West Australian, Perth, 18 jun 1946
Author’s Reunion With Wife
It will come as pleasant news to all those who have read Jan van Apeldoorn’s book “Departure Delayed” to learn that his wife Rita, who shared his adventures in Nazi-occupied Europe and Java, attacked by the Japanese, but whom he had to leave behind at Bandoeng, came safely through the occupation and has been recuperating with her husband in Sydney.
M. Jan van Apeldoorn, whose real name is Jan Nils Vogt, wrote “Departure Delayed” after his arrival in Australia from Java and it was first published in 1943. In it he tells the story of the perilous journey through Europe which he and his wife made together (mostly on a bicycle-built-for-two), to escape the Nazi occupation. The keynote of the book is the companionship with which they shared adventures and discomfort – a companionship which made the sad parting, on which note the book ends, all the more poignant.
When Mr Vogt was ordered out of Java on official business, he did not anticipate that conditions woud be such that his wife’s evacuation would become an impossibility, and he himself at that time expected to return. But the end came in Java soon after he reached Australia, so his book was dedicated to “My brave companion Rita, for whom departure was once too often delayed.” At the time of writing it, , he had no clue to her fate, in fact he concludes by saying, “Ships that escaped from Tjilatjap were heavily bombed … all that is known is that several which left Tjilatjap were sunk, presumably with all hands. Whether Rita was on board one of those ships I do not know. I do not even know whether she got away from Bandoeng.”
Fortunately, perhaps as things turned out, Mrs. Vogt did not get away, but was interned in Batavia and reached Australia safely after the liberation. But once more her departure is to be delayed. Her husband has left on his return to Holland, but she cannot get a ship until next month.
Signed by the author
The author is the son of photographer August Vogt