Nadra was born on 24 March 1937 to a Dutch family living in Thjimahi, near Bandung, Indonesia. Her father, Adrianus Petrus Hertogh, came to Java in the 1920s as a sergeant in the Royal Netherlands Indies Army. He married Adeline Hunter, a Eurasian of Scottish-Malay descent brought up in Indonesia, in the early 1930s.

When World War II broke out, Sergeant Hertogh was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army and sent to a POW holding facility in Japan, where he was kept till 1945.

Meanwhile, Adeline Hertogh stayed with her mother, Nor Louise (muslim), and her five children, among whom Maria was the third and youngest daughter. On December 29, 1942, Mrs. Hertogh gave birth to her sixth child, a boy. Three days later, Maria went to stay with Aminah binte Mohammad, a 42-year-old malay woman and a close friend of Nor Louise.

This controversial transfer of custody, reversed in a Singaporean court eight years later, was the centre and opening episode of the tragic riots that were to come.

Nadra's Words...

Nadra's ex husband (Mansor Adabi) used to say sadly: " Until today, everyone has written that Aminah (Nadra's foster mother) was a maid servant. Justice Brown, who presided Nadra's case,mentioned that Aminah should be described as belonging to the bourgeosie or middle class. He then mentioned Han Suyin, the renown author, who corresponded with him. 'In one of her book, Mortal Flower, Aminah was described as a maid servant.

Nadra told the Dutch newspaper that she never wanted to come back to Holland. Her foster mother, Aminah, was not a servant. She said:

She was a Japanese language teacher. She helped my mother to a great deal during the Japanese occupation. My mother gave my brother Benny and myself to Aminah. Aminah sent Benny back as she could not look after him. Aminah also gave my mother a sewing machine. My mother lied that Aminah took me and ran away. My grandmother knew the truth. I had been with Aminah for a long time and when little Karen was born. I went home to see him, even I even slept at home that night. Mother came every month to Aminah's house and then she would comb my hair.

The truth revealed by Nadra (Maria Hertogh) suprised everyone. One newspaper reported:

How we welcome the news. We reported everything. We reported a happily laughing Maria returning home...We reported...hundreds of people broke through the police cordon...We reported how maternal love triumphed...but failed to report that Maria was totally miserable.

The Truth Background of Aminah (Nadra's foster mother)

Aminah binti Mohamed came from a respected Malay family in Kemaman, Terengganu in the East Coast o Peninsular Malaya (Malaysia since 16th September 1963). In 1919, at the age of nineteen, Aminah married one Abdul Rani fom Perak who was then the private secretary to the Sultan of Terengganu. Soon after their marriage, the couple moved to Tokyo and lived there for nearly ten years during which time they both became fluent in the Japanese language. Because they had no children of their own, Aminah adopted a Japanese girl and brought her to her hometown Kemaman. They named her Kamariah. A few years after their return from Japan to Malaya, Abdul Rani died.

Aminah, the widow, then re-married one Maarof bin Haji Abdul, a jeweller in Bandung. As a businessman, Maarof used to travel widely in the South-East Asian region and in one such travel with her husband, Aminah met Nor Louise (Nadra's grandmother) in Singapore. Consequently, their relationship grew and they became very close friends.

They visited one another frequently and Nor Louise used to take Aminah to her daughter, Adelaide (Nadra's mother)'s house. During these visits, they confided in each other their aspirations and their problems as well. Louise sympathised with Aminah for not having any children and suggested that she adopt a child but Aminah was not enthusiastic about it as she had already adopted a Japanese child.

From there, they become close friend untill Japanese occupation in which Adelaide asked Aminah if she would like to have one of her children.

The story started here and went on till real life drama about the two women who fought for the Custody of a thirteen-year old girl (Nadra) happened a few years later.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Maria Hertogh's Words

"While in the custody of Maria Hertogh Che Aminah, the relationship with her mother was full of love." This matter was acknowledged by an English officer assigned to keep Maria Hertogh  in the Social Welfare Department in Singapore, Tom Eames Hughes, who later wrote the stories in his book titled Tangled Worlds: The Story of Maria Hertogh (1980) ".

With reference to her statement,  the incident of Maria Hertogh tried to kill her second husband   that resulting in divorce, attempted to commit suicide and the frequency of the mother of 10 children that warded due to mental problem, Fatini added, it also seen clearly when she met Maria Hertogh in USA in 1989. "Every time they mention the name of Mansor Adabi, we could see tears in her eyes. In fact, his body language also changed. She was already 52 years of age during the interview.

 "During the interview she did speak English all the time. But she also inadvertently  mentions  the word ' tersasul ' cabai kerawit’, a malay word. So actually she still remember malay language. "
Fatini added that Maria Hertogh’s boyfriend was an Indonesian citizen. Depiction of Maria Hertogh  gentle’s personality , Fatini however admit that it is difficult for anyone to guess what is her mind.

"She's smart enough to hide his feelings. In fact the relationship between Maria Hertogh  with her kids are very well, "she said. When the news reached her that  Maria Hertogh had died, Fatini still outfitting the unfortunate women biography books. "The death of Maria Hertogh gives rise to feeling aggrieved in myself as much as I want to do for her." In addition in completing this biography, I hope the truth shall change people perception on Maria Hertogh in many aspects.

"Maria Hertogh also feels responsible for the death of civilians that occurred during the riots happened in Singapore and she thought some people might want to kill her for that," said Fatini. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Life Note of Nadra

Nadra suffering for his life because her biological family forced her to live together with them in the Netherlands and in Christianity. 

Nadra with Madam Aminah who took care Nadra since child

Nadra was closely monitored by Dutch police while being outside the house and in school until she reached age of 17 years so that there were no Muslims manage to take her back to her childhood home at Terengganu, Malaysia

                                       Nadra landed at Netherland's airport

Nadra disappointed because her husband Mr Mansor Adabi  had married another woman due to a piece of letter that she did not wrote ... 

Nadra was trying to shoot her husband a when she saw  Mr Mansor Adabi on television who seems having a happy with his new wife and luxurious while  Nadrah  still having difficulty with her life and living poor with her small children.

Nadra used to be in mental hospital for treatment.

Nadra emigrated to the United States, working as hotel room cleaner  and lived together  with an Indonesian man without marrying him.

Nadra refused her body to be buried after her death, besides she decided to donate her body to hospital in Netherlands