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The Dutch version of the book was launched in September 2018 at Bronbeek. The first copy of the book was given to Willem Punt by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the former Dutch Minister for Defence and currently working in Iraq for the United Nations, and Rob Bauer, the Admiral and Commander of the Dutch Defence (in charge of the Dutch army, navy and airforce).

Photo sources: Bronbeek,
Wim van der Korput and Traces of War

The book has been mentioned in the following Dutch press and articles.

Below follows a summary of the invitation to the Book Reading of Survivor by Heiko Roelfesema, nobleman Aarnout Loudon, and acclaimed Dutch author Adriaan van Dis

Subject: Announcement symposium book Willem Punt “Survivor, Junyo Maru, Pakan Baroe” on Thursday afternoon, 4 April 2019 Sumatrazaal Kumpulan Bronbeek from 14:00 to 17:00

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Dear Sir/Madam,
During our last annual commemoration in September 2018 of the victims of the Hellships, Willem Punt was presented with the first copy of the book ‘Survivor, Junyo Maru & Pakan Baroe’ by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence Janine Hennis-Plasschaert.

The book describes the life story of Willem Punt. He was able to save himself from the ship the Junyo Maru but was picked up from the sea by the Japanese and subsequently put to work on the Pakan Baru railway in Sumatra. Against the odds, he survived that period too. His granddaughter-in-law Nicola Meinders recorded his experiences, added to them and has placed them in a historical context. She has worked on the book for five years, in her spare time.

From 4 April 2019, the book will also be available in bookstores nationwide. To reinforce that fact, the SHSJZ is organising a book sale together with three bookstores in Arnhem, Oosterbeek and Velp are organising a special symposium on this book on the afternoon of 4 April in the Sumatra Sumatrazaal of the Kumpulan (Bronbeek).

Four surviving relatives will speak there:
Adriaan van Dis, jhr. Aarnout Loudon, Nicola Meinders, Heiko Roelfsema.

Afterwards, the book will be available for sale. Your admission ticket gives a €5 discount on the book price for that day only.

We kindly invite you to attend and reserve a seat.

For further information, see the attachment to this letter.

If you would like to make a reservation (admission €7.50), you can do so at this website:

With kind regards,

Heiko Roelfsema (Chairman)