Although barely a teenager, Hanny Londt-Shultz has strong suspicions that her geologist father may be responsible for this preemptive act of defiance against invaders who are sure to arrive within weeks. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the people of the Dutch East Indies know that the Japanese will not ignore the country’s rich natural resources. As Dutch citizens, Hanny’s family also understands that sooner or later the Japanese will come for them.
In the middle of an April night, the Londt-Shultz family is escorted from their privileged life and comfortable home and brusquely transported to internment camps—Mammy and the children to one, Pappy to another.
The Japanese labor camps are full of starvation and disease that are only intensified by a grinding daily routine of forced labor for young and old alike. But through the recognition of small miracles, the members of the Londt-Shultz family, though damaged, endure, and in spite of life-threatening challenges become saviors among their peers and courageous examples to their captors. You won’t forget this incredible and uplifting true story of the power of hope and faith in the face of insurmountable odds.