Lost Childhood: My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II

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Lost Childhood takes place in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) just a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese invade the island of Java, where four-year-old Annelexa and her family are living. They along with some 100,000 other Dutch residents are rounded up with only the barest of belongings and shipped off to internment camps where she will spend the next three-and-a half years of her life.Readers learn about the tactics the Japanese use to dehumanize the Dutch prisoners, about the daily routine, the food, sleeping and sanitary conditions, and about her near-death bout with malaria. They will share some of the horrific things she witnessed - the extraction of parasitic worms from a prisoner's throat, the agonizing death of two women who as punishment for breaking a rule are tied to poles in the hot sun with out food or water, and stacks of dead bodies being piled on a truck and hauled away. Tensions continue after liberation as civil war in Indonesia forces the family to flee first to Holland and then to the United States where she, her mother, and brother try to pick up the pieces of their lives.