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  • Writer's picturePauline Kok


BlueInk Review is an organization that provides credible and unbiased reviews exclusively for self-published books. In 2014, I was the proud recipient of the BlueInk Best Book Reward for “The Remains of War”. As a result I was interviewed by one of their Book Professionals.

It was a substantial interview, which ended with the question: “Have you after all these years reached a place of forgiveness or peace?”

This was a most difficult question.

My mind searched for the words to express the poignant and bitter experiences of my years in Concentration Camps. I realized suddenly I had all but avoided its sheer confrontation for as long as possible. I had not spent the many years that followed the war considering anything like forgiveness or mercy—why should I?

We had lost too much, we had suffered too long, we had gone through too much desperation, and we had seen too many die.

Much later, after marriage and the gift of four beautiful children I began to heal. I tried to understand more of the Japanese culture, and the thoughts leading to their actions.

Did forgiveness start there? No, only anger and bitterness remained.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, Jesus Christ voices a promise as well as advice to all who cared to listen and choose to understand:

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you not forgive men their sins your Father will not forgive yours”.

Today I am much older and had to answer the question of the BlueInk Interview. I hope I am a bit further on the path of forgiveness when I hesitantly but honestly answered:

“I know it was such a long time ago, and in understanding how and why, I try to forgive. I might do for a while, but then I hear something again about what they did or what has happened or what is happening again now…and all the same feelings come back again. I know I have not forgiven.”

I wonder if I will ever loose that resentment inside me.

I wonder if I will ever again be given an experience after which I can honestly say: “I do forgive” and feel within my deepest being that I speak the truth.

For the full interview please see

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