Australian news

Recently we received two mails from Australia: first from mrs Yvonne McLoughlin, saying that she found the portrait of her father-in-law George James McLoughlin, painted by Henk Brouwer in September 1945 (photo left). A few days later Jennie Perry surprised us with the Henk Brouwer-portrait of Ian Perry, signed 24 October 1944 (photo right). Great additions to our exhibition, that will be opened 9 August at Museum Bronbeek, Arnhem! See the Portrait Gallery for their stories.

   

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Unexpected discovery of Brouwer painting!

Our search for the portraits that Henk Brouwer made in Changi, put us in contact with people from all over the world. This time the daughter of Harry Silman, one of Brouwers fellow inmates in Changi, mailed us from England, saying that she still has a painting that Henk Brouwer gave her father right after liberation, a few days before they were released from Changi Jail. ‘It is a remarkable painting, full of symbolism,’ she says. ‘It shows the sick and injured POWs in Changi; whether you lived or died was a game of chance. It also symbolizes the medical help that my father, who was a docter, tried to give. After liberation the survivors walk out of Changi (top right) on a path made by the doctor’s
(?) arm, towards the setting sun.’ A great discovery of a meaningful piece of art!

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What a way to start the new year!

Good news about Henk Brouwers artwork! Thanks to the good observation of Museum Bronbeek 27 beautiful drawings of Henk Brouwer have been discovered! Brouwer produced them in 1947 on request of the Dutch naval preacher Siebren Oegema, who wrote down his war experiences in the Dutch East Indies in a manuscript. Unfortunately the manuscript was never published, but it was securely kept, together with Brouwers drawings, in the archives of the NIMH, the Dutch Institute for Military History.

The drawings illlustrate the bitter story of Siebren Oegema’s war years on Java, where he suffered severely from the cruelties of the Japanese occupier. Together the manuscript and the drawings give a shrill testimony of what people had to endure, not only under the Japanese occupation but during the Indonesian struggle for independance as well. We will present the drawings in the Bronbeek exhibition, but here’s a little foretaste.

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We found another portrait!

After our call in Aanspraak, the magazine for resistance fighters and war victims of the Dutch Sociale Verzekeringsbank, the daughter of Mr Ad van de Nagel gave us a call. She told us that her father had also been imprisoned in Changi. Ad van der Nagel, born in Rotterdam in 1903, joined the army in the Dutch East-Indies when he was 18. After fulfilling his military service, he first worked at a cocoa plantation in Sumatra, then moved to a plantation in the east of Java. During the mobilization in 1941 he was conscripted into the army; almost a year later he was imprisoned by the Japanese. Januari 1943 he ended up in Changi, where he was portrayed by his fellow-inmate Henk Brouwer.

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Vfonds supports Henk Brouwer Project

Vfonds, the Dutch national fund for peace, freedom and veterans care, decided to support Tijdlijn Historische Projecten with a considerable amount of money. Every year vfonds supports more than 200 projects that are engaged in veterans care and in keeping the memory alive of the war and its victims. Now vfonds also supports our Henk Brouwer project. Tijdlijn thanks vfonds for its generosity!

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