Family Photo

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

That’s me, Ting Yi, on my mother’s dress being held by big brother Ting Pau. This was in the summer of 1949, about two years after the family arrived in New York from the Netherlands. My father, Bian, and my mother, Jacqueline, were married right after World War II ended in Europe in July 1945. Ting Pau was born in 1946 in Holland and I was the first born in the U.S. (I can be president; Ting Pau cannot!). Two sisters, Monique and Elisabeth, followed. Interracial marriages were hardly common then in the Netherlands. When the wedding day came, my mother’s father would not attend. (Both of my Dad’s parents had died during the war, his father after being held in an internment camp in France.) The war years in Holland were very difficult, especially that final year. Often my Dad would go into hiding to avoid being sent to a labor camp by the Germans. My mother was in the Dutch Resistance and was captured by the Nazis. She spent several harrowing months near the end of the war in prison in The Hague. She barely survived her imprisonment, and never knew who betrayed her. The day before she was released, all the male prisoners were executed by the Nazis. Canadian troops arrived the next day, liberating the area. In the war’s aftermath, they decided to leave Holland and head for NY, with thoughts that a final destination might be China. Those thoughts ended in 1949 with the Communist victory under Mao.

Place(s): China, Holland,
Year: 1947

– Ting-Yi Oei, 1882 Foundation

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant