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.
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!"
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.
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- Part VIII, Three men against Japan.
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