SONG OF SURVIVAL: WOMEN INTERNED
"A moving account" - SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
"Although nonfiction, this book reads like an adventure novel, an extraordinary memoir." - SMALL PRESS
"Her account grips the reader from the very first pages." - LIBRARY JOURNAL
"The story is about extraordinary women whose lives still influence us." - GLENN CLOSE
Thrown into the whirlwind of dark forces unleashed with the onset of World War II, a young woman, Helen Colijn, her sisters and her father flee the oncoming Japanese army...
Helen Colijn's account of her wartime experiences is a window into a largely overlooked dimension of World War Il--the imprisonment of women and children in Southeast Asia by the Japanese and how these prisoners of war responded to their dire circumstances. The conditions were harsh, terrible. Food was scarce, medicine unavailable. Held in captivity for three-and-a-half years, more than a third of the women in Helen's camp died of disease or starvation. Yet their courage, faith, resiliency, ingenuity, and camaraderie provide us with enduring lessons on living. Though the prisoners had no musical instruments, they had their voices, and from memory scored classical works for symphony and piano. The music that helped sustain them while in captivity is a lasting and precious gift of these women to a world that has witnessed far too much war.
Helen Colijn is the author of two books on Holland (Of Dutch Ways and The Backroads of Holland) and was co-producer of the documentary film Song of Survival.