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Friday, March 30, 2012

Part VIII, Three men against Japan.

Arriving close to the concern they were looking for, they split up in two groups.The Tall guy with the two natives stayed behind and Jan and the Pimpel would try to see if they could find anything at the concern Wilhelmina. They would stay away for three days; if after three days they had not returned , the Tall guy had to think that they had been taken prison. If that was the case then he should with or without the natives, return through the mountains in the direction of Salak and try to find shelter with some friends.
The two friends said goodbye, unsure what the future would hold.
Without any trouble Jan and the Pimpel reached the property of the concern Wilhelmina.It was very late in the afternoon and the landscape glowed under the beams of the red evening sun.Unbelievable beauty with the different colors; the white foam of the surf of the sea, the deep green of the rubber trees and tea bushes,the azure blue from the immeasurable sea, and the sky in flames with the glow of the late afternoon sun,it took their breath away.

The men decided to wait for a couple of hours, and were lying in the green grass, looking at the settling of dusk over the beautiful landscape.They were waiting for darkness, before they would investigate the place.
The concern had been handed over to Indonesians, the Dutch administrators were in Japanese prison in Buitenzorg, and they had told the Kelter that in the safe of the concern was am amount of six thousand guilders,his personal possession which he liked to hand over to the Kelter in exchange for some food, that from time to time should be smuggled into the prison.

When it was dark, the two men decided it was time to be on their way.The moon was their only light.They first liked to check out if their were Japanese present. The search lasted well into the night. They stumbled on an empty small ladang dwelling, where they decided to sleep.

The next morning they walked to a nearby village,expecting to find resistance.At a warong,an Indonesian portable eating-house,they bought some food and a drink. The polite owner gave them all sorts of information.There seemed to be only two Japanese in the village, who stood permanently guard at the telephone central. The Wedana, the village chief, befriended the Japanese, and all blanda's (white people) were his enemy.After this information the two men decided first to bring a visit to the telephone central of Pelaboean Ratoe to try to take the Japanese prison. This district was overpopulated and the two Europeans were the object of many nosy glances.They came closer and closer to the coast; clearly they heard the sound of the surf. When night was falling they arrived at Pelaboean Ratoe on the Wijnkoopsbaai.

The telephone central was no more then a simple post, which was for use for the Japanese only, and was established in a small hut made from bamboo.The two Dutch men walked on to the compound. One of the Japanese was bathing himself and the other Japanese was near the telephones in a very confused conversation with a native woman.Before the Japanese guards knew what was happening, they lay on the ground and were tied together, and listened to the noise which the two white men made by destroying the telephone installation.After they were satisfied that the telephones would not work anymore,the two friends disappeared into the darkness, knowing that the two Japanese guards soon would be freed by some Indonesians.But darkness was falling quickly upon them and the Japanese would probably not think about to pursue them;besides the two friends had taken their weapons.From the weapons of the Japanese the two had taken the bayonets and had hung them on their own belts. They also had made the weapons unfit for use.In the dark the two men lost their bearings. They walked over the compounds of native homes and arrived at a house which was build close to the sea, and part of it was build from stone.The lights were on every where and from inside was a loud noise of voices.On the compound was a car parked, it had a Japanese distinguished mark; the owner must be working for the Japanese. A few native women were cooking outside by the scarce light of an oil lamp. They looked up and frighten to death when they saw the two heavily armed men.The two friends laughed at them and made them at ease.They walked into the house, opened the door and surprised some men, who they quickly recognized as the Pelaboean Ratoe, the Japs friends.When Jan asked if there were many Japanese soldiers in the neighborhood, one man answered with a bold voice:"Ada banjak"- there are many. "Can you not talk Dutch?" asked Jan surly.Every wedana (a native of Indonesia)knows the Dutch language, and it is considered rude and not polite to answer in Malay. "Ofcourse I speak Dutch,"the wedana says; "what can I do for you gentlemen?"Very polite he offers them to take a seat, and incidentally gives one of the natives a slight sign with his eyes, who gets up and tries inconspicuously to leave .But the Pimpel raps him on the shoulder and makes it clear that he better stays where he is."How many Japs are there?" asked Jan again. The wedana tries to give him an evasive answer."Well then I better tell you'" says Jan. "There were two and now there are none,they are dead." The wedana could not hide his consternation."Are there police here? I think you as a wedana should know?" asked Jan.
"Yes, there are twelve."
"Where are they now at this moment?"
"Most of them are off duty; two have night shift."
"Did they get weapons from the Japs?"
"No. We had to hand in our own weapons."
"Where are they?"
The wedana kept quiet and Jan became impatient and made a threatening gesture. One of the others suddenly said, likewise in Dutch: "The weapons are laying in a shed and have to be registered."
Jan gave the Pimpel a sign , and the one who spoke was taken to the shed. The weapons seemed practical worthless; klewangs, cleavers,and a few old sporting guns.The Pimpel picked out three useful klewangs; he made the native take the ammo outside, and had him close the door from the shed again.In the meantime Jan had found in the room from the wedana a few weapons,and a very nice sporting riffle, in which a Dutch name was engraved.It was surely the riffle of the internment Dutch planter.Jan took this riffle and hung it over his shoulder. The next question he asked the wedana if he knew anything about the safe of the concern. Again he got an evasive answer.The Pimpel walked in again and told Jan that after the visit to the shed he had cut the telephone wires.These telephone wires were from the existing telephone central. He wanted to destroy this central telephone system as well, in which case the whole of Palaboean Ratoe would be cut off from the outside world.Jan kept asking the wedana questions; from the neighboring houses Jan heard some growing noise.Likely the Japs were freed by the Indonesian people and they were most likely instigated to attack the blanda's (white people).Jan figured that they had no weapons, but he had to be careful not to walk into a trap. When the Pimpel, after he had done his task, was back at the house,Jan forced the wedana to get in the car with them. The three of them drove to the concern.The mandoer, they woke up the native superintended and questioned him about the key of the safe." The wedana has the key," answered the mandoer.The village chief was startled."Fetch the key immediately!" said Jan to the Pimpel. " Take the car and be careful. The wedana stays here. If you do not come back or if you can't find the key on the spot where he says it is, I shoot the wedana!"The wedana, with a glance of powerless rage, gave a distinct description of the place, where the key was kept.A few minutes later the Pimpel was back at the house of the wedana. He went inside and found the key at the place where he was told he would find it.At the house is was dead quiet.When he jumped in the car and started the engine , a shouting and furious crowd ran towards him. The Pimpel floored the car and the people jumped out of the way.Without other problems the Pimpel returned at the concern. In the safe they found indeed the money; some papers, which had no value to them, they gave them to the mandoer(superintendent).They got in the car and drove away, in the direction of the west, to elude possible pursuers.They left the car somewhere in a hidden spot and walked back to the place from their bivouac. The Tall guy was in a deep sleep and one of the natives stood guard. They woke up their friend and told him in short what had happened.Then they too fell asleep. The next morning they would brake up their bivouac and make plans to go to South-Bantam.

will continue:
Next: Our friends settle themselves on the light tower on the street of Soenda. In a prauw they get caught in a heavy storm.

Part VII. Three men against Japan.

After the Tall guy had slept for a couple of hours he woke up and told Jan to get some sleep. Soon it would be light again and in the east he saw some flashes of light coming from the sun.

The two natives woke up and he greeted them with a good morning.He told them to get some water from the kali (river) and to make a fire so they could boil some water for their coffee.The sun came up right over the trees, it was beautiful to watch.It looked like mother of pearl.Hard to believe that there was a war going on with all this beauty around them.

The Tall guy was checking his wound on his leg, last night when they crossed a river he had hurt himself on some sharp rocks. The wound was hurting; the skin was beet red and his leg was swollen. Up to now he had not told the others that he had hurt himself because he did not wanted them to get worried. He washed the wound and bandaged it.Time to wake up his friends, it was time to get going. Jan and the Pimpel washed themselves in the river, and after they had a simple breakfast the two natives cleaned up and packed.Soon they were ready and on their way.

The two natives thought they had been the luckiest men in the world, to be able to come along with these three Dutch men. They too liked to go to Australia,but you needed money and a boat for that journey, and that's what they did not have.
The Tall guy had heard, while he was in Buitenzorg, that there was a concern somewhere in Wijnkoopsbaai, the concerns name was Wilhelmina, and it was said that there was a safe hidden with a lot of money in it. That concern was their goal for this trip, and to look for this safe. The map showed them the route; they had to take the road to Tjianten first, that road they should cross and continue till they arrived at the Goenoeng Halimoen,and from there they had to go South, that would take them to the concern, which lay close to Tji Solok in a wild scarce inhabitant district. While the sun came up they went on their way.The land became more and more inhospitable.Now and then they saw a few kampongs, very primitive.

The mountains looked capricious,covered with thick impenetrable forest.Centuries old gigantic trees, covered in vines, blocked their way.They covered very little ground.Unknown birds in the most beautiful colors were flying in front of them.
So much beauty and no time to take it all in.They had to keep going.

Sometimes descending into deep mighty ravines, grown over so tick with brush it was almost impossible to get through.Often they had to take a detour.

Exhausted they set up camp.Night had fallen and they fell asleep almost immediately.As early in the morning as possible, they were on their way again.Their supply of food was almost gone; less to carry anyway. They had to go fishing for food and hunt for wildlife. That mend that they would lose a lot of time.The easiest way to catch some fish was to throw a hand grenade. They had to build a dam and left a small opening where they laid their fish net.This seemed to work very well and they caught sometimes more then ten kilo fish.They could not use all their hand grenades so at one point they had to hunt for game.Here in the mountains many wild boar roamed around,they are a little smaller then pigs, but never the less it was enough to give them a good meal.

Their was an abundance of poultry.The only thing they were not able to find was fruit or vegetables.
One night when they were sitting around their campfire they heard suddenly a lout penetrating roar.The natives thought that it was the cry of a tiger or panther. They quickly threw some more wood on the fire. But the roar came closer and closer.The Tall guy made a quick move for his rifle and loaded it with ammo.They waited and suddenly there was a sound from braking brenches close to where they were sitting near the fire, but they could not see anything. "Just aim that way, and shoot!", shouted the Pimpel.
"No... I wait until it gets closer, that way I have a better shot", whispered the Tall guy.To their judgement, listening to the sound of broken branches it looked like they had to do with a large animal. Jan and the Pimpel also made a move for their riffles and loaded them. Around them they heard only the usual sound of the jungle. They threw some more wood on the fire and the Tall guy suddenly took a brench which had caught fire and threw it in the direction where he heard a sound and noticed some movement. "Keep your riffles ready!" he yelled. The Pimpel had his riffle already cocked ,when suddenly a yellow enormous animal was jumping through the high grasses and disappeared between the trees. So quick was the movement that none of the three had a change to shoot.Hopefully the animal had left; but one of them was keeping the fire going and stood guard all night long.

The Tall guy's leg was infected, and it slowed down the men tremendously. Many times he had to be supported by the others. But thanks to Jan's knowledge how to take care of infections, the wound healed soon. Slowly but steady they made headway through the mountains.

On the third day they reached Goenoeng Halimoen. There are two mountains with the same name, one is 1920 meters high and the other is 1760 meters high.They went from one Goenoeng Halimoen mountain to the other. The second mountain top showed an unbelievable panoramic view.

In the far distance the blue of dawn went imperceptible over into the azure of the Indian Ocean and the horizon. The white foam from the branding was glistering in the sun on the beach.Below them it looked like a beautiful paradise,it was almost like watching a fairy-tale and so unbelievable peaceful.This was Wijnkoopsbaai; and on the other side the fertile land stretched itself out all the way to the wooded area of the mountains.

The small group marched to the west, in the direction of Tilaga.In the vicinity of the village they decided to set up bivouac.They told the natives that they were free to go,but they told them that they liked to stay with the three Dutch men, who did not mind at all.
The men decided that they needed a few days rest. But after one day Jan decided to investigate the surroundings.He discovered a small kampong (village). He slowly walked towards it, and soon was greeted by barking village dogs. Children, who saw him, stopped their game and fled into the low little dwellings.

Jan continued to walk through the narrow kampong paths.Seeing a white man with a heavy machine gun made the adults run into their small houses as well.Jan walked up to one of a bit bigger dwelling,where he noticed a group of men, women and children, who were staring at him. He greeted them, and told them that they had nothing to be afraid off; he only came to buy some rice.
Nobody said a word and nobody moved. Jan took some coins out of his pocket and showed them.He would pay them quite a few coins if he could get some rice.One of the men stepped forward and declared that he liked to negotiate with him.Now the others came closer and even the children formed a circle around the white man and begged for some coins.Jan was able to buy some rice, salt, Javanese sugar and some other ingredients for a nice fried rice meal.They asked Jan where he came from and where he was going. Jan pointed at the Zuidergebergte(Mountains in the South).On various of the dwellings were hanging Japanese small flags.Jan turned around and pulled the flags of the dwellings and threw them in an aran-fire.One of the Sudanese walked up to Jan, he was a tall robust fellow, and he protested vehemently. He apparently was a propagandist of the Tiga-A-movement, a nationalistic group who were inspired to support the Japanese. They had spread out into the farthest corners of Java.This movement was very active these days; they showed wide spread dislike of every Westerner. Jan found himself all of a sudden in a precarious situation. But undaunted Jan started to talk in malay language with as many Sundanese words as he knew,(Sudanese in this district is their native tong), to defend the Dutch people. He asked them:" Before the Japanese invasion was here every where was justice and safety, even here at your village! What is left of that law and order since the Japanese Regime took over? How is the medical provision right now, and what about quinine, textile, white sugar, cigarettes and tobacco?" The Tiga-A-man started a vehemently debate." Wait, he said, wait until the Japanese has won the war, we will gain an unprecedented welfare, which nobody has never seen before.!"
To Jan's pleasant surprise he heard the growing crowd screaming of indignation and mock against the Japanese, after the Sudanese had spoken.Jan's words were not in vain.The Tiga-A-man disappeared quickly, hooted after by the others.An friendly short man walked up to the white man and warned him for possible retaliation. He told him that there were not many Japanese in this neighborhood, but sometimes a convoy passed over the high way about 12 kilo meters from here.The embittered Tiga-A-man would surely do everything possible to betray the blanda's (white men).Jan thanked him and made an appointment to see him regular at a particular place a little distance from the village.

The man would bring Jan provisions and news,and would keep it very secret.The whole village population waved Jan out.
He first walked to the north, as if he went into the mountains, turned around when he was out of sight, and went east to reach the bivouac.Arriving at the bivouac his friends and the natives could not believe the food he had with him. Jan told them his experience with the villagers. The next day Jan had a meeting with his new village friend.After the Tall guy first had checked out the place where they had said they would meet, if it was safe.Jan rewarded the trust of the villager with a hefty some of money.
They stayed for a few more days, until the leg from the Tall guy was almost back to normal and continued their march to the east.

will continue:
next: Searching for the concern where they were told was a safe hidden, with a large amount of money.
An attack on a Japanese guard.
Meeting with villagers who befriend the Japanese.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Part VI; Three men against Japan.

After a good night sleep, the three of them bathed in the clear brooklet and rinsed their clothes.The Pimpel and the Tall guy took out their fish nets and set themselves down on a bank of a small river. The Pimpel who had not slept that night soon fell asleep.The small river was loaded with fish, and it promised to be a good meal. In the meantime Jan would check out the power station; a pistol and two hand grenades were the only ballast he took with him on his search on this difficult terrain.

When he reached the top from a nearby hill, he could see in the distance the power station, although very vaguely.He walked through a ravine and climbed another hill top. The power station was hidden behind a row of trees, but the above cables Jan could see very clearly. Again he had to go down into a deep ravine; when he had reached the top from this ravine he could see below a few humble dwellings of a native village.

Jan did not wanted to be seen by the natives, even if he walked around the village he still had a chance that one of them would notice him. He was not going to take that risk, and choose to take a different route. At first he made a mistake, and took a wrong turn in the ravine. Finally he reached a spot where he could clearly see the whole installation of the power station.To be able to see the buildings and find out more of the situation of the guards ,Jan had to go at least another kilometer to get closer.For fear to walk into a patrol of Japanese soldiers, he slithered like a snake through the brush.Sometimes he stopped, to see if he saw any movement. Finally he reached one of the first buildings; the thick brush gave him enough cover. He could see the buildings very clearly now, and could not discover any sign of life.
Suddenly he noticed above the enclosure of sand bags the head of a Japanese, spying to all sides. Jan laid down flat on the ground and kept making notes in his mind.Heavy barbwire was placed around the building and the windows from the first floor were all barricaded with wood and sand bags.There was no way they could raid the building through the windows.In his mind he kept making notes, crawling along in a half circle, he went around the building.On this side of the building he saw Japanese uniforms hanging on a wash line; the guards existed of Japanese soldiers and Hei-Ho-soldiers, native young boys, trained by the Japanese and wearing their uniforms.This was valuable information because you could not make game with Japanese soldiers, while the Hei-Ho's had proven to be very bad soldiers,wavering of every threat of danger.He stayed where he was, flat on the ground, hoping to see if there were more guards in his field of vision.While waiting he took mental notice of all details of the energy building.The main building was large and build as a square. The part below was build from basalt stone. Here and there he noticed a small window.The large transformers were located around this building, from which the railroad track from Batavia and Buitenzorg was getting energy.In the building itself he noticed the large black and white of the switch-boards including the important precision-instruments. The large insulators were gleaming in the sun and from where Jan was laying on the ground , he was able to read the names in large black letters from the transformers: Bogor 1, Bogor II, Bogor 111, Depok, Kedoeng Badak etc.He now knew in which direction the cables were running. Every where on these grounds, tall masts with high voltage cables were pointing in every direction.The energy station was running on large water works.From huge pipes water plunged with a thundering sound into the turbines, which makes the generators move.Jan studied this whole process and again made mental notes.Suddenly he heard a different sound a rhythm sound like military marching.Around the corner of the building appeared a group of soldiers, in rows of two. They stopped right in Jan's view, as if they liked to make it easy for him. He counted twelve men; when he looked closer he noticed that they were all natives; Hei-Ho- soldiers.It pleased him and at the same time he was very surprised. One man stepped forwards from the group, he looked like a Japanese, but a tall, and masculine build man, very unusual for a Japanese.He seemed to be the commander, and shrieked and shouted at the group. The group of Hei-Ho-soldiers looked very nervous.Suddenly from the roofs sounded commando's. Jan looked up and saw two soldiers, who presented their riffles and it looked like they were relieved from their post.Jan was not able to make out their nationality.So far he had counted fifteen military soldiers, of which at least one was Japanese.The soldiers marched into a small wooden shack, which stood against the side of the main building.This was probably their shelter; they stripped themselves from their uniforms, their carbines and klewangs(swords), walked to some large barrels filled with water and started to wash themselves while laughing and talking loud.
Japanese uniforms, during World War II.

The commander had entered the main building.Jan noticed some natives dressed in their native clothes, who probably were the civilian employees, who belonged to the power station.These men had no weapons. Now Jan had to find out of the power station had telephone contact with the outside world.He searched for telephone wires but did not spotted any of them.Still he thought it strange that such an important installation was without a telephone connection.This was the only thing he was not able to figure out. But he knew that reinforcement troops had to come from at least 20 kilometers far, over very bad passable roads.If they got themselves into trouble they would have time enough to escape.This he took all in consideration. When the Hei-Ho's had disappeared, Jan quickly sneaked away in the direction of the ravine and returned to his two friends. The two welcomed him with relief; they had waited a long time and their joy to see their leader again in one piece was overwhelming. Around their bivouac it smelled like delicious fried fish.

Jan was exhausted, and told them he needed a rest before he would tell what he had seen. But first we have to think about our safety.He told them that the Japanese are closer then they at first had thought! We should build an out-look post.If they suddenly take us by surprise,then all is lost. He climbed a tall tree and started to make a seat from some branches, where they could oversee the whole surroundings if by any chance somebody would come near.When this was done he told the Pimpel to take his first turn from their out look post in the tree.Jan liked to take no risks.The Pimpel took his food up the tree and sat himself down.The two others sat them selves down under a palm tree in the shade. When they had finished they too climbed the tree, where Jan started to tell them what he had seen at the power plant.He told them about his plans, and would like to do the attack on the power plant this very same night.They had to surprise the guards, take their weapons,and if necessary kill them. Destroy the power plant in such way, that it would be impossible to repair it for a long time.Jan and the Tall guy climbed down again and started to boil water for their canteens. The weapons had to be checked,make sure they had enough ammo, and hand grenades.By the time they had everything prepared it was past mid day.They had to take a couple of hours of rest, before they would be on their way.Late afternoon they refreshed in the clear water of the brooklet and the Tall guy climbed the tree to make sure that the Pimpel would have a couple of hours of sleep.When dust fell over the forest, they ate a small meal and went on their way.This up to now was the most dangerous they had done so far.The closer they came to the power plant, the less they would talk.They arrived at the spot where Jan had stopped early in the morning,and they decided that the Pimpel should stay here and warn them when there was trouble in sight.He also had to watch what was going on at this side of the building.Jan and the Tall guy sneaked to the other side of the power plant,and the Pimpel crouched between the bushes.They continued to crawl, until they reached the barbwire, where Jan knew a ladder was against the building. The ladder was used for the guards when the guards were relieved from duty on the roof. He too laid down on the grass between the high grasses.The Pimpel from where he was, could not see much. There was darkness and total stillness.He could only see the guard on the roof, a vague silhouette against the dark, tropical night sky.But he stayed at the place like they had discussed,and made sure the weapons were ready for use.The Tall guy in the meantime kept crawling inch by inch forwards and was now very close to the gate, where the enormous transformers were standing. Suddenly he saw a shadow close in front of him. Each muscle in his body tensed; he stood motionless holding his breath.He heard footsteps coming closer and closer, and suddenly he saw a man in Japanese uniform,who walked strait towards him.As a statue the Tall guy stood in the shadows of the gate. The man passed him, walked passed the transformers and stood still; the Tall guy could only see the outline of a shape. Where the guard was looking at, he had no idea. Did the man see him?Did they watch each other? Maybe the barrel of a gun was aimed at him; his shape looked probably like a shadow in the dark as well.Slowly very slowly the Tall guy squatted down and was laying stretched out on the ground in front of the gate and hoped this way there was less of a chance he could be seen.The insects were making low buzzing sounds in the stillness of the night.Then suddenly there was the sound of footsteps on the cement. The guard returned and disappeared again between the transformers.Jan had not told him about this guard, which probably only took place during the night.It was a serious miscalculation.The guard had to be made innocuous. But the fence seemed too high to climb, too much of a chance that he would be seen.Jan in the meantime; where he was, had not seen much.Everything seemed the same as what he had seen this morning.It was quiet at the emplacement;the Hei-Ho's were sitting in their barrack, where they had taken off their uniforms in the morning, and were listening to a monotonous-droning voice, which probably belonged to the same Japanese commandant from this morning.The door to the power station was open.The circumstances could not be better, Jan thought.Ten minutes later the three were sitting at the place they had said they would meet, and whispered to each other what they had seen.They quickly made decisions about what they had discussed before;make a move all at the same time.The Tall guy would take out the guard at the gate near the transformers, Jan would take care of the guard on the roof and the Pimpel would take care of the barrack.They shook each others hand, and without a word, they each went their way, to do what they had to do.Jan and the Pimpel worked themselves through the barbwire.There in front of him, Jan sees the ladder.Rung by rung he climbs up the ladder, without making a sound. One hand holding the ladder and in the other hand a pistol. His head reaches the roof top and he sees a shadow of a figure in the light of the stars; the man is looking the other way. As a cat he clambers over the edge. Without a sound step by step he closes in at the enemy.He turns his pistol around. With the butt of the pistol, he hit the man with all his strength on the head, and the man falls without a sound to the ground.At the same moment the Tall guy at a speed, he himself did not think was possible, climbed over the high fence near the transformers. Crouched down he is waiting for the guard to pass.He sees a shadow,and hears the sound of heavy boots. The figure passes. With a jump the Tall guy is on the figure and hits him over the head with the butt of his pistol.And there is Jan, already off the roof, running around the corner of the building with the Tall guy on his heels.Without a word they join the Pimpel, who already is in front of the barrack,where the Hei-Ho's are still being lectured. After a short whisper Jan and the Pimpel run to the barrack, while the Tall guy runs alone to the entrance of the central building. Jan is standing in front of one of the windows with two pistols in his hands.The Pimpel has in one hand a grenade and in the other one his pistol. He opens with an unexpected kick the door,and stands there in the door opening as a mighty angel of vengeance. The Hei-Ho's look at him speechless from fear and consternation. The Pimpel orders them:" Hands up!" But the Japanese makes a suspicious move to his hip. The Pimpel shoots him, and the tall Japanese falls to the ground. The Hei-Ho's hands are flying into the air, and the Pimpel has them all under control. Jan looks quickly inside and sees that the Pimpel does'nt need him and runs to the Tall guy, who just at that moment comes around the corner with a couple of natives in front of him. He orders the prisoners into the barrack, where the Pimpel takes over.One of them tried to escape but runs right into Jan who grasped him by the neck and threw him into the barrack.Jan and the Tall guy gather all weapons, including the one from the Japanese, who is laying dead on the floor.Then in a feverish tempo, the destruction of the power plant start.They throw hand grenades into the room where the switch-boards are hanging. Blue and green flames sizzle through the room.Every where around them is noise of crackles from the electric wires, which now short-circuiting.A few hand grenades are tied together, and they put them under the large transformers, the explosion is unbelievable; the steel wall of the transformer ripped open like a tin.

The oil is streaming out and catches fire, the whole environs are lighted up.The heat from the flames melts the conducting-wires.Lights have gone out everywhere.The prisoners panic, but the Pimpel has a couple of flashlights and keeps them all in check.They find more weapons and ammo and a huge amount of money. They have a problem how to carry it all. Jan asked the natives which ones are willing to join the Dutch patrol and promised to pay them well.Two men immediately put up their hands, and they each getting a large bag to carry. In the meantime the others are tied up to heavy posts.They don't like to do this but they can't take the risk that they will pursue them.It will take hours before the prisoners will be able to free themselves.The next step is to make sure that the weapons they have to leave behind can not be used again.The bolts are removed from the riffles and these will disappear into the effervescent foam of the roaring river.The ammo is piled up and a hand grenade brings it to a thundering explosion.The dead Japanese is buried by the two natives who are hired by the Dutch men.After a short inspection, the group leaves . In quick tempo they return to their bivouac, which they take down with the help of the two natives.They leave the same night and march deeper into the mountains; they have a map and a compass. In the morning they stop at a small place between high bushes, and set up a new bivouac. Jan will be the first one to stand guard. Soon the other four are fast asleep, while Jan keeps an eye on everything what moves, and listen to every strange sound, coming from the jungle.

Will continue:
next; On their way to Wijnkoopsbaai. A tiger close to their bivak. A very dangerous meeting. An attack on a Japanese guard.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Part V, Three men against Japan.

In the last few months, since the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies, many organized resistance groups were popping up in Batavia and Bandoeng.

Batavia (now called Jakarta) Just a note of interest; Barak Obama lived in Jakarta (formerly Batavia) from 1969-1971 with his mother. He went to elementary school Mentang 1 in Jakarta's mentang district.The school was founded in 1934 as Carpentier Alting Stichting Nassau school, by the Dutch Colonial administration and was reserved for the children of Dutch Colonial residents and the Indonesian nobility. Obama's attendance at school is commemorated today by a statue of the young Obama in the courtyard.

Obama's school picture.
Batavia bridge in the harbor area. Dutch influence. Batavia now called Jakarta.

Bandoeng The place where I entered the world. The place my parents loved.

The most important task was to establish how to keep contact with each other.This was getting very difficult because for the Europeans it was getting too difficult to travel. These tasks were done by Chinese and Ambonese, who were excellent at having the job done.
The Moluccans (Ambonese natives) were very attached to the Dutch and the Queen of Holland. During the invasion of the Japanese they have showed courage and loyalty. They were heroes and a real asset to the underground resistance. Many of them received decorations and were highly honored. This photograph is from an Ambonese from the (Dutch) K.N.I.L.

A very powerful figure of the resistance was dr. ir. Cranen ( Frans Kramer), who lived in Batavia.
"Ir.Craneb" ( Frans Kramer), the central figure and financier of the resistance in the Dutch Indies, original from Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.( My parents were from Leeuwarden,)He played a big role during the Japanese occupancy. After a long time the Japanese finally arrested him. Only after the war had ended,it came known that he had died, on Jully 21,1943 in a Kempeitai prison form total exhaustion.Mr. Kramer your death was not in vain, thank you for all you have done, during those difficult times in World War II.You were a hero.

He was a very clever economist and had an exceptional position in the occupied region. The Japanese often asked him for advice, due to his knowledge and experience in the agriculture-economy.He furnished them with the necessaries for an economic plan for the Dutch Indies.With all his advice dr. Cranen aimed first of all to keep the cultural entrepreneurs in the Dutch Indies, and protection for as many Europeans from internment.Through his position as a general agriculture-syndicate, he was able to cheat the Japanese of considerable amounts of money, which he applied to financial support for various resistance groups.He traveled a lot due by virtue of one's office, and made good use out of it to make contact with many leaders of the underground resistance organizations.Kelter was one of the first ones who came in contact with Cranen, and that's why he was in the possession of important amounts of money, necessary to continue the work of his organization. For Cranen this double life, trusted by the Japanese, and as a financial top figure for the resistance, was extremely difficult and dangerous.For a long time he was able to misled the Japanese.

An other important figure in the resistance movement on Java was Tuindersma, captain of general staff, who went by the assumed name of Smit as a simple gardener, working on one of the estates in the vicinity of Soekaboemi.
Almost nobody knew this mr. Smit, but in real life he was the big man in the background, and led the underground resistance on West Java.One of the very few who knew the role of Smit, was Cranen. The two of them had regular contact through couriers, sometimes they saw each other in person.At one of Jan's trips to Soekaboemi he met Smit. Without knowing which role this secret leader played. Although Jan had a feeling that he was talking to some one who knew more about everything then he let on.Smit managed to stay out of captivity, due to special dedication from the Netherlands army command.Soon after the capitulation he had tried to escape with one of the Dutch water airplanes to Australia.These water planes often came to the South coast of Java.That attempt was unsuccessful and together with his orderly they returned to the North. A very dangerous precarious trip; Besides that the two men had to be constantly on one's guard for the Japanese controle, the captain was suffering from a stomach ulcer, which constantly hindered him.Thanks to the excellent care of his orderly they were able to reach Soekaboemi, where he was taken to a hospital.As soon as 'Smit' felt fit again, he went in hiding on the estate 'Tjiwatt', just outside Soekaboemi, and took over the general leadership from the resistance.
The Japanese became suspicious about Ir.Cranen (dr. ir. Frans Kramer). However they did not have proof enough to arrest him, at the same time the activity of the Kempeitai intensified.Everywhere spies tried to get into the resistance movement.It was also the beginning that the Japanese decided to put all Europeans behind barbwire.And everywhere prison camps were build.Every white man(Blanda) who did not work for the NIPPON lost his freedom.In Buitenzorg a Ursuline convent was now used for an internment camp.

In Soekaboemi the Japanese were preparing a large internment camp. The Europeans were given the opportunity, to register at the offices of NIPPON, but had to pay an enormous amount of money for this ID card, those who paid would receive " protection " from NIPPON. Under false pretending the Japanese made a lot of money, this was actually stealing.It also gave them total disposal over a complete identity administration of the white population.The persons who had registered would be so called put in "protected", special internment camps as soon as possible.
Life in these "protected" camps was difficult and wretched.The camps were overfull, and the sanitation was inhumane.

Food was very bad and not enough.More and more people would be send into these so called "protection" camps.Not only the camps were overcrowded, the prisons were overfull.The Kempeitai(Kempeitai were the notorious "Gestapo")arrested anybody who they thought were political involved,and put in these prison cells which were crowded with thieves, murderers and professional criminals.In these prisons the hygiene was even worse than in the camps, medical care was not existing.Malaria and dysentery ravaged through these prisons and camps.Help from the outside was forbidden.These camps and prisons were a living hell. But the moral from the Dutch people could not be broken. An unprecedented fraternization grew between them, which made them morally self-assertive.And against all odds, the blanda's (White people), who had escaped the camps and the prisons so far, were able to smuggle some extra food and medicines to their country men, who had lost their freedom.
The Japanese still trusted Cranen, whilst they still trusted him he had found a way to setup a relief fund which through illegal ways ended up in the hands of the resistance movement.That's how Smit and Kelter had at their disposal these secret funds. They used part of it to build secret radio transmitters. They send cries of distress to Australia and the Dutch-Indies government, and kept them informed of the untenable situation, which the Europeans on Java experienced.The only support was, that soon they would be rescued,and freedom for the Dutch=Indies would come soon.These promises gave them new hope. Now and than rumors were heard that the American troops had landed, but those stories seemed to be not true, often even were spread by the Japanese themselves.The reason for this was to try to get the resistance movement to become more daring so they might expose themselves.
One day the order was issued that all radios had to be registered; the radio's had to be taken to a certain building to have them "adjusted". The Japanese are going to technically enforce the order. Nobody is allowed to listen to foreign senders any more.The only sender they could listen too, was the Japanese sender.The Japanese were sending false messages over the radio.The control over the send messages, brought wild speculations that the Allies had landed on Java and the outside regions, and that soon Java would be in the hands of the Allies. Even Cranen fell into this trap, which was a crafty setup.And for the time being a government was formed, with Cranen temporary taking the decisions, until the legitimate authority was back in place. Secretly they held board meetings. There were discussions with Smit, who was in charge of the military.The activities of the clandestine organizations reached their culminating point.That was the moment the Kempeitai harvest what they had seeded.Many were arrested, prominent figures were taken from their beds at night and were taken to the torture chambers of the secret police.That's were the most inhumane tortures toke place. If bodily violence did not make the suspect to speak, his wife and children were brought in, and were threatened to be tortured in front of the unfortunate man. Even the strongest of them could not stand up to this much horror.
This way the Kempeitai got information of important data and key secrets.Daily the curtain closed, only some of the resistance were able to escape the Kempeitai.
Most of the resistance movement were arrested in Bandoeng, and executions were taking place daily, without some form of protest hundreds were shot to death. Others were put in front of a court-martial without able to defend themselves,. They were arrested without any form of subpoena and were condemned without knowing the facts.Many innocents became the victim of this Japanese madness.However the important resistance leaders were still walking free. Dr. ir. Cranen, although seriously becoming a suspect, was one of them. Smit was still living as a unknown employee as a gardener at a big concern near Soekaboemi.Kelter just mist being arrested; he had disappeared and the Kempeitai had promised an enormous amount of money to anyone who could give them information about his whereabouts.
Jan, the Tall guy and the Pimpel had barely escaped the Kempeitai as well, and on their heads a large amount of money was promised, for any information of their wherabouts.The Kempeitai could do what they liked, but the resistance was not to stop. Food and medication were still arriving into the camps;and messages which boosted the moral of the prisoners still reached them. Warders were bribed.Secret senders were build, and contact with the outside world and their own government was restored.Plans were made for the future liberation.In prison camps comfort lectures were held, to give the weak a boost and not to give up.This is how the stituation was at the moment when the three started their difficult journey to South-Bantam and to an unsure future.
One early morning the three of them left, accompanied by two other men.The three friends and two boys, which they got to know while they were working for Mats.
The journey was not easy. They had to stay away from the highways.They dragged themselves along dusty small lanes through small village communities.

They waded through fast stream rivers,stumbled over uneven stones of small lanes between huge rocks.By the hour the two new friends became very quiet.One of them was not physical very strong; fatigue from the journey was showing on his face.Arriving at Leuwiliang they would leave a relative even terrain and from there they would enter into the mountains.It promised to be a very difficult climb, up and down the mountains, through inaccessible ravines. How long would this trip take?And what would they find at the end?
When they stopped for a couple of minutes rest, in the neighborhood of the highway to Rankas Bitoeng, one of the two boys started to speak. Both of them decided to go back to the place of origin, to Batavia. They were too tired and did not see salvation in this uncertain and dangerous adventure.Who knows maybe the war would soon be over; and maybe they would die in this desolated part of the country, or killed by bandits or a Japanese patrol would shoot them.And what if the war would last for years, what would they do in South-Bantam? It was utterly craziness to take a proa(prauw) and sail the seas to Australia where the Japanese were master, and who knows how many mine lines were laid in those waters.The three others tried very hard to talk too the two boys so they would take the right decission,please do not lose your fate and your sense of duty, which you should fight for. Not only for freedom for your selves but for your countrymen and Homeland.But the two of them had made up their minds, they were exhausted and they would only be a hinder for the other three.
They said goodby. When the three were alone Jan said:" Lets not get down on ourselves. Maybe they are not morally and physically strong enough for the difficulties which are facing us. It would bring nothing but misery; not only for them but also for us.My only hope is that they reach Batavia safely.Lets go!"

They waded through rivers and climbed the mountains.Soon they became optimistic again, for a while they felt very low,their spirits had been overshadowed by the going of their two friends. They sang and whistled, the sun was rising over the beautiful landscape, that changed constantly and there was so much beauty, it took their breath away.They overlooked the most beautiful endless, emerald green of the sawa's (rice-fields) it looked spotless and so peaceful. The rice-fields looked like huge steps down the slopes of the mountains into the valley. In the distance they could see the blue silhouettes of the mountains in the South. Sometimes their journey took them through gloomy, abandoned rubber gardens, where they felt as if at any moment they could be strangled.The feeling was like that of a graveyard; like a battle-field after the battle.
The further they went, the more desolated the landscape became.They had to cut their own paths, and often their path crossed roaring rivers, very difficult to wade through.

They had to cross deep and steep ravines to get to the other side, and would discover that on the other side was an even deeper and steeper ravine. A big hinder was there luggage, which consisted of food, weapons,ammo,and extra clothes and shoes, which they had to carry and which they needed.
Crossing a river was very difficult with all that luggage on your back, it was not easy to keep yourself well-balanced.Sometimes one of them slipped on a slippery stone, and was taken with the current quiet a distance down stream,all luggage would be soaking wet and had to be dried in the sun before they could continue their journey.There first goal,and the place the three men had decided to check-out, would be in the neighborhood of Kratjak, where an important energy station was located, which delivered energy to a large area of West-Java and for the railway between Batavia and Buitenzorg. Although this part was never discussed with Kelter, the three had made up their minds, to sabotage this energy station.
An aerial picture from the energy station..

They had avoid the strait road between Leuwiliang and Kratjak,knowing that the Japanese would be patrol these roads.They had to go over the next high mountain and would have to cross the river Tjianten a couple of times because of the many bends in this river.They stopped at a very high spot near a little stream, which was close to Kratjak on the river Tjianten.

They looked at an unbelievable beautiful panorama of untouched nature; dark forest with thick foliage, high, lonely palm trees,the roaring river and a peaceful brooklet.In the distance the mighty Zuidergebergte,(South mountains) a gigantic shadow against the light blue of the sky and further down you could see the mighty silhouette of the Salak(Volcano).Which ever way the three men looked they saw just peace and tranquility, this must be paradise.It was almost like a shock to return to reality.
The Pimpel and the Tall guy started to chop down bamboo with their klewang( a single edge sword) they had to build a bivouac. They build a small house and covered it with palm leaves for the roof, which Jan had cut, down in the valley.Everywhere they found tracks of wild life; they definitely would not be hungry.But first they had to investigate the surroundings, because in this land the echo's of shots could be heard from a far distance.From the food they carried with them, they fixed a meal. They drank a nice smelling coffee and smoked a cigarette.Before they went to sleep, they drew a straw, the longest straw would be guard for the night, and the Pimpel lost. The night was quiet, nothing disturbed them.

Will continue.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Part IV, Three men against Japan.

While the 'Pimpel' and the 'Tall' guy had narrowly escaped the Japanese soldiers, Jan had gone to the lovely mountain town Soekaboemi.'Kelter' had given him a few adresses from resistance men, who lived in Soekaboemi.

Coffee plantation-Soekaboemi

One of the addresses was from a Mr. Donker.Jan got to know quickly where he could find him, because everybody in Soekaboemi seemed to know Mr. Donker. The man was an official at the rice distribution and had therefor a car at his disposal, which he used for all sorts of clandestine work.He promised to help Jan as much as he good, and put him to work as a chauffeur on the "rice-car". This way he would be able to get in touch with other Dutch men, and he would likely not get suspicious.At the swimming pool behind Donkers house, Jan got in touch with a few men who already were in the resistance against the Japanese.
Jan was very careful to make appointments, and acquainted himself first with the situation in Soekaboemi, and getting a "taste" of men, if they were the right person for the 'Kelter', organization,which they liked to set up in Soekaboemi.To be able to talk to each other, without somebody listing in, the 'Kelter' and Jan decided to go for a evening stroll.When they passed by a house ,'Donker' made Jan draw attention to a man, standing in the shadow of a flat roof, almost invisible.It's a German, said Donker, and we suspect that he works for the Japanese.A couple of times he had trouble with the 'Mof'(German), although this same guy had reason enough to be thankful to Donker.They walked on. Suddenly Donker stood still and whispered:'Exactly at this spot, where we are standing,I hid weapons and valuables.But to keep the weapons here, is getting too risky!You are just the right guy to take them to a concern. The administrator knews about it and is very trustworthy.Do you think you can do it?"
"Ofcourse, I can do it."
They walked back, again passed the house where the German lived, who was still following them from the shadow of his flat roof.
Arriving back at the house they gave instructions to one of the men,to have a truck ready very early in the morning.Jan and his host waited a couple of hours till the night was in total darkness.They left the house again,now it was pouring rain.Passing the house from the German, Jan thought he could see a suspiciously movement, he grabbed Donker by the arm. They hid behind some bushes and watched the house for awhile.Nothing happened, and they decided to move on.To dig in the muddy ground was difficult, but finally they reached the chest and were able to open the lid.Jan took the weapons, which were secured in a jute-sack, and walked quickly to the garage, where the person in hiding took them from him to hide them in rice bags.Next Jan went quickly back to Donker to help him make sure that no traces were left from their digging.
When they arrived home they changed clothes,their clothes had become soaking wet, and they cleaned their shoes because they were full of mud.They were exhausted and only had two hours left to sleep.
A Bamboo-bridge in Soekaboemi, the Dutch- East-Indies, West Java.

Very early in the morning Jan was awakened. He stepped in the truck beside the Javanese driver,who had no idea what a dangerous load he was transporting.Half an hour later they arrived at the estate of the concern.While Jan was keeping the Javanese driver buzy, his accomplice took the weapons out the truck.Jan who wanted to go back to Buitenzorg, to report to Kelter what he had found out in Soekaboemi,told the driver to take him to the train station, and got on the train while it was still very early in the morning.He had no idea that the Kempetei had raided Donkers house.Was it the German who had betrayed them? The Japanese searched the house and the whole surroundings and finally found the spot where the two white men had dug that night.It had been impossible in the dark and in the pouring rain to leave no traces. The Kempetei dug up the chest, but did find nothing but some paintings, silver wear and some jewelry. Donker was arrested, but they had to let him go, because there was no proof that the chest had concealed weapons.
Although Jan had no idea from what was happening to Donker, his morning did not go by without interruptions.Suddenly an unexpected ticket control, and he was not able to show his train pass.Jan showed him a false identity certificate with photo ID and stamp. This seemed to satisfy the slit-eyed 'Jap'.However Jan had to open his small suitcase and there the Japanese found a Dutch army badge, which stupid enough, Jan had carried around with him.Proud as he was to have this badge with the crown above two swords; proof that the wearer of this badge was a master in handling weapons.Now his pride would be his downfall.
"Serdadoe?" asked the Japanese. "Are you a Dutch soldier?"
Jan denied, but the Jap was now suspicious.At the next train station, Jan had to get out; he would be handed over to the guard of this station,and the sad end of his freedom would be over. Dejected Jan was sitting on his suitcase at the small train station. The Japanese, who walked passed the still standing carriages, kept an close eye at him.The train started to move again, slow and with big puffs of smoke from the locomotive. Jan waited till the last carriage was near him, it was an open transport carriage, full of vegetables, fish and fruit.Quickly he stood up, threw his small suitcase into the door opening and with a dangerous jump he landed between large bunches of pisangs (Bananas)and had to laugh at the side of the Jap,who tried to keep up with the train, which slowly got speed. It was so funny to see this yellow man trying to run, with his very bowlegged short legs.A few natives who had found a free spot between all these fruits and vegetables, cursing the sons of Nippon all kinds of names.
Jan got of the train at a small train station just outside of Buitnezorg., and walked the rest of the way on very deserted lanes and small paths between the rice-fields to 'Kelters' house.
This was the spot where Jan Luxinger walked on the small paths between the rice-fields to the 'Kelters' house, in 1942.

The following night they had an ample discussion, a council of war about their next maneuver.Buitenzorg was becoming too dangerous for the boys. The activity from the Japanese were getting more and more intense and the streets and roads were getting more and more controlled.It was almost becoming impossible to move around as an European without getting noticed by the yellow men.Some women had already taken over some of the jobs, and they had done an excellent work.Because of all these reasons the three of them decided to find shelter elsewhere.Kelter had a good friend who owned a small agricultural enterprise, not too far from Buitenzorg.On his land were many grotto's where they could hide in case necessary, and the mountains were very close.

The next morning a group of white men left very early in the morning while it was still dark to the mountains in the vicinity of Buitenzorg.In this group of men, was Mr. Mats the owner of the estate, his son Peter, Kelter,Jan and two other co-workers from Kelter, de Roode and an Ambonese,Rattikawa.For these last two it was just going to be an orientation expedition;there job would be the communication line with Buitenzorg.The 'Tall' guy and the 'Pimpel' had left that same morning from Buitenzorg as well, they had formed a small group and had taken a different route.

Before the 'Pimpel' and the 'Tall' guy would join the others, they first had to try to find out what had happened to a number of Dutch-Indies trucks with ammunition and hand grenades, which were left behind somewhere in these surroundings, when the Japanese invaded the Dutch-Indies.
The two left their group and went on their way. They would join the groups later at the estate.
Both groups arrived safely.An old 'Mandoer'(Indo superintendent), who had been watching over the plantation during the absent of his master, was so happy to see Mr. Mats, including of so many friends.
Kelter left again the very same day, and gave the group instructions; make sure you take notice of everything you hear or see, and try to get contact with as many guerrilla fighters. No unnecessary weapon force.He would make sure for regular courier service and food supplies, like sugar, salt,cooking oil , etc.The next day the men went too work, because the buildings were destroyed by rampok-bandits and had to be rebuild with the supplies they had on hand right now.The bandits had left not much furniture and house hold goods.No time to get bored.They got time to get to know each other and real comrade ships were build.But one day a message arrived, that Mr. Mats had to come to the Kempeitai(Police) in Buitenzorg,to explain about the people he had put to work on his estate.The old man was able to give an explanation, but it looked like they had been betrayed.They had to be alert day and night.One day a message was delivered- the Dutch men had some trustworthy spies- that a police patrol of natives and Japanese soldiers were on there way to arrest the white men.Just on time the men were able to take all weapons, ammunition and paperwork to a safe place in the hills.The Japanese searched the whole estate,but nothing was found.In the meantime the fugitives had set up bivouac on the hills of the Gedeh; the place they had discussed with 'Kelter'incase of need.They stayed for two days and two nights and decided it was safe to return to the estate.They barely arrived back at the house when some of their native friends told them that only a few of the Japanese patrol men had returned to Buitenzorg.A few Japs had stayed behind and were holding guard in a ladanghuisje (harvest-outpost) in the middle of the rice fields.They planned to attack the white men as soon as they would return.

This is a harvest-little house in the middle of a rice-field. Most of the time these small little buildings have mats hanging on the sides so they can be closed.

That same night the 'Tall' guy and the 'Pimpel' left the house to see if the Japanese were indeed holding themselves up in the rice-fields. To get close to the little house on stilts was very difficult.Before they descended into the ravine, they discussed a spot they should meet in case they each had to go their separate way if a problem would arise.On that spot they hid some ammo and some food, in case they would not be able to return to the estate.They descended into the ravine and were close to the spot in the rice-fields were the Japs should be. There were suppose to be four, they were told.Four to the two of them with only their Mauser pistols and each of them a hand grenade.Before they dared to enter the open rice-fields, they crawled up a hill to oversee the surroundings.The little house on stilts stood there in the middle of the rice-field under the blue shine of a tropical night. Nothing else was to be seen.No guard, no movement around the harvest-house and no other sound then the sound of the high paddy-grasses in the soft wind.At the out skirts of the rice-field they each went their separate way, so they could try to get close from both sides.When the 'Tall' guy, after crouching through the field reached the pillars of the structure, he could hear faint sounds, telling him there were people up in the harvest house.Through a small opening of the plaited bamboo he noticed some frames of people. He counted five in total.
He could not see a door from where he was.He crouched between the pillars to the other side, where he met the 'Pimpel'. They saw a small ladder leading to a small door.The 'Tall' guy went first up the ladder, and with a big jump he stood in the middle of the sparse room, his pistol ready to shoot.The Japs were lying on the floor snoring and were fast asleep.It was even difficult to wake them and when they woke up it took them awhile to know what was happening.By that time the two Dutch men had them all tied up.It looked like that the prisoners were not only Japanese, but under them were some native police men.
The loot on weapons existed of; three riffles, a light Japanese machine-gun and a pistol.These weapons the Dutch men took with them.They left the tied Japanese and the police men behind. They would probably soon be found, but by then the persons in hiding would be gone and safe in the mountains.After a short debate all men agreed it would be best to leave immediately.
Through all these happenings and the ever increasing keen interest from the Kempeitai, the 'Kelter' thought it advisable to stop all activities for the time being.
One evening when Jan and the Kelter were sitting on the veranda, discussing the state of affair, which daily became darker and darker.Suddenly they heard a sound in the garden and they saw a figure, who was trying to hide in the bushes.With one hand in his pocket, his finger on the trigger from his pistol, Jan walked slowly to the moving bushes, ready to point his pistol at the figure, when he recognized the laughing face of the 'Tall' guy.He came with news that from the persons in hiding, who had find a hiding place at a rubber plantation on the outskirts of Buitenzorg.The three of them now discussed the future. Work here in West Java was getting impossible.Most of the men were known in this neighborhood, to continue here with these men was suicide. Jan suggested to leave for South-Bantam.When they would reach there, they should try to get a prauw, which had to be strong enough to sail them to Australia.The two others agreed.They would leave this night, but it took them hours before they had discussed every angle and which route to follow.It was dark when Jan and the 'Tall' guy were saying goodbye to 'Kelter'. For a long time the 'Kelter' was sitting on his veranda and stared in the direction where his two young friends had disappeared.

will continue: next, Well known figures from the resistance, the prison camps with all the atrocities,Arrests and mass-executions . To South-Bantam. Beautiful nature and loneliness.Brave attack on a electricity station.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Part 3; Three Dutch men against Japan.

Jan Luxinger.One of the men who fought the Japanese invaders.

The Tall guy (G.D.J. Vlam)

Two of the four Dutch soldiers, who escaped from Japanese prison camp.

In search of weapons.

While all this was happening, the 'Tall' guy was walking the sad ruins of what once had been the buildings of a thriving rubber plantation nearby Buitenzorg.
Rubber plantation.

Taking the rubber from the trees.
Rubber tapped from the trees.

Rampok bandits, had destroyed everything what was standing,the factory, the offices, the housing of the employees; even the massive walls from the safe were ribbed open like a tin of sardines.An uncomfortable feeling was hanging over the scorched place and a treacherous silence.On the muddy ground between the ruins he noticed some fresh foot prints.The back part of the factory was still standing. Turning the corner of this wall the 'Tall' guy saw a remnants of a fire, which was still smoldering.He noticed that the ladder which took you up to one of the drying-rooms, had some wet mud on it. The 'Tall' guy had a feeling that eyes were spying on him. He kept looking around, gun in his hand but did not see anything.Carefully without making any noise he went up the ladder.Arriving at the top he sees a small platform. The door to the drying-room is open a bit. With a quick move he pushes the door open and points his gun in the opening.In the dark he sees a movement and he shoots.The shot echoes of the walls of the small room,and then it is dead quiet again. Carefully the 'Tall' guy is moving along the wall inside the room. On the spot where he saw the movement,he now can sees the contours of a Javanese man lying on the floor. The man is dying, not from the gun shot of the 'Tall' guy but from a knife-stab wound in the chest.The 'Tall' guy uses the dying mans loin cloth to bandage the wound and asked him some questions. But the dying man only moans.
Who were the murderers and where are they? Did they hear the shot, which the 'Tall' guy had fired? How many are there? Quickly without making a sound he goes down the ladder, looking with spying eyes all around him. He sees nothing.Then he decides to go right to the spot where he was told the weapons would have been hidden. The information to his surprise seemed correct. Within just a few minutes he finds eight large boxes. Three of them have automatic Mauser-pistols and five other weapons with ammunition.But suddenly again he has the feeling that eyes are spying on him.His whole body tenses, he peers to the wooded outskirts of the land and he noticed; almost not visible with the naked eyes that the tall grasses are ever so slightly moving.With a quick jump he is over the wall.Squatting down, his pistol in the ready position, he waits.Then he sees them, two figures quickly standing up from the high cane-grasses; they are running in the direction of the boxes, which are now standing unattended beside the spot where the 'Tall' guy had broken the pavement, where the boxes had been hidden.The 'Tall' guy quickly runs around the corner and points his pistol at the two men.Petrified they stand still.He rips their creeses from their belts (Indonesian stab with a creese) and throws them beside the boxes on the ground."Pick-up, quickly!" he shouts, "very quickly!"
creese, strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia.

Wearing of a creese in Indonesia.

The Javanese are so stunned that they pick-up the boxes;he sticks the creeses into his own belt.They leave, the two brown men in front.But all of a sudden the 'Tall' guy was thinking about the dying man in the drying-room.He ordered the two men to turn around, and to put the boxes on the ground.With fear in their eyes they look at the 'Tall' guy, when he tells them to crawl up onto the ladder.They are trying to tell him that up there was a dangerous enemy.He points the gun at them again and they crawl very hesitant up the ladder.The Javanese up there had died." Which one of the two of you has stabbed him to death?" asked the 'Tall' guy."I did, sir," confessed one of them. "He was the enemy, and he killed three of our children and one woman in our kampong." The story could not be verified. The 'Tall' guy ordered them to carry him downstairs and made them dig a hole, so they could bury him.Then he made the two prisoners carry the boxes, and ordered them to walk up front.They were very willing' and showed him a shorter way to reach town,when they reached the outskirts of the forrest he told them to drop the boxes, gave them each a guilder and threw their creeses at them. They showed their appreciation , and quickly disappeared.When they were gone out of sight the 'Tall' guy carried the boxes along the river and buried them. He placed some rocks on top of it so he would be able to recognize the spot.

An aerial picture from Buitenzorg,taken at the beginning of World War II.

Each man had their own adventure to tell, when they met at the spot they had promised to see each other again.Jan went to 'Ketler' to tell him the good news that they now were in possession of two machine-guns, two light Japanese riffles, three Mauser-pistols and three ordinairy guns.'Kelter' was very happy about this important gain of weapons.However they decided that they still had to try to brake-in at the building of the General Secretary.
One hour after dusk, in the former Dutch Indies it is quickly dark, 'Kelter' and Jan sneak through the backyard entering through a small gateway and arrive at the railroad tracks.Two very faithful Chinese of 'Kelter' are already waiting for them . They are getting quickly whispered instructions. The two white men walk quickly without making a sound run to the little dark lane behind the building.After some tries the shutters finally open.'Kelter' who knows every room in the building climbed first through the window.But in the darkness he walks against a chair, which falls over to the ground. The sound of the fallen chair makes a lot of noise in the still of the house.They wait with their heart in their throats if somebody has heard it.But it seems like nobody is there.Very slowly they continue.In this room they only find some clothing, shoes, canteens and leather wear.They throw out the window a few canteen bottles and some shoes; the Chinese, who are standing guard, catches them and passes them to his colleague, to the other side of the railway tracks.Now the 'Kelter' and Jan have to cross a hallway to another room.This is tricky, because they will be in view of the Japanese guard who is at the front of the building.But all they hear is the sound of a drunk, and unintelligible monotonous song which is repeated over and over, sung by husky voices.The door to this room is locked; they have to break it open. Finally they are in the room standing between countless weapons.First some tommyguns go through the window, fifteen total with ammunition.Then some big tins with hand grenades.There are also lots of pistols they could use, but they see no ammunition for these.There are lots more weapons but they don't like to take the risk to get caught. They close the door as good as they can, and crawl back out of the window; they close the shutter and the China men are being thanked. As a thank you they each are getting a weapon.
They hide the weapons that same night in 'Kelters' garden. It's late, when they finally arrive back in the livingroom of 'Kelters' house and by the silver light of the moon they take a cool drink."It would be nice and easy if you could live here", says 'Kelter'.
The next morning Jan says goodbye to the hostess, who with tears in her eyes says far well to Jan.
That same day the 'Tall' guy and the 'Pimpel' tell Jan their successful venture with 'Jappie',(Japanese) in Parang Koeda, where earlier they had found hidden weapons.These also were quickly concealed in the garden behind 'Kelters' house.
Daily the risks were getting bigger.More and more white men, who were not jet locked up in internment camps, joint their organization.The break into the Kempetei was discovered, and the Japanese spies grew by the day. Many of them kept an eye on the house of the 'Kelter'. Jan and 'Kelter' made the decision to disappear for a while from Buitenzorg.The 'Tall' guy and the 'Pimpel' thought it would be a wise decision to do the same.There was only one thing they still would like to do. An acquaintance did gave them an address from a friend of him who was locked up in Japanese camp. He had told him that in a house was a safe with a lot of money in it, which 'Kelter' was allowed to use to support the women soldiers or to set up a central kitchen.The 'Tall' guy and the 'Pimpel' were on their way,they each had a weapon and a few hand grenades.

The house was situated in a housing estate a neighborhood where the indigenous; who had made a better life for themselves lived;the windows were shut with heavy duty shutters.The 'Tall' guy broke them with a large heavy club and the sound of it alarmed the whole Javanese neighborhood.The 'Tall' guy crawled through the window,in the meantime the 'Pimpel' stood guard outside the house and made sure that the natives did not get too close.
However the crowd of onlookers became larger and larger, some became hostile.First the 'Pimpel' asked them very friendly to leave, but nobody took any notice.He decided to scare them a bit and slowly took out his Mauser-pistol and pointed it at the crowd and told them to leave.At once the people left.In the meantime the 'Tall' guy had found the safe inside the house and tried to open the lock with a shot from his heavy-caliber pistol, without success.He tied some hand grenades together with a fire cord and lit the fuse.With one huge leap he got out of the window, with so much speed, that it made the natives, who had come close again, run away.He jerked the 'Pimpel' with him to the other side of the street; not a second to late, because with a unbelievable noise a part of the roof flew off the house and all the doors and windows were torn from their hinges.When the smoke settled the 'Tall' guy went inside again.
Now the natives were returning slowly again, with all sorts of weapons. One of them had an old fashioned rifle, and pointed the barrel at the 'Pimpel'. With no hesitation the 'Pimpel" shot at him, and the man fell down to the ground with a moan.This made the crowd flee.The 'Tall' guy who
still had not managed to open the safe,had now attached a few more hand grenades. The second explosion was much heavier then the first, and the house on one side caved in.The safe had finally ripped open,and it was still very difficult to get the money out.When finally the 'Tall' guy jumped out the window with large tin cans of money, the 'Pimpel' was lying flat on the ground ready to shoot anybody who would come near." Run as fast as you can to the ravine," called the 'Pimpel': "I will cover you!"
A second later they heard the crowd scream, hurah!, hurah!. A truck with a group of Japanese soldiers drove up into the street.The 'Pimpel' had jumped up and now he was running under cover from his friend, as fast as he could towards the ravine.They had to try to get across the ravine to the other side, before the Japanese soldiers had reached this side of the ravine.

The 'Tall' guy was a very lithe man and had quickly reached the other side; the 'Pimpel' was not so lucky, he missed his grip and slipped back into the ravine.The 'Tall' guy had to shoot at a few natives, who had followed them, and they dropped to the ground.At the same moment when the 'Pimpel' finally had reached the top of the steep ravine,the Japanese soldiers at the other side opened fire.But the two white men had already disappeared between the tall grasses of the paddy.

They were not safe yet, because the Japanese would surely try to catch them.The two Dutch men ran as fast as they good through the rice fields, and arrived at another ravine. Very careful trying to find as much cover as they good, they arrived on the other side. They took a short rest, to get their breath back.

After this escape, the 'Tall' guy said:"I think it is better for us, after this 'expedition' that we disappear for a while!" The 'Pimpel' totally agreed.

Will continue; Betrayed by a German.... dangerous nights....A plan to escape to Australia... etc.