Authors Recall Wartime Internment and Following Repatriation

Share Article

Ralph Ockerse and Evelijn Blaney’s Xlibris release is a historical memoir of a family’s struggle during World War II

Xlibris, the self-publishing services provider, announced today the release of Ralph Ockerse and Evelijn Blaney’s Our Childhood in the Former Colonial Dutch East Indies. In this book, the authors—siblings—relive memories of their childhood in the 1930s in the former Dutch East Indies, while major events gradually led to the disintegration of its colonial establishment.

This recollection begins in 1942, when their family life came to an abrupt end with intense suffering, hunger, extreme privation, and despair under horrifically dehumanizing conditions they endured during their internment by the Japanese occupation forces in World War II. With their mother and two infant brothers, they were confined to unimaginable overcrowded Japanese prison camps at Kramat, Grogol, and Tjideng, totally isolated from the world outside, while Ralph at eleven also was transferred to an all-male camp at Tjimahi. They recalled how, overnight, the family lost everything they possessed, save for a few personal belongings. Early on, their father was captured and shipped out to Burma, forced to work on Japan’s infamously notorious railway project that cost the lives of tens of thousands prisoners of war, including his.

The story takes the reader on a journey of their lives and that of their family, first as they memorably grew up on the islands of Pulau Kisar, Sumatera, and Java, on to their sequent struggle for survival inside the Japanese concentration camps and repatriation in 1946 to the Netherlands.

For more information on Our Childhood in the Former Colonial Dutch East Indies, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Ralph Ockerse was born in Brussels during his father’s furlough in Belgium and moved to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in his first year. After World War II, he first lived in the Netherlands and immigrated to the United States in 1957. He holds a PhD degree in plant physiology and biochemistry from Yale University and currently is professor emeritus of biology at Indiana University.

Evelijn “Meis” Blaney née Ockerse was born in Ambon, Indonesia. After the war, she lived in the Netherlands, where she received her nursing diploma A and postgraduate certification in obstetrics from St. Elisabeth’s Gasthuis at Haarlem. She immigrated to the United States in 1958 and earned her Board Certifications as a registered nurse and operating supervisor. She retired as case manager for Home Health Care nursing practice.

Our Childhood in the Former Colonial Dutch East Indies * by Ralph Ockerse and Evelijn Blaney
Recollections before and during Our Wartime Internment by the Japanese
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 245 pages; 978-1-4568-8971-5
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 245 pages; 978-1-4568-8972-2
eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4568-8973-9

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
Author Solutions, Inc.
(888) 795-4274 7879
Email >
Visit website