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Faith: Behind The Fences: A True Story Of Survival In A Japanese Prison Camp

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
As a teenager, Hanny Londt-Shultz, together with her family, faced a grinding daily routine in a Japanese internment camp in Sumatra during WWII. But through the recognition of small miracles, the members of the Londt-Shultz family, though damaged, endure, and in spite of life-threatening challenges become saviors among their peers and courageous examples to their captors.
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published February 1st 2011)
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Aug 03, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was very inspirational, a true story of a family from the Netherlands who were living in Sumatra at the time of the attack of the Japanese on Pearl Harbor at the beginning of World War II. They were captured by the Japanese and were forced to endure many hardships and punishments being meted out by their captors. The mother of the family was a true Christian and devoted herself and her time to making their horrific experiences and that of other interns ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing
Well-written emotional account of Hanny Smith and her Dutch family in Indonesia. When the Japanese come to Sumatra her family is separated and taken to various prisoner of war camps. As they grow up in captivity, they still see miracles, and recognize blessings.
I loved this family and am so glad Hanny finally shared the whole story.
Kim Dennis
Dec 03, 2016 Kim Dennis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-history
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. There were some things that in my ethnocentric world, I didn't realize, although as a history person, I probably should have. I didn't think that the Japanese would have put people of European descent in prison camps in Indonesia. I generally think of WWII in a pretty limited capacity and this gave me a different perspective. Although the author talked about how difficult it was in the prison camp, it was not the main focus of the book. The main ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Darla rated it liked it
(Genre:Non-fiction/historical/WW II) A teenage girl named Hanny lives in Dutch Indonesia with her family when the Island falls to the Japanese forces. As Dutch citizens, they realize that no help will be coming from their homeland. The war in Europe is raging and the Germans have invaded Holland and the Netherlands. Their family, along with all the other European and Australian population are at the mercy of the enemy. Hanny's father is a geologist that works in the Dutch mining industry of ...more
My original review disappeared! Argh! Here's my somewhat shorter, recreated one:

I can't say I *enjoyed* learning about the death and depredation of the prison camps in Sumatra during World War II, but I certainly appreciate expanding my knowledge on a topic on which I was completely ignorant before.

Hanny's semi-fictionalized biography, written by a family friend, is an enthralling tale; I read the book in a single day. It was sometimes difficult to track the passage of time during the story, but
Apr 14, 2011 Brandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-stories, wwii
What a great story of triumph! I am a huge fan of WWII stories and this one did not disappoint. I read it in one day because I just could not put it down.

This is a story about a girl and her family and what happens to them after WWII started and they are sent to a Japanese prison camp. It really moved me to see how amazing this family was and how charitable they were even in the face of such horrific circumstances.

Some of the events that happened in this book seemed extremely familiar and I wond
Jul 20, 2011 Dottie rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what to write about this book. It's not exactly the type of book that you read for pleasure. As I got into it, I felt compelled to keep reading, to find out how things turned out for these people. I can't say it was enjoyable, although there were some good moments. At the same time, though, it wasn't graphic in describing the bad parts of their treatment in the camps. The family in the book was quick to recognize the hand of God in their lives when good things happened to them, even ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Lydia rated it it was ok
This book sounded so interesting to me, and I think it would have been if the writer had not been quite so detailed on quite so many things in the beginning. It just isn't written very well I felt. To be fair though, I couldn't stay with it for more than 30 pages even though I really wanted to like the book. So it may have picked up after that. I feel bad giving such a bad review of this book when all I read was a measly 30 pages, but every time I would start reading I would find myself ...more
May 03, 2012 Gina rated it it was ok
I feel bad giving this a lower score. The material is interesting and inspiring, and it appears she main character was in the camp with the singing featured in Paradise Road, which is interesting in itself. However, there was something about the manner of the writing which was off-putting to me. I would describe it as stilted. I am not sure whether that is due to the original conversations happening in a different language, the manner of speaking of the narrator, or the way the writer took it ...more
May 02, 2014 Apzmarshl rated it really liked it
Hanny was a Eurasian, Dutch citizen with an Asian parent. She lived in Indonesia during WWII on an island that became occupied by the Japanese. At that time Hanny and her siblings were young teens. Her family was put into a death camp where they would stay until the Allied forces won and came to liberate them.
This book is published by an LDS publishing house, which in this case may be a detriment to a good story. Hanny was not Lds at the time, and although the family relied heavily on God, ther
Jan 06, 2015 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
This is the story of Hanny and her family who were Dutch Indonesian's living in Sumatra at the start if WWII. It's an incredible story of how her family survived the war separated from their father and living in Japanese prison camps where they faced brutality and starvation. Through it all, the faith of Hanny's mother and her example of kindness, charity, and resourcefulness kept them fed (she grew a garden in a prison camp!) and helped them see past the degradation of their lives. I believe ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, and enjoyed it. Sometimes parts seemed to drag on and on and on, and others were great. I know this is a true story and it was worth the tell but I felt the writing wasn't as great as it could have been. There were many miracles that saved lives and kept the family together. I didn't know much about Sumatra during WWII, and the camps for European people, just like we prisoned the Japanese in the United States. But this family lost so many years to this war and face some hard ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Summers rated it liked it
As I read this, I realized I only know a little about what went on during WWII in the bigger countries -- like the U.S., England, Italy, France -- and had forgotten how everyone worldwide was affected. This is a story of a Dutch family living in Sumatra when the Japanese invaded their island and what happened to them in the prison camps, with a little about them before and after the war. It is well written and interesting, full of faith and a reminder of what we often forget to appreciate. Also ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
This was an inspiring book about a family from the island of Sumatra that had to live in Japanese-run prison camps during World War II. The father was in a separate camp and the mother and children were able to stay together. It was written from the perspective of one of the daughters, who was a teenager at the time, and was filled with heart-warming stories of how they overcame and persisted through some of the very difficult struggles they had. It was sad, but also hopeful and filled with love ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it
A true story of a family from the Netherlands who were living in Sumatra at the time of the attack of the Japanese on Pearl Harbor at the beginning of World War II. They were captured by the Japanese and were forced to endure many hardships and punishments at the hands of their captors. The mother of the family was a true Christian and devoted herself and her time to making their horrific experiences a little more bearable. A great, inspirational read.
Jul 11, 2011 Mjbuzan rated it liked it
I don't think this book is well written but it is a slice of history that I was not familiar with. I met Hanny (who's story it is) at Deseret Book in Portland, Oregon. Her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren were with her. She is so smiley and grateful for everything. Her countenance shines. There are no hints of bitterness in her. I was able to talk to her for about 20 minutes. She inspired me to be a better person and a better mother.
Jan 18, 2013 Arryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on a friend's recommendation, and I'm glad I did. It is the true story of one family's experiences in a Japanese prison camp on the island of Sumatra (Indonesia) during World War II. One thing that struck me was how much more humanely these people were treated compared to accounts of Nazi concentration camps and even Japanese POW camps. . . relatively speaking, of course. The book is engaging and interesting, horrifying, and hopeful.
May 26, 2014 Al rated it really liked it
This book is very interesting on many levels, and the storyline alone is fascinating. This Sumatran family, with Dutch citizenship, had to endure extreme hardships during World war two. The storyteller is a teenage girl named Hanny, and she states that she has had to live three separate lives. These three lives have made her who she is today, and she is all that is good about being human.

Thanks to my mother-in-law for buying this book, and thanks to my wife for bringing it home.
Dec 06, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
This is a true story of survival in a Japanese Prison camp. I wasn't really in the mood for a depressing prison book, but this one once I got into it was quite good and more inspirational than depressing. Hanny and her mother, sister and brothers tried to look on the bright side and they helped others. Inspite of the hard hard work they made it through and gave God the credit for each blessing he sent their way.
Apr 04, 2011 Lorraine rated it it was ok
Didn't care for the writing, but an interesting story of teenage girl and family who were imprisoned by Japanese on Java throughout WW II. Due to the planning of their father before the capture of the island, the family was able to emigrate to Holland after the war. There they met LDS missionaries and were converted. Eventually the family emigrated to US. A lady in their acquaintance felt their story should be told.
Mar 15, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
This is an amazing story of a family's survival in a Japanese Prison Camp, who later joined the Church. It is filled with stories of heart break and loss, as well as the overall good of some people and importance of family. As I read this true story I was amazed at the numerous ways in which the Lord's hand was in this family's life. I loved this family and was so endeared to them while reading their story.
May 16, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds
This was a great book of a girl and her family being prisoners of war in Indonesia during WWII. Hannie learns to see the hand of God in all things with help from her mother, Tina, even though they are in POW camps. This was a fast read, all in less than a day. But it was very fascinating. Even though this is a true story, it was presented as a novel, which made it easy to read.
Jun 04, 2011 Rina rated it it was amazing
The story was amazing. Despite the troubles the family went through in the Japanese prison camps they were still able to see how God guided their lives through it. They had an incredible amount of faith to get through their horrible trials without losing themselves in despair. While it was difficult to read of their fears and trials it was uplifting to see how they were able to get through them.
Marla Milligan
Nov 26, 2013 Marla Milligan rated it really liked it
This book was so good. War is so horrific and this is an inspiring story of an Indonesian family in WWII that lived on the island of Sumatra. Right after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor they took over this island for the Country's natural resources and placed family's in prisoner camps and this is their story.
Sep 22, 2011 Carol rated it liked it
This is another book about a different angle of WWII. It is from the perspective Dutch citizens living in Indonesia at the outbreak of the war and how the Japanese came and put all the "foreigners" in internment camps. It was very interesting and enlightening as to the plight of these people. I think the story was told well but perhaps the author's writing style was a bit of a disappointment.
Nov 05, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-gull
I really liked this book.
It was written in a way that focused more on all the miracles that were happening than anything else... which is saying something, because this entire family was held captive for years and years in a Japanese prison camp...
Well written and, ultimately, an amazing story of survival and faith.
Aug 04, 2013 Zeta rated it really liked it
Another book we listened to on a road trip. Very good book (true story)about a family that were prisoners of the Japanese in Sumatra. Well written, interesting, great examples of living above the conditions we some times find ourselves in. Highly recommend this one.
Nov 01, 2012 Swhe641200 rated it liked it
11/1/2012 Nedra Atkinson book she read it for her book group. I thought it wasa a good book and certianly felt like their family had been blessed in many ways even though they had lost their father. I have read so many book where the Japanese have been so very cruel. It was a good story.
Jun 09, 2011 Jill rated it it was amazing
Such an inspiring story of faith, love and endurance. It's amazing what people have been through and they use it for the better to help others and how their faith grows because of it. Please read this book. You'll be glad you did.
Apr 07, 2011 Karijean31 rated it it was amazing
I love books that make me feel emotion and this certainly did. A story of a lady and her experiences in a Japanese Prison Camp. It makes me feel so much gratitude for my easy life and a little ashamed that I do have it so easy.
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