I found this article in a Dutch Magazine, Vierklank, and it touched me very much, so I am putting a copy of it here on my blog.
Japanese Camp Moentilan was found after a lot of research.
It looked like it was easy. The city of Moentilan in Mid-Java was easy to find, but to think that every body knows about the former Japanese Prison Camp was very optimistic. The Indonesian population is very young. The only point of contact was, that the camp at some point had been a catholic training-college. The search looked like the program,"Without a trace". Then we met Mas Bambang. He happened to know an old teacher who probably knew more. We followed him on his motor cycle, and were introduced to Bapak Franciscus Xaverius Soeprapto. He had seen as a child that the Dutch were taken to the camp and had also seen that the Japanese had shot women to death. He offered us a guided tour.
The former Japanese Prison Camp is now a lower part of the SMP Kanisius. The SMP (sekolah menen-gah pertama) is a three year training of a basis school. The school is lying in the catholic part of Moentilan. There is a Church(Saint Anthonius) a convent for women, and a mission museum. There is not much in the museum; there is one chair and an altar, which were given by Johannes-Paulus 11, when he visited Indonesia in 1989. Around the former Japanese Prison Camp are growing beautiful flowers. The building and surroundings are so peace full. How different it must have been for the women and children who were locked up here as prisoners. From the former Japanese occupation is no sign to be found. When we asked if the Japanese had built some of the buildings, the answer from Bapak Soeprapto was:"The Japanese only left a lot of smashed buildings, and rubble".
|Drawing of the camp how it what in 1941-1945.|
|How it looks to day, 65 years later. Not much different, only a few new buildings.|