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Author’s Corner Local Author Shines Light on the Shadows of Family Trauma Written By Jordan Rosenfeld T he September, 2017 publication of Janneke Jobsis- Brown’s fi rst novel, Following Shadows, was not only the culmination of ten years of dedicated research and writing, but the end to carrying a legacy of family secrets. Jobsis-Brown, a school therapist for children with special needs, and owner of a small private psychotherapy practice in Gilroy, has always understood that trauma leaves a trace on people of all ages, but she hadn’t put much thought into the effects of her family’s history on her own well-being until more recently. “For psychotherapy I’ve always specialized in trauma and found out I could be effective with that. It didn’t occur to me until the last decade how much intergenerational trauma I came from,” she told TODAY . During World War II, between 1941 and 1942, when the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Jobsis-Brown’s Dutch father, younger brother and sister, and parents were imprisoned in Japanese-run prison camps along with other Dutch and half-Indonesian Dutch people. “When the Japanese invaded Indonesia, they invaded with a message of Asia for Asians. First they rounded up all Dutch military,” she said. Then “[the Japanese] determined immediately that they would be isolating all Europeans.” That included tens of thousands of Dutch families, including women and children. Jobsis-Brown’s father was whisked out of his normal happy life around the age of twelve into the prison camp Tjideng, where he lived with his family for several years, enduring numerous hardships and tragedies that would affect the course of his life, and that of his family. When he reached his older teens, he was transported alone to a men and boys’ camp, “Because the Japanese considered boys ‘men’ at a certain age,” she said. His father died in the camps in April of 1945, less than four months before the Japanese surrendered. Japan was not part of the Geneva Convention at that time, which would eventually lay out stringent rules for the treat- ment of prisoners of war (POW). “Beatings could happen at random if you didn’t bow correctly,” she said. This was tough since the Dutch didn’t speak Japanese and often didn’t understand their captors. Food was often scarce, sickness ran gmh GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN rampant, and some of the most severe captors, named “Sonei,” would torment the prisoners psychologically as well as physically —such as bringing in a truckload of bread in front of starving prisoners, only to bury it in the dirt, uneaten. Many people died in these camps, either of starvation, beatings, or when allies bombed the camps because the Japanese refused to put up the white crosses that alerted the presence of prisoners on camp barracks, ships and train cars. When Jobsis-Brown’s father was fi nally liberated, he was sixteen years old, numb from trauma. His brother, her uncle, later told her that he regretted feeling nothing when reunited with his mother, which he did not know was a common trauma response. She fi \]\&\X[ۜY\X\][ۈ8'\X˸'HB[YHYHHXYو\\Z [H\]\YYY 8'^H]\Hܙ[^YH؈܈[\[ܙ[^YBYK8'HHZY H\و][XB\\[[ۈ܈\ۙ\و\\]\Y[›]XX]\][XKHH]ܚY\X\H[˜[\[܈YHXY[][YHY][Y][H\܈\\][ۈ][]ۈX\H\YX\و\YX][ۋ]\H]\]\ݙY^Z[]\[\[[\\\&\\HZY 8'^H[^Z[]\X]\HHY&]]^H]\܂X[HYX\و\YK'B]\\[Y]H\[XH\]Y\›ٝ[ܜYYX]X\[[K8'x&]H[^\YH^Y\ق\[X[[[ۈ[YHH[[\[HY&]]K'HH[ZYH\Hۙ\H\ۜH[YH[H[^[[]Y܈X[HYX\]H[\[Y[[وZ[8'\'H]\[][˂'Hٝ[Y&][^\[^HۈZ[[Y[Y[[X]\HH\]\H]X^H\[YۙBY 'H\H\X[Y[ܛۋHX\Y 8'B[X\\Y[H[\H[X]\ۂ[[[ۜ[\][\\K'B۝[YYۈYH ՑSPTPSPT M™Z^KBM