Thursday, March 1, 2012

Story 2: Australia

Over the month of March, I'll be jotting down a family story everyday as part of #b03

What my Opa told me:
I had five daughters when the soldiers started storing their guns in our home. My sons were all studying overseas at the time but the girls were at home and the soldiers were always around. It wasn’t safe. Your Oma and I met Opas and his wife Stella on a cruise ship in Hong Kong back in the 1950s. He was from Australia and had lost a brother in the war. We had a lot to talk about and kept up a correspondence for years after the cruise. There was always trouble but as Soeharto came to power, I told him what was happening to the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia. He was a Jew and told me about what happened to his people, he told me that he would help.

I'd seen what happened to my people in Europe, to those who didn't leave. There were all the same signs; "A Solution." I told your grandfather that I would help. We made plans, then all of a sudden the correspondence stopped. For months and months, I waited. Then one day I was in the courts when the clerk called me to tell me that there were two Chinese-Indonesian sisters crying and asking for me in the forecourt.

My aunties:
All your Opa told us was to ask for Mr Phillip. I can’t remember how but somehow we made it from the airport to the courts. We couldn’t speak much English, we were very confused. We asked for Mr Phillip. We were told that there might be many Mr Phillips. We cried and they started bringing out these men who each went by the common name of "Mr Phillip". Each one would come out and we'd stop crying, look up and NO! That man doesn't look like how Opa described Mr Phillip! This went on and on, man after man, we crid and cried; where would we go if we couldn’t find Mr Phillip? Then finally a man came out and he knew why we were there and he took us home to his wife, Stella. She was so good to us.

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