life stories

Welcome to Coconut Connections

Real life stories

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Three men against Japan. Part 2

By train to Batavia-----
The first underground resistance.

They still have half an hour walk to the small train station of Paran Koeda.Just a few days ago the train-service with Batavia was restored.The train connection to Bandoeng had so much damage,on that train track many bridges were destroyed.

Before the war Parang Koeda was a very quiet tranquil place.Now it is swarmed with Japanese soldiers, lying on their satchels, standing, walking or loading war equipment on the freight trains.The boys are trying to blend in with the crowd.One of the guards looks at them with suspicion, and slowly walks up to them, trying to intercept some of their conversation. Suddenly the little yellow man turns to the Pimpel and asked him a question in broken language of English and Malay. Are you 'orang oranda',(Dutch). The Pimpel answered "yes". The guard asked where they are going?' The Pimpel answered that the plantation where they were working closed,and they were on their way to the Head office in Batavia, to check with the Japanese administrators,to tell them that we will be at their disposal.Jan decided to join into the conversation.The conversation leads to politics. It's a weird discussion, right there at the train station, between all this military busy activity.The mistrust from the Japanese guard is misled,and after an hour of anguish waiting, they hear in the distance the sound of the steam engine and the train has arrived.

They quickly looked for a quiet spot in one of the compartments.In silence and each deep in thought staring out the window to all this beauty they see. Such a beautiful country with a landscape so diverse, on their voyages, while at sea they had seen many countries. But this land looks like millions of emeralds, so lush and green, and the sunsets takes your breath away.At the train station in Depok new passangers get on.Japanese soldiers, just arrived by ship after a journey of weeks,on troop ships way too small to accommodate so many soldiers. As sardines in a tin they were packed together. They look dirty and so tired,low-spirited men who set themselves down on their dirty looking satchels.
Without incidents the four Dutch men arrive in Batavia. As free men they walk through town.Here the 'Kuiper' says fare well to his friends; in this section of town lives his fiance.They shake hands, short but full of emotion, and he disappears from their sight.The three men keep looking at his back until he is gone. At that moment they do not know that they will never hear from him and never will see him again.
The three men walk to the passar, the shopping-quarters.They buy what they need like clothes and a hair dresser cut their hair and now they look like respectable civilians again.
Their first task is to find the captain , who with twenty five other subordinates are still free. The' Kuiper' had given them an addres, and that's where they find him. A very tall, tanned man,with a surely look on his face and his tone of speaking is short and in an off-hand manner.
He has no intentions to support the idea of Guerrilla's against the Japanese.
Disillusioned they leave. They walk strait to the former Hotel Des Indies, where the crew from the Captain are housed in awaiting of their transport to a POW camp, which is still under construction.With enthusiasme the three men are welcomed at the hotel, full of noise and drunk soldiers, with local girls in their arms.It looks like their is no ambition for their plans. To some of the groups they asked forthright the question:" Are you ready to fight against the occupier?"
All they hear is scornful laughter.The moral and lawlessness from the soldiers brought even the best of them in a state of insouciance.Still deeper disillusioned the three friends walk again through the streets of Batavia in search of an acquaintance of the Tall guy, where they will try to find a roof over their heads for one night.They find an old man at the address,he too is a fugitive who narrowly escaped the blood thirsty bandits, who since the arrival of the Japanese army, are making the neighborhood of Palembang unsafe.He escaped in a proa and crossed the street of Soenda.While on his way, malaria had nearly overpowered him;more dead then alive driven by instinct to self preservation he made it home. He can't remember how he arrived at his families doorstep.Now he waited to get his strength back and would take on the fight against the occupiers.The story of this man, with his energetic posture, his fierce look in his eyes, mend a lot to the boys after all the disappointments they had today.And when the old man hears about their plans, he offers to go with them. Jan is convincing him that he first has to look after his health. He agrees after Jan promised him that they will send him information, where he can meet them when his health is back.The Tall guy in the meantime,surprising all of them, had taken a pistol from his small bag, and handed it over to the old man with the words;"it's for self defending, when the time comes".
After an outstanding meal,the three men say goodnight.They have no idea that while they are in deep sleep, the old man is sitting in front of their bedroom door as a guard with the pistol in his hands.
Early in the morning he wakes them up, nothing on his face shows that he did not sleep at all that night.Behind a facade of cheerfulness, he conceals his grief, that they will leave without him.It is an emotional goodbye, and none of them knows that this is a goodbye forever.
West-Java where this story enacted. This map tells the route about the next chapters.

Again the three of them have boarded a train, this time they are on their way to Buitenzorg.They received very vague information,where about they could get in contact with the guerrillas.On arrival each of them is going a separate way to try to get more information.
The next morning they arrive on the spot which they had chosen to meet again.All of them got some information. Jan, thanks to a single old lady-' the soldiers mother' from Buitenzorg, had contact with a remarkable man, Kelter was his name, he had been the commander of the town guard, and now being the leader of a resistance movement.They specialized in weapon smuggle and espionage.Jan has a good feeling that this man 'Kelter' will be the man who will be their best contact in the near future.

Son of the old Minister Welter. He got the nickname 'Kelter". He died on May 15, 1943 in Antjol, where he was murdered by the Japanese.

The Tall guy also has important information about weapons, and where they are hidden. The Pimpel got an address in Batavia, where he will be able to get information of how to get in contact with the guerrilla fighters in the mountains.All this information they received are discussed. Each of them will get a task. The 'Tall' guy will go to the estate where the weapons are, and will try to get his hands on some weapons and ammunition.The'Pimpel' will check on the address in Batavia to see if he can get in contact with the resistance, and Jan will stay in Buitenzorg to strengthen contact with 'Kelter'.After three days they have to meet again; if one of them does not show up, they would believe he has been taken prison. They are not going to look for the missing person, assuming that it might bring them in danger."Alright?"-"Oke!". A hand shake and they are on their way.Jan returns to the 'soldiers mother'. She had greeted him the other day so friendly, that he was overcome with emotion.His first task is to visit some acquaintances in the city.He is wearing dark glasses, and disguised his appearance so he would not be recognized by a white man or dark man, who would maybe betray him.First of all he is going to visit some women who's men a few days ago were his buddies in Japanese prison camp.He will bring the women who are anguish to hear from their husbands a greeting and so far only good news.Only one of the women will receive bad news. The news that her husband died in Kalidjati and passed away in Jan's arms.His last words he had whispered had been the name of his wife.A heartily handshake is probably the only consolation he can offer, a token of heartfelt sympathy.He has to go on, his task is not finished.
Suddenly while walking on the street, a Japanese guard stops him. A riffle is pointing at him, and there is no way of getting away. He approach the man fearful, hoping that this is not the end of his task, which only just started.But the Jap tries to explain in a clumsy mish-mash of languages, that everybody has to bow for a Japanese guard and the divinely emperor of Japan.Not to get into trouble Jan bows and under his breath curses all Japanese to go to hell.
The next morning after breakfast he meets again with 'Kelter'.From him he get to know another place where weapons are hidden, and he is surprised of the accurate information which 'Kelter', thanks to his espionage system has to his disposal.The weapons are lying in the building of the general secretary down town, where now the Kempei, 'the secret Police', has established themselves.They walk passed it,inconspicuously.Guards with heavy machine guns are every where in front of the building, but no guards are to be seen at the back of the building where the railroad tracks are, and along side the tracks is a small road with trees on both sides.
At home the 'Kelter' draws a map for Jan from the inside of the building.That night Jan has another look at the building and the surroundings.The plan is to brake in, and it looks like there might be a possibility to do it. In the meantime the 'Pimpel' has his adventures in Batavia.Unobtrusively he got on the train again, and unobtrusively he walks through the streets of Batavia.He is on his way to a address which has been pointed out to him. The district where he is suppose to go is unknown to him.He walks past the last European houses. If the information is correct then he must have found it.

A native hut in the middle of a kampong.Inside the enclosure, a Javanese is sitting under a primitive sunshade.The 'Pimpel' asked him if he knows a mr. 'Tresser'.The man shakes his head, but the 'Pimpel' does not give in quickly and says that the address he got from a trustworthy acquaintance from Buitenzorg is this address. The Javanese points at a hut and the 'Pimpel' climbs up a ladder which leads him to the front door. Behind him he hears the Javanese follow.With a quick jerk the 'Pimpel' pulls open the simple door. Inside the hut he stands face to face with a young man, a white man; at the same moment they both shriek from surprise. Mr. 'Tresser' does not seem to be Mr. 'Tresser' but an old acquaintance, a friend who is using a anonymous name.They celebrate this unbelievable meeting with all kinds of delicious native food, which the 'Tresser' saved for special occasions.From his friend the 'Pimpel' gets all kinds of information about the Allies, who are hiding in the South in the mountains, and will keep fighting till the bitter end.The spirit of this group is excellent, but there is a shortage of food and medicine.Malaria and dysentery is weakening the troops.But weapons are in abundance, and the men live of the land and catch any thing what can be eaten.After the 'Pimpel' received all information he needed, he says goodbye to his friend. One more thing he intends to do; he would like to shake the hand of the old man, who had taken them in for the night, only a few days ago. But arriving at the house of Jan's friends,is standing a Japanese soldier.The 'Pimpel' slowly walks bye; with a tense look on his face he looks at the house and the soldier.The soldier scolds at him and calls him a 'andjing' (dog). The 'Pimpel' looks around him, the street is quiet,not a sole to be seen, only this little yellow man with his slit eyes looking at him.The Dutch guy turns around and with one step he stands right in front of the soldier.
"What did you say?", he asked.The man points at the 'Pimpels' face and repeats:"Adjing, you are nothing but a dog".At the same time the fist of the 'Pimpel" shoots out at the face of the slit eyes with so much force, and the yellow man drops to the ground. Then he starts to scream like a pig. There is noise in the house and another Jap comes to the door, he carries a weapon. The 'Pimpel' greets him with an unbelievable bash on the face and the enemy is knocked out,and he too is lying on the ground.In the meantime the first Jap was able to get up again and tries to grab his riffle which had fallen to the ground, but the 'Pimpel' grabs him by the neck and kicks the rifle out of reach.Now the second Jap has recovered from the blow and has taken his bayonet out of his belt, and runs towards the 'Pimpel' and tries to struck him . The 'Pimpel' however is much taller then these little yellow men and holds the other man like a shield in front of him.The bayonet which was meant to hit the 'Pimpel' strikes the soldier. The 'Pimpel' grabs the other little yellow man and hit their heads against each other. It makes a hollow sound. In the meantime the street is full of people, and the public is getting loud and are jubilant and
applauding.But now a third Jap arrives at the scene. The 'Pimpel' suddenly is grabbed from behind;and has no plans to give up that easily. He tries to get away from the new opponent and looks him in the face. He all of a sudden recognizes that the face belongs to his well known friend, who guides him away from the crowd, and whispers:" Quick,'Pimpel' a Japanese patrol is on it's way! Come quick!"
Five minutes later they are sitting opposite each other in a safe place.The 'Pimpel' is dressed in a dressing-gown; his clothes are full of blood and rips, and have to be washed and mended.He listens with a stare in his face to what his friend has to tell him:
" You guys had just left from that house and the Kempei, warned by a native service man, came to the house. The old man- you know how he was- did not wanted to come with them. He pulled a gun and fired, screaming "Long live the Queen!" and he shot two Japs. Than he was shot in the chest, and was dead by impact."

Later when the "Pimpel" is sitting in the train on his way back to Buitenzorg, he realizes the great danger he had been in, and thanks to his friend being in the right spot at the right time he had escaped.Staring out the window of the train, looking at the rice fields and the beautiful sloping hills, his eyes are getting moisture, when he thinks back, and remembers the old grey hero, who wanted so desperately to join them and be their friend.

He whispered softly:" I will never forget you!"

Will continue. Next chapter: Looking for weapons-Successful brake in a Japanese depot-betrayed by a German.

No comments:

Post a Comment