Synopses & Reviews
Loet Velmans was seventeen when the Germans invaded Holland. He and his family fled to London on the Dutch Coast Guard cutter Seamans Hope and then sailed to the Dutch East Indiesnow Indonesiawhere he joined the Dutch army. In March 1942, the Japanese invaded the archipelago and made prisoners of the Dutch soldiers. For the next three and a half years Velmans and his fellow POWs toiled in slave labor camps, building a railroad through the dense jungle on the Burmese-Thailand border so the Japanese could invade India. Some 200,000 POWs and slave laborers died building this Death Railway. Velmans, though suffering from malaria, dysentery, malnutrition, and unspeakable mistreatment, never gave up hope. Fifty-seven years later he returned to revisit the place where he should have died and where he had buried his closest friend. From that emotional visit sprung this stunning memoir.
Long Way Back to the River Kwai is a simply told but searing memoir of World War IIa testimonial to one mans indomitable will to live that will take its place beside the Diary of Ann Frank, Bridge over the River Kwai, and Ediths Story.
Exceeding readable . . ." Booklist
"Well-remembered and impeccably written . . . [A] most wonderful book." Simon Winchester
"This candid, understated book is a useful contribution to our understanding of an essential truth." Washington Post Book World
Now in paperback, a searing memoir of World war II, the story of one man's survivial of the brutal slave-labor conditions that inspired the classic book and film Bridge on the River Kwai.
The astounding memoir of a World War II veteran who spent three and a half years in the slave labor camps made famous by The Bridge on the River Kwai.
About the Author
Loet Velmans came to America after World War II, where he worked for and became CEO of public relations firm Hill and Knowlton. His wife, Edith Velmans, is the acclaimed author of Edith's Story. They divide their time between New York City and Sheffield, Massachusetts.