Two slices of bread by Ingrid Coles


Interned in a Japanese Concentration Camp, Evacuated to the Netherlands, Then Finding Peace at Last at the Bottom of the World.

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You will be moved beyond words, even to tears–a true story of heartaches and triumphs…

As a young child in Holland, Ingrid’s uncle offered her another slice of bread. “Two slices of bread?”she asked, never having been allowed that many before! Her memory jumped to the starvation and cruelty her family had experienced at the hands of extremely cruel captors.

Ingrid Coles was born in Java, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on 28 November 1942, during the Japanese occupation of WWII. Three months after her birth, she and her family were incarcerated in prisoner-of-war camps. Her father died, aged 43, in a prison camp. Her 6-year-old brother died of starvation and pneumonia en route
to Holland, when the family was evacuated during the Indonesian War of Independence.

Life changed drastically in the Netherlands for Ingrid and her three siblings, who had to learn how to cope with their mother’s post-traumatic stress and their own war-time experiences.

However, Ingrid, now orphaned aged 16 in 1958, had a clear idea of her future calling and emigrated to New Zealand to begin nursing training six months later. This memoir traces Ingrid’s background and growing-up years, revealing the secret of her successful life in her country of adoption; and how she overcame the hurts and hurdles of the past–even to how she learned to forgive her oppressors.


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