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My own father was seven, living in the Dutch East Indies, when he too, lost his father and was forced into a similar concentration camp. Like Jeremiah, he talks little about his boyhood and what he endured during the war. I wanted to understand the events that formed him, and my research of this relatively little known part of World War II inspired me to write a fictional memoir from the view point of a man my father’s age. I want to help others who want to preserve family memories, not necessarily for an audience beyond the family. My approach is that by focusing on learning how to write one chapter of a life story, a person will be equipped to write an entire memoir.
The Pacific War theatre serves as backdrop to the novel, and the bulk of the story takes place over the years that the main character is a boy, in one of the hundreds of concentration camps where the Japanese army held the Dutch prisoners. The conditions, as I discovered from reading accounts of survivors, were horrible and life threatening.
My father’s story is very similar to most of the other survivors. As the war continued, more and more families were crowded into the camps, and the Japanese commanders had a policy of starvation that some believe was deliberate. He was liberated into danger, for rebels seeking independence engaged in terrorist acts against the women and children; it wasn’t until Allied forces arrived on the island that he was finally safe. (My father, for example, remembers waking up to grenades tossed into his camp by rebels. ) My mother grew up in the Netherlands. Her most distinct memory is of the black boots of the German soldiers who took away her father for hiding a Jew in their home. She was five years old at the time.
I viewed Thief of Glory as a fictionalized memoir, and it was inspired by the stories of both my parents, stories that I didn’t want to disappear. Because of this, I want to help others who want to preserve family memories, not necessarily for an audience beyond the family. My approach is that by focusing on learning how to write one chapter of a life story, a person will be equipped to write an entire memoir.
A great read that challenges values and choices made in hard times.Published 1 day ago by George Stowe
This is a story of a young boy who was very street smart which served him well during his stay at a detainment camp run by the Japanese during WW II. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Monikle
I have to admit that I was not completely in love with this book, while the general idea of it was interesting. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Heather Manning
I was sitting at a quiet table in the back of the restaurant's dining room. My friend was sitting across from me, but I hardly noticed he was there. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Shelby Burk
“As seemingly inconsequential as a banyan tree taking root in the bark of an unsuspecting tree… became a journey,” says 81-year-old Jeremiah about his life’s path. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Waheed Rabbani
This was the first book I've ever read by Brouwer but I am an avid reader of WWII fiction so when I saw this book I knew I had to add it to my list of books to read. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Denise
In Thief of Glory author Sigmund Brouwer has created a fictional masterpiece based somewhat on the life of his father and his families time in a Japanese internment camp during... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. S. Watson
As a redemptive story of a flawed human being's life, I found this very refreshing as "Christian" literature. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cynthia Martin
Thief of Glory is set during WWII (quite possibly my favorite era) in the Dutch East Indies which I must admit is an area of the world I wasn't very familiar with in regards to the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Suzanne