The Life of a Boy Born in Indonesia


This is a true story about a young boy growing up in Indonesia during the Japanese invasion in the 1940s. Indonesia was formerly known as the Dutch East Indies and had been colonized by the Dutch beginning in the 1800s. By 1942, the Japanese invaded Indonesia in an effort to take over the Dutch East Indies government and to gain control of the Asian economy and the rich natural resources. This impacted indigenous families to the extreme of being stripped of their homes, businesses, societal rankings, and freedom.

As a young man, René became a delivery driver during WWII when the United States declared war in the Pacific after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He delivered livestock, produce, tires, and anything being bought and sold. It was a job that nearly no one would consider, not if they wanted to spare their life. His bravery kept him alive and unharmed, delivering far distances and in the crossfire of battling extremists.

René met his wife, a stewardess for Garuda Airlines, while delivering goods from the airport. They later married, and had two daughters before emigrating to Holland in 1955. René rebuilt their life in Holland becoming a heavy industrial machine operator. He and his wife expanded their family, and eventually left Holland for the United States in 1961 in search of a better life. They spent two years in California, and eventually landed in Oregon in 1963 where they have lived since.


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