Series 2, Part 1 by Jill Hyem

First broadcast: Thursday 21 October 1982

December 1942. The women have been split into two groups for their journey to the new camp, which they hope will be better equipped than the last one. Their first stopover en route is at a beautiful beach. They learn that the other group, which includes Blanche, Sylvia and Nellie, will not be joining them there. That night, before she goes to sleep, Debbie tells Marion that she is aching all over. By the middle of the night her condition has worsened. Beatrice suspects she has been stung by a scorpion. The next morning Marion learns that it will be a week before they reach their new camp. After several more days travelling – during which their Japanese escorts, Kasaki and Shinya, lose their bearings – the women arrive at a large house which functions as an official Japanese transit post. There they meet fellow prisoner Joss Holbrook who has been waiting for them to arrive. Marion tries to convince their guards that Debbie must receive treatment at a hospital, but they state that this is impossible. The women learn that their absent friends have been sent to another camp. That night Debbie dies. The next morning Kasaki insists that they must leave immediately and that the natives will bury her. However, Ulrica refuses to accept this and leads the women in a show of passive resistance. The Japanese relent and before they leave the transit house, the women give Debbie a Christian burial. Marion subsequently discovers a Star of David among Debbie’s possessions and realises that she and her mother were Jewish. The women continue their long and arduous journey, burying another woman on the way, and finally arrive at the new camp on New Year’s Day 1943. Exhausted and demoralised the internees sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

About Andy Priestner

Consultant and trainer on user experience (UX) research and design, failure, leadership and LEGO Serious Play
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