January 16, 2020, I received the sad news that Ibu Paini (from our “Comfort Women” book and exhibition) has passed away at the age of 90. She also played a big role in Hilde Janssen‘s book “Schaamte en Onschuld: Het Verdrongen Oorlogsverleden van Troostmeisjes in Indonesie” (in Dutch) as well as in Frank van Osch‘s documentary “Because We Were Beautiful.” In spite of the sexual abuse on a large scale by Japanese military during WWII, Paini was a disarming and warm-hearted woman. A true darling. Selamat jalan, ibu Paini.
Ibu Paini is no more. The sad news of her death reached me last night by text message, sent by one of her great grand children. Paini was an endearing, smart and strong-willed woman, bravely carrying the burden of the past. Paini was one of the former comfort woman that was interviewed by me and portrayed by Jan Banning in 2008 for our project on Indonesian victims of Japanese warcrimes during WWII, being raped, forced into prostitution and sexual slavery. Paini was one of the younger victims, just 13 years old, when she had to perform forced labur for the the Japanese soldiers in her village in Cental JavaIn. Some evenings after work she ws regularly called to the baracks and raped repeate