Long Way Back to the River Kwai: Memories of World War II

Long Way Back to the River Kwai: Memories of World War II

by Loet Velmans

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Loet Velmans was seventeen when the Germans invaded Holland. He and his family fled to London on the Dutch Coast Guard cutter Seaman’s Hope and then sailed to the Dutch East Indies—now Indonesia—where he joined the Dutch army. In March 1942, the Japanese invaded the archipelago and made prisoners of the Dutch soldiers. For the next three and a half years Velmans and his fellow POWs toiled in slave labor camps, building a railroad through the dense jungle on the Burmese-Thailand border so the Japanese could invade India. Some 200,000 POWs and slave laborers died building this Death Railway. Velmans, though suffering from malaria, dysentery, malnutrition, and unspeakable mistreatment, never gave up hope. Fifty-seven years later he returned to revisit the place where he should have died and where he had buried his closest friend. From that emotional visit sprung this stunning memoir.

Long Way Back to the River Kwai is a simply told but searing memoir of World War II—a testimonial to one man’s indomitable will to live that will take its place beside the Diary of Ann Frank, Bridge over the River Kwai, and Edith’s Story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628721652
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 723,767
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Loet Velmans came to America after World War II, where he worked for and became CEO of public relations firm Hill and Knowlton. His wife, Edith Velmans, is the acclaimed author of Edith’s Story. They divide their time between New York City and Sheffield, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Maps vi

Reflections 1

Prologue 7

1 Boyhood 21

2 Escape 37

3 Refuge 51

4 Prison 81

5 Death Camp 129

6 Recovery 167

7 Renascence 187

Epilogue 211

Acknowledgments 235

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Long Way Back to the River Kwai: Memories of World War II 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the book Long Way Back to the River Kwai: Memories of World War II. Loet Velmans is an excellent author. He vividly describes life as Prisoner of War. It is an awe-inspiring book filled with hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took B&N over a month to ship