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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Conclusion of Three men against Japan.

Jan did not wanted to wake up. He was dreaming about walking through the forest his horse by his side.A flock of parrots in the trees.The beautiful sunset behind the mountains. This is heaven, this is paradise.

Sunbeam of hope.
A flock of parrots at dusk.
Beautiful sunsets over the mountains.In this world no war exists, here this word does not even exist in the dictionary.Only Mother Nature, we sometimes have to fight.

He could not wait to try to escape.The only difficulty was that Tuindersma's condition , already weakened before he arrived in this hellhole,had even more deteriorated through the ill-mistreatment and malnutrition.
One evening the Japanese guard arrived again, for a visit with the Chinese guy. He sat down and laid down his gun in front of him on the floor.
Without being perceived Jan got closer, where the two of them sat. When Jan lifted his hands to grab the Japanese by the throat, Tuindersma suddenly yelled:"No!..don't do it,..Jan!"
The Japanese jumped up. Although Jan had taken on an indifferent posture, the guard felt the strange and strained atmosphere.He took his weapon and disappeared.He never came back.
At the last moment Tuindersma had changed his mind.He was afraid that the Kempetai, if the escape would succeed,would take revenge, and punish the other prisoners. That's why at the last minute he decided against it.This decision would cost the brave and gallant officer his life.A few days later all prisoners had to assemble in the courtyard.Eleven names were called; the one who's name was called had to get ready..... Everybody knew what this meant.
There they stood, eleven of them, in the middle of the courtyard, including Tuindersma and Kelter.They stood there with their heads high, their faces white and serious.For the last time they gave their friends a handshake. It was the worst sad day since they had met, and had gone through months of resistance,terror,tension and danger together.The condemned men got into the standby motor-cars, a tarp hid them from the glances of their stunned friends.Jan tried to contain himself, but suddenly he burst out in sobs, when the cars with his friends disappeared from the gate, towards a senseless death.

Shortly after Jan was taken back to the internment camp; his two friends stayed behind, because of inexplicable reasons,they had to stay in prison. He only was back at the internment camp for two days, when he was ordered to get into a waiting truck.To his surprise the Tall guy and the Pimpel were in the truck, they were handcuffed to each other.They drove up to the building of the Japanese council of war and were interrogated by a Japanese officer. Jan took the stand and talked for the three of them.He had a good feeling that he had convinced the officer of their innocents.A few days later when they were waiting for their verdict in an internment camp in Batavia,where the leader was the notorious commandant Sonei, they heard their sentence: three years in prison.
Jan and the Pimpel where physical in decent shape, were taken to Sumatra, to work as convicts on a railroad track. The Tall guy's physical conditions was so weakened after all the abuse he received while in prison that he was not able to be used for slave work.They locked him up in a prison in Ambon.Here he met his destiny. Somehow somebody had been indiscreet, and the Kempetai on Java became aware of their illegal actions, which the three of them committed.A new criminal case was opened and all three got the death penalty.The Tall guy was dragged from his prison cell in Ambon and died in front of a firing squad in Batavia.As a hero he gave his young life.
The other two,Jan and the Pimpel, thanks to poorly administration from the Japanese, where not to be traced.
This is where the story ends about the three friends. Jan Luxinger returned to the Netherlands and worked at an large firm in Amsterdam.
The Pimpel was not able to say goodbye to the Dutch-Indies; he went back in the army, and as a corporal with the cavalry, he became active in the police force.
This is the man, who was called the Pimpel. After the war and his precarious adventures with his friends, during the occupation of Java, he went back in the military and became a Corporal with the cavalry.

This story is dedicated to all the Dutch men, who carried the load against the Japanese, under the heat of the tropical sun. This story had to be told as a thank you for those who lost their lives on Java and elsewhere in the archipelago,and died for the Dutch East Indies.
This story is for those who's battle, suffering and death, often only witnessed by the rustle of the palm trees or the walls of their prison cell.May they rest in peace, whether in a war cemetery,or never be found, or some where in the jungle, or in an unmarked grave.
May they rest in Peace.
With hatred they were murdered by the usurper, their houses plundered and destroyed, their family pulled apart,often not even one single photograph was spared.
But in the rustle of the paddy and the wave of the palms in the breeze, they will live forever and they will never be forgotten.
May their father-land realize what they owe their sons, their country will be forever in debt!
They cannot remunerate those who died, but to those, who were their loved ones,and who they thought off in their last moments of their life, are still in our midst.They are the ones who are in need of support.

It's very sad to say, but that never happened!

Palm trees standing guard.

A War Cemetery in Indonesia. May they rest in peace.
The sky turns into the color red, on the cemetery in Indonesia.
A lonely seagull keeps guard over the cemetery.

My father and my uncle died for their country, my mother and my aunt with their children, suffered terrible in Japanese prison camps,they never received support.All they heard was:" Get on with your life, look at the future, forget the past!"

Now can anybody tell me how you do that?

They never did...yes they got on with their lives, but for the sake of their children.They never were able to leave that part of their lives behind.They forgave, but they could never forget.

Many people today still say; oh get on with it, forget it!

Just let me remind you what George Santayana said:

George Santayana reminds us that the lessons of history are invaluable"Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it".


After the war captain Sonei was tried for war-crimes, and executed by firing squad. He was tried before the Dutch Council of War in Batavia.
Captain Sonei appeared in front of the Dutch Council of War and takes a humble bow.

Captain Sonei listens to the Dutch Council of War in Batavia.

The number of people who could testify to this monster was so overwhelming that nothing could save him.

This Japanese man was one of many Japanese who committed war crimes. Even their own men admitted being scared of him. They described him as a psychopath.
Captain Sonei described himself as a civilized and cultured man.
He was a brutal and sadistic man, who delighted in humiliation and torture of his victims, a maniac who outdid himself in cruelty and perversion.

There were many of them. Often being very mean to their own kind. The military had chosen them well.They would do anything for their emperor of Japan.

On their way to the Council of War. Japanese war criminals. The roles are reversed. These two were taken from Tokyo to Singapore and were guilty of ferocious crimes against military and internees from different countries in South-East-Asia

Three men against Japan brings the horror and losses of World War II in Java off the battlefields and military POW camps back to my past. My mother, was separated from her husband and my father taken away from me.We never saw him again.Forced into Japanese prison camps in 1942, where my mother and her sister, with their young children would suffer until the end of 1945.We endured starvation, disease, isolation and uncertainty for three and a half year.
Civilian suffering in war is an under-explored topic but nothing illustrates wartime anguish more than the stories of innocents.
Three men against Japan is an inspiring story about the human spirit and the resiliency that can be found in families.


Soekaboemi,a picturesque mountain village, suffered tremendously during the war, in the hands of thugs and after the capitulation of Japan it was destroyed and looted by the extremists.
Houses and buildings destroyed.
Soekaboemi,a picturesque village.
A school for girls in Soekaboemi before the war.

A cultivation school in Soekaboemi, before the war.
A Wedding-procession in front of a Mosque in Soekaboemi, before the war.
Hospital of the Police in Soekaboemi, before the war.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Part XVIII, Three men against Japan.

In a cell in prison in Buitenzorg.

A few minutes later Jan looked out the small window and saw the Pimpel heavy shackled, walking in the courtyard; a Japanese holding a piece of wood walked behind him.Then he saw Smit (Tuindersma)coming from the commanders office. Smit was hanging in between two Japanese. They came strait to the cell where Jan was.The door flew open and the body of Tuindersma fell on the floor.When the guards had left, Jan heard bit by bit what they had done to him.The captain had understood that the Kempeitai not really knew about his organization, but only knew that he was involved with the weapon business with Slijkhuis.As discussed he had denied this,that's when the Japanese became so angry, he kept hitting him with a stick at the same spot in his neck.Because of these constant hits in his neck he had lost his equilibrium., but he kept silent.
The captain was in critical condition after these sustained injuries.Jan called the guard and asked for coffee for his wounded friend. Even this Japanese felt sorry for the badly wounded blanda (White man), because seconds later he came back with a cold drink.In the meantime the Tall guy had passed the cell where Jan was held. His hair stuck to his forhead and he looked strangely haggard.He was locked up in a cell next to Jan.A few minutes later the Pimpel was dragged by two Japanese through the hall way. His mouth was foaming, he moaned softly and monotonous. They threw him into the adjacent cell on the other side.Each of the cells had a hole in the floor with a lid.That hole was the toilet. The waste-pipe ran under all the cells and they were able to use these as a speaking-tube.Jan was able to use it to get in contact with the Pimpel and the Tall guy in the other cells.He heard that the Tall guy had been tortured with the electric apparatus; the poor guy felt miserable, but he assured Jan that no matter what they would do to him,they will not get a word out of me.The Pimpel had been tortured the worst.They hung him for a couple of hours from his arms, not able to touch the floor, his arms were totally numb. On top of that the bullies had burned his body with hot objects.
Later that night more Dutch men were brought in. One of them was so horrible tortured, that he fell unconscious. For weeks this man received daily punishments.This time an old Japanese chastisement was applied to him.The victim first gets a hose in his mouth and they fill him up with water, they than lay him on the ground, and on his swollen stomach they lay a board (it's hard to describe, tears are welling up in my eyes), and two Japanese bullies (without conscious) are dancing on either side of the board----an unbearable vexation.

b>I this what Japan taught their military, was this really to please the Emperor of Japan?What was his name again? Hirihito?His whole family were crooks!....Is Japan ever going to apologize? For how many more years will Japan be in denial?

Suddenly bright shining lights went on in the dark cells.By that bright shining light they had to sleep, they were lying on the bare ground,the room was way too small for all of them, and all the time they touched each other and woke up.
To live in a cell was not easy. Dark and monotonous days went by, days became weeks. Jan did not have to come for a hearing anymore.Tuindersma still was being examined a couple more times, but was not mistreated anymore.The Tall guy and the Pimpel were taken from their cells many more times and were repeatedly tortured.
A message arrived that the Kelter had been spotted in an internment camp in Bandoeng and was taken prison.Jan did not worry too much about these circumstances.Kelter always had kept his connections very secret and he was not a man to reticent. Indeed it was evidence that Kelter even after the most horrible ill-treatment kept silent.In the meanwhile ir. Cranen was arrested as well. His case was connected with the Kelter case, except it was not connected to Tuindersma.The foursome were under suspicion of co-operation with the weapon smuggle from Slijkhuis.Because they kept persistence deny the charges the suspicion weakened.The Kempetai started to believe that Slijkhuis named the four persons just to unburden himself.Daily the optimism from the four grew.Apart from that their existence was anything but pleasure and comfortable.From breathing fresh air or having a bath was out of the question. After the hearings definitely had finished, the four prisoners were allowed under a watchful eye to take a bath in one of the showers.Each morning in the early hours of the day they had to do gymnastics in the court yard, on which occasions Jan was the leader.Those were the only times they were able to see each other, but there were always guards and it was strict forbidden to talk.
One day all of a sudden every prisoner was called to come from their cell and had to come to the
hearing-room.They had to sign a statement and under their thumb-print they had to put their signature.The writing was done in Japanese characters; a malayan translation was read in speed tempo, nobody knew exactly what it mend and why they had to have their thumb-print signed.Still everybody did what they were asked; to refuse would mean to expose yourself to new ill-treatment.
After this procedure the tension grew, what would the future bring.Kelter and a number of other suspected persons had heard already via other routes that they would get the dead penalty.The only thing they wondered about,in which way the sentence would be executed.Jan had heard from one of the guards that he would be acquitted and had to return to the internment camp.Some days later the Kempetai involved the prisoners in a somewhat comical tragi-comedy .A film was going to be produced, in which they would show the excellent and humane care the Kempetai looked after their European prisoners and how they were pampered, this had to be put on film.All prisoners were for this spectacle taken to the courtyard. Everybody received a tall glass of milk and a few bananas.Some had to take the glass to their lips and some had to pretend they eat the banana, they had to act as if they were eating and drinking.But it was strictly forbidden to either sip one drop of milk or one bite of the banana. Anyone who would take a sip of milk or a bite from the banana would be severely punished.As soon as this lovely act of eating and drinking and smiling prisoners was put on film they had to hand in their glass with milk and the bananas...

During this comedy the Commander of the Kempetai had inspected the cells.He had found a book, a lighter and some cigarettes in the cell from Tuindersma and Jan. He shoved the objects on the tip of his sword to the middle of the cell. That's how Jan found them.Suspecting trouble he tied the objects in a bag which he hang with a little string under the side of the lid from the toilet.Barely finished the prisoners were all called outside again.The sergeant who was responsible, a notorious bully, was rebuked by his commandant about the found objects.The man now took revenge at the prisoners, who were thrashed and whacked by other Japanese while he went in search of the items and the prisoners who had broken his rules.Those persons would get severely punished.Because a guard would never come close to the lid from the toilet, probably to afraid to contract a contagious disease, Jan's bag was never found.
That's how each day of prison life went by, every day with constant vexation and teasing.
When the days went by, Tuindersma became more and more depressed. He could not stand to be locked up, day in and day out. In his mind he worked out a plan to escape.He discussed the plan with Jan, who right away agreed.In the cell from Jan and Tuindersma was also a young Chinese fellow. This guy was very friendly with one of the Japanese guards,who did the shopping for the other guards.He often stopped by at night to chat in the cell with the Chinese,he always closed the windows and doors as a precaution.As soon as they saw they had a chance Jan would attack the guard from the back and would take his weapons.Jan and Tuindersma would free the Pimpel and the Tall guy and the four of them would climb through the window behind the building
and reach the railroad tracks.It would give them a sufficient start to reach the Zuidergebergte.(South mountains), where they would be relatively safe.

Will continue:

Next: The conclusion.

Part XVII, Three men against Japan.

Barbaric practices from the Kempetai--The last days in prison camp-- Eleven Dutch men in front of the fire squad---The end of the Tall guy.

Jan was standing staring in the distance, trying to control his terror and his bitter feelings.He stared to the road which you could see from the gate. Suddenly he noticed a convoy of motor-cars followed by trucks,driving in full speed towards the camp.On the trucks were standing and squatting Japanese soldiers and on the roof of each truck stood a machine gun.The gate way swung open and the motor-cars drove into the court yard of the camp, followed by two trucks, the other trucks stopped in front of the gate.
Camp Java

Jans instinct told him that this was it.A calm came over him, and slowly he walked back to the barracks, and gave Smit a stealthy look.The dreaded moment had come. He found his two friends in the same frame of mind. In the mean time the smaller gate which was the entrance into the rubber plantation behind the camp, was guarded by Japanese soldiers.All internees had to ensemble into the court yard, where the air was very hot from the midday sun. In front of the gate were a number of Kempetai and the Dutch camp leaders.Room by room the internees names were called;they were checked over, searched and had to march through the gate into the rubber gardens.

When Jans name was called one of the Kempetai jumped up and pointed at him that he had to step out of the line, at the same moment another Japanese put Jan in handcufs. A third Japanese gave him a punch in the face. Immediately Jan was forced to point out who "captain Smit" was.When Jan answered that he had no idea, they punched him in the face a couple of times.Blood came out of his mouth and he had the feeling that his nose and jaw-bones were shattered.He gave no sign of pain; with a mockery smile he looked the bullies in the face.Short after they took Jan to the main building, to a large room which was heavy guarded, where he saw The Pimpel and the Tall guy.Thank God just the other night they got rid of their guns and had buried them near the river in a deep hole.
Now they were cross examened. Again they asked, who is "captain Smit"? The Kempetai had no idea, because the name Smit was a very common name, there were six at the camp with that name.The three friends kept quiet and alternately they were serious ill-treated.At one moment Jan fell while he suddenly got an unexpected blow in the face.

Immediately the JAPS started to kick him with their heavy boots. Jan kicked as a wild man around him, to keep the torturers at a distance. Jan seized a foot with both hands, which wanted to kick him in the face; out of control and in a rage of self-preservation he bit in the bare leg.Screaming from pain the Jap jerked his foot from Jans hands and kicked him with so much force in the face,that he fell unconscious.When Jan regained consciousness, he noticed a man in the room, who's name was Smit, and he was being severely tortured.It was the former director of the Police academy in Soekaboemi.After some time the Dutch man was able to prove that he was not the Smit they were searching for, and they let him go.Now the concentration and anger of the Japanese turned again at the three-some.In the meantime Smit had heard that the Japanese were looking for him and that his three co-operators because of him were inhumanly mistreated.He reported himself immediately and was brought up in front of the Kempetai-officer, who asked him if he was the same person as Tuindersma, Dutch Captain of general staff. When Smit did not answer right away, one of the Japs hit him with a piece of wood on the head with so much force that the wood broke.Smit staggered, but managed to stay upright his face impassive. He asked if this was their way to handle imprisoned enemy officers; he would, he said proudly, only answer questions if he was treated as an officer.Upon this they handcuffed him and took him to a waiting motor-car. Jan, the Pimpel and the Tall guy were each taken to an individual motor-car.Soldiers with weapons were standing on the foot-boards of the motor-cars and beside each of the men sat a Kempetai-man with his gun pointed at them. Behind the four motor-cars was a truck with about thirty heavy armed soldiers. The convoy moved and in his mind Jan was saying goodbye to nature, the sawah's (rice-fields) the cassava-fiels, the rubber gardens and the blue clear sky, in which the tropical sun was burning.
Beautiful sawah's (rice-fields near Bandoeng. Java
Cassava fields Java

Casava plants
Cassava.Would he ever taste the cassava pudding again?.

Would he ever ride his horse over the rubber plantation again?

How he loved the blue skies and the heat of the sun

The convoy slowly drove through villages and stopped in front of the Kempetai, the former "General secretary's office" in Buitenzorg.

The four prisoners were taken to a bare hall, from which a door looked out at a very long hall-way and on both sides of this hallway were two rows of heavy prison cell doors.A tall, very sturdy Japanese, who would later get the Dutch nickname of "respectable", was the guard of the four men. Each of the men had to stand in a corner of the room.They stood there for a very long time.
Through the window Jan saw the railroad tracks, where he and the Kelter stood while they broke-in into this building not that long ago,though it seemed years ago.He was considering if it was worth to try to jump out the window to freedom, but his hands were tied together, so he was powerless.Dusk was settling, and in the tropics it would be dark soon.Halve a day they stood there, each in a corner, with no food and nothing to drink.Jan's head was swollen, the coagulated blood irritated his skin, and every spot on his body was hurting from internal and external bruises.Exhausted he dropped to the floor.And when the guard ordered him to stand up,all Jan could do was shake his head and said that he was sick and needed some water to drink.While the guard was gone to get some water, the four men made some last agreements.If each of them would keep the agreement, the Kempetai would not be able to find out about the organization.It was probably Slijkhuis, who had betrayed them, but really speaking he did not know much about the organization.Indeed it looked like as if Slijkhuis had named their names, although you could not say that he had betrayed them.He had kept his mouth for a long time while being tortured with many instruments.Not until the Kempetai-men threatened to torture his wife he broke down.
Finally late in the evening a number of non-commissioned officers of the Kempetai walked in and started the hearing.Tuindersma was taken to the room of the commandant,and each of the other three were taken with an officer to a separate room.Jan had regained his composure. In spite of his wounds he walked with an energy and his head high. When he sat opposite his interrogator, he looked him strait and calm in the eyes. The JAP, obvious surprised about this attitude, asked if the blanda (white man)knew what was in store for him! Jan answered that he had seen how they handled their victims and that he was prepared.The Kempetai with a big smirk on his face pointed at the walls, on which a few torture instruments were hanging.On the table between the two men, stood an apparatus, meant to send electric shocks through the body.The JAP looked Jan for a few minutes strait in the eyes and started in English to ask some questions. Jan did not answer, he pointed at his hands and said also in English, that he would not try to escape if they would untie his hands.After a little hesitation the JAP stood up and untied his hands. He asked where Jan was born,which nationality he was and which rank he had in the army. He was surprised to hear that Jan was not an officer but just a simple soldier.Then he asked why Jan slipped out the camp at night, and if he knew something about the weapons which Slijkhuis gave him. Where are they?
The agreement he and his friends had decided on was to answer that they did not know anything about weapons, however they had left the camp at night, just to try to find some food.The JAP became angry and stood up to grab one of the torture instruments.But with all his convincing power Jan assured him that he did not know anything about weapons.If he indeed had smuggled guns into the camp, than the Japanese should have found them; because Jan said; you Japanese are so thorough,Slijkhuis probably had mend something else.His three friends would stand behind him with the same answers.You can torture me whatever you like and how long you want, but that is the answer.So go ahead make my day.
For one moment the JAP wavered and with an inquiry look he looked Jan in the eyes.From that split moment Jan made use to change the subject and took control of the situation.With a look full of hypocrite admiration he pointed at the muscular bundle of the arms from the officer; he asked which sport gave him such muscles? He caught him off guard and this son of Nippon seemed also to be passionate about the sport fencing.The Jap sat down on his chair and started an ample story about his training in the Japanese military and about all the prizes which he had won with fencing. Jan answered that he too loved the sport,he probably was not as good as his interrogator, but he admired the sportsmanship and the qualities of the Japanese soldiers.The officer , nature wise probably was not as peaceable as he was trying to be, started to talk friendly to Jan and said that they should compete each other to see who had the best muscular strength.He pushed the torture machine aside, and both of them put their elbows on the table, grasped each others hand and tightened their muscles.At first slowly Jan let his arm down, but at one point he could not control himself and with all his muscle he pushed the JAPS hand down with ease.The JAP looked at Jan with fright in his eyes, and asked him if the blanda (White man) had been a champion."Indeed," Jan said,"I was an European champion. You can tell your comrades that you won a couple of times from a true-bred champion from Europe." That's when the enthusiasm from the Japanese reached it's highest level.He was ready to go fencing with Jan.They each took a stick and the Japanese attacked the Dutch man with a loud scream, which Jan with a smile on his face warded off, it seemed that the JAP was a moderate fencer, who had soon pulled back in one of the corners of the room.When finally they were seated again at the table, a servant with a tray with ice cold coffee appeared.The officer took a glass from the serving platter and Jan took a glass of this delicious cold drink from the serving platter as well and put it on his lips.Smiling he thanked the Japanese for this gesture and the Japanese could do nothing other then to safe his face,and offer Jan a cigarette too.He asked Jan some insignificant questions and wrote them down in Japanese characters and suddenly told Jan that the hearing was finished.If Jan could make a list from the articles of his possessions , he the officer would make sure that he would receive them.The cell in which Jan was locked up,was dark; he could barely see the faces from his fellow prisoners.When entering the cell and wanted to ask the faces in the dark some questions, a guard snarled that he had to sit down and keep his mouth shut.Later when the guard had disappeared he discovered that he was in a small cell which he shared with some of the organization members from Kelter.He heard that Kelter was still on the run.Looking through a tiny window Jan could see in the court yard of the building.Suddenly he heard the well known voice of his friend the Tall guy, who was howling from pain.It was for sure the voice of his friend and with each howl Jan cringed.

Will continue,

Friday, April 13, 2012

Part XVI, Three men against Japan.

A fight between the Japanese and the guerrilla fighters on the hills of the volcano Salak.
Caught and in the hands of the barbaric Kempetai.

The rain had stopped and the walk back through the cassave fields and the forest went without any incidents.Except for some leeches, nasty things!
Arriving back at the barbwire they noticed that the Japanese patrol were back at their posts.After the rain had stopped they were walking their one hundred steps back and forwards by the light of the search-lights.They had to get back into the camp.It would be a disaster for the organization if they would not be at the roll call tomorrow morning."We have to get into the camp," whispered Jan, while they were lying on the ground in front of the barbwire.The footsteps from the guard came closer.His shadow passed over them. As a flash of lightening Jan crawled through the discharge gutter towards the fence,jumped up against the tough bamboo and as if he had a jumping-pole he flew over the fence.The Pimpel followed suit, but while he climbed over the fence, one of the bamboo poles broke. The guard had returned and came closer.Jan and the Pimpel were holding their breath. The guard passed them......that's when they signaled the Tall guy, he crawled as low and as fast as he could through the gutter, reached for the fence and climbed over. But now the bamboo pole broke all the way and the fence not having the support of the pole anymore fell over.The Tall guy, was sitting on top of the fallen fence, and was an easy target for the guards.An uncontrollable quiet laughter kept the Tall guy from moving; he was shaking so much that the bamboo was squeaking. The mocking humor of his situation had such an hold of him; he could not stop thinking how funny it was that he was trying so hard to get back into the prison camp! With a quick move the two others grabbed his legs and pulled him down from the half broken fence not a second to soon. On the other site of the fence they heard the nervous voices from the guards,at the spot where the bamboo had partial sagged down.They ran to their barracks, undressed, hid their muddy clothes and threw themselves on their mattresses. Just when they pretended that they were fast asleep, the shrill alarm signals sounded through the whole camp. A roll call was taking place in the middle of the night.Nobody was missing. A new puzzle for the Japanese, that was never resolved.
The next morning the camp was still troubled because of the unexpected roll call.Jan understood that an another escape was going to be very difficult.He decided that only he and the Tall guy should go on their next expedition.While he was thinking about which was the best way to leave the camp and how to get back in, he noticed in a corner from the building a ladder.
With help from the ladder, and the Pimpel and one more trustworthy internment, the two of them were able to climb into the tree.The branches gave them protection from the area with the searchlights.While the guards were walking back and forth, Jan and the Tall guy climbed over the thickest branches from the tree and jumped over the barbwire on the ground on the other side.They arrived at the house from Slijkhuis without incidents. However Jan could only give him a small amount of the promised money,the organization was short of money at the moment, said Smit. He was waiting for a large sum of money from the outside, and they were working at it how to smuggle this money inside the camp.Slijkhuis was not very happy that he had to wait so lang for his money; he was very nervous and extremely irritable.He claimed that a hadji, who lived across the road, was keeping an eye on him. Jan had gone outside and saw a few shadows moving about in the yard from the hadji they moved in a wide circle around the house from Slijkhuis they looked suspicious.He told Slijkhuis that he was right he had to watch out for his neighbor across the road.Do not believe anything, I think they are two faced.Before they went on their way back Jan promised again to discuss the money question with Smit.Both men were now in the position of a gun,Slijkhuis had received a note from the captain to hand them each a gun.
It was still too early to return back to the camp; the Pimpel and the other man would not be back on their post.Through the cassave-fields they walked in the direction of the highway and arrived at a house of one of Jan's best friends.Light was on everywhere,Jan knocked on the door but nobody answered.Jan kept knocking on the door, after awhile he heard the voice of his friend who told his quests they had to leave, he wished no visitors tonight.Surprised and disappointed the friends left.Later they heard that that afternoon one of the family had passed away.
It was still not time to go back to the camp.They walked to the stables from the Japanese cavalry, they liked to have a look at the horses, which they might have to use later, when Smit had his plan ready.As far as they knew no guards were at the stables; they walked over a small path, which led to the dark buildings.

They arrived at a place where some lights were on and the Tall guy stood still. Jan however kept walking.Suddenly in the distance Jan saw two Japanese soldiers coming his way. It seemed that the stables were being guarded anyway.Jan stood still not knowing what to do. If he kept walking towards them he would surely been questioned and they would discover that he escaped the camp.Running away was not a good idea either, that would for sure be suspicious. One of the Japanese called out to him,and asked who he was, Jan turned around and walked slowly back the way he had come from.His body tense, he expected to be shot any moment. It seemed endless to return to where the Tall guy had stopped.Suddenly he noticed him standing in the bushes. Jan took a big leap into the bushes and pulling the Tall guy with him. They ran further into the thick brushwood.

Behind them they heard shots and screams from the Japanese soldiers.To make sure the soldiers would not suspect that they were escaped from the camp they ran in to the opposite direction.The Japanese were following them, they heard branches breaking and the Japanese were getting closer. Suddenly they arrived at a large ditch.Without hesitating they went into the water which reached up to their shoulders. Quickly they pulled some sword-grass over their heads and stood still, as if they were some river-god statues, but their hearts were racing in their chests.The enemy had now reached the ditch, they shined their torches over the water and on the outlines of the ditch.
There was a big chance that they could get bitten any moment by one of the many reptiles which lived in these ditches.When the Japanese finally could not figure out which way the escaped victims had gone, they continued their chase in the opposite direction.The two Dutch men were in no time at the friendly tree, which was their safety bridge....into the prison camp.They imitated the call of a screech-owl, and they heard the others on the other site of the fence.In no time they were back in the barracks, with shattering teeth they took off their wet clothes.
How they longed to be free again and enjoy an evening sitting on their veranda watching the beautiful sunset over the mountains.Why was this all happening? Why were people making life so miserable!

The next day Jan talked to Smit and told him what had happened the night before.

A few days later they received the devastating news that Mr. Slijkhuis was arrested. His neighbor hadji across the road had betrayed him. Still worse was the fact that thirty Japanese had dug up the whole garden and had found all the guns.
For the organization some days of panic followed. They heard that Slijkhuis was being tortured mercilessness; it would not take long for him to talk. Jan discussed a plan to escape. But Smit wished that they had to wait.After two weeks of torture, the Kempetai had not gotten one single name from Slijkhuis.They all decided to wait a few more days before they would try to escape the camp.Smit was waiting anxiously of word from the outside,which did not come.After four days Jan told the captain that he could not longer wait with the plans to escape; they would try to break out the next night with eight men.They were in the possession of three guns and liked to join the guerrillas in the mountains of the volcano Salak.They had heard that a group of guerrilla fighters were active again and were hiding in the mountains.
But in the afternoon on the night before they were planning to escape the camp something happened.Suddenly from the hills of the volcano Salak came the sound of heavy artillery. The ground shook from explosions from airplane bombers. From the camp they saw Japanese bombers target the hills of the mountain Salak.
A lonely guerrilla fighter at the edge of the volcano Salak. West Java.

In the evening it became quiet again., and the first rumors entered the camp.The guerrilla fighters had planned an attack on the town. That was the message Smit had waited for.The Japanese espionage had discovered the plan and the Japanese had fired at a small kampung-village which was the outpost of the guerrilla fighters, and for an hour they had fired at the kampung and killed about three hundred natives.

Around eighty guerrilla fighters were taken prison.But the Japanese had suffered many losses as well. Many were taken to an emergency hospital, they figured there were about thirty dead and seventy wounded.The guerrilla fighters were chained together and driven through the streets of Buitenzorg; the residents had to see how powerful the Japanese were, and how difficult it was to fight the Nippons.

Jan had no hope that his escape plans would succeed, after this defeat. The camp was now guarded by more then three hundred soldiers, around the fence the Japanese had put up machine gun posts.There was no chance to escape. That same night they had a meeting with Smit and they discussed;in case one of them would ever be caught and questioned by the Kempetai, they would all give the same explanation.

When Jan as usually early in the morning, planned to go to the river to take a bath, where part of the river was fenced in specially for the purpose so the prisoners could bath, he was stopped by four Japanese soldiers and was told that from now on it was forbidden to get near the river.

Will continue.

next: Barbaric practices by the Kempetai--The last days in prison--Eleven Dutch men in front of a fire squad--The end of the Tall guy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Part XV, Three men against Japan.

Internment camp Buitenzorg, Java. The Dutch East Indies. World War II.
A dangerous nightly expedition.

Students of the Police Academy. Sports day. The good old days.
Students becoming Police men.Soekaboemi, before the war.

A large crowd stood watching all around the building from the well known Police Acadamy in Soekaboemi.Now it was a collecting place of European prisoners.It was swarmed with curious people and natives with their merchandise. Many white women were standing at the entrance.They had seen their men going inside, they hoped for a miracle, each of them to see their husband come back as a free man.Hopefully they could still talk a few words with their loved ones, or just catch a glimpse, just to say goodbye from a distance.
Jan walked along side the fence at the back of the building and pondered about the love of gain and human grief.He met already many acquaintances, members from the organization.He saw Smit the Captain, but with secret signals the captain had made it clear to Jan that it was better to let everybody think they did not know each other.He also liked to be alone for the moment.Images from his happy days of freedom, thinking about Holland, and his childhood.A big cloud was hanging over him and he did not know what the future would bring.He saw his life disillusioned, abandoned defenceless to the unknown, but without any doubt a future with terrible dangers.From this moment on he had to make sure that all traces of him being in the resistance were wiped out.Would the kempetai find out, that he was a leader of the resistance he would definitely end up in the torture chambers, from which he would not survive, he knew that.
Suddenly Jan was awakened from his gloominess by a tap on his shoulder. In front of him stood the smiling Japanese sergeant-major, who he got acquainted with the day before in such a strange way.A few other Japanese were with the sergeant-major, although Jan did not understand a word of what they were saying, he understood from the attitude and tone, that this good-natured son of Nippon was talking about his admiration for the white Hercules on unequivocally manner towards his countrymen.The Japanese turned to Jan and asked if he liked to stay outside the internment. It was very easy for him to organize this. Jan only had to say one word. It was as if suddenly Jan was dreaming.He was riding his horse through the forest, he heard the call from the oeloengbird and he saw the game from badjing, the squirrel in the coconut tree.

As quickly he was dreaming he woke up. He heard the noise from screaming men and crying women; he looked the Japanese sergeant-major strait in the slant-eyes and shook his head. No he could not do that; he wanted to share the fate of his race and countrymen, in freedom and also in captivity.The Japanese took him aside,"Listen," he said," later they all are going to Buitenzorg, to a camp with thousands of others.We can use instrument-makers at the power plant in Oebroech.What difference would it make for the others, that you would be free.?"
Jan refused. He knew that Smit needed him and trusted him.The Japanese looked disappointed,but did not seem to be insulted.He promised Jan he would look him up when he was in Buitenzorg.
Late afternoon the group from Pelaboean Ratoe stood in front of the Japanese board.They all were registered and that same night they left by train to Buitenzorg.Jan sat in the same compartment as Smit and were able to exchange some words without attracting attention.Many European women were standing along the road at the train station in Buitenzorg.
A road in Buitenzorg.
The road to the Witte Paal (White Pole) in Buitenzorg.

For each of the men , sometimes from total unknown natives, a word of heartiness,or a refreshment. There were also letters, destined for men who were in the camp already.They arrived inside the bamboo enclosure of the camp, in a courtyard which was separated from the barracks.In the middle of the courtyard were seated some Japanese at a large table.
Their appearance looked sinister and in their midst was a member of the Kempetai.One by one the white men were guided in front of the table, where the man of the Kempetai (Secret police) observed them from top to toe.For Jan these were moments of nerve wrecking minutes, his description was known.It was for him an unparalleled trial and he had to keep cool and keep all his strength of mind together to pretend to be careless.Nothing happened.They put him with a group of men he did not know;In spite of trying hard to get in the same group with Smit.They were guided to the so called actual camp; the doors opened to the long hallways where hundreds of men were hanging around.After a few minutes Jan recognized his old friends the Tall guy and the Pimpel. It was an very emotional greeting.The three of them dragged Jan's luggage to the room dedicated to him.
The Tall guy and the Pimpel were anxious to hear what was going on in the outside world.Jan told them the story that the Kelter-organization had fallen apart.
The first couple of days were very difficult for Jan. Food was terrible, but being locked up almost suffocated him.
The camps were very primitive. Washing the dishes in one pale of water.
One of the rooms from the camp in Buitenzorg. This was the room Jan, the Pimpel and the Tall guy sneaked out one night for an expedition outside the fence

For awhile he had no contact with Smit.One night while Jan was listlessly walking through the hallway, he suddenly bumped into the Japanese sergeant-major from Pelaboean Ratoe.
Jan could see in the eyes of his country men an unconcealed surprise while he was talking to Foeroe Kawa (that was the name of the Japanese)He knew that this would be the gossip of the day, and he would be made out as a spy for the Japanese.But he could not care less, because he thought that maybe one day this friendship with this Japanese man might help them.Jan started to tell Foeroe Kawa that the quality of the food which they fed the white men was terrible.Jan's own bowl, half filled with dingy water, where a little bit of rice and vegetable was floating, was proof of it. Immediately the Japanese disappeared and within an hour he returned with all sorts of pans with food,bought from a close by Chinese restaurant.Jan introduced the Pimpel and the Tall guy to the Japanese sergeant-major. The three of them together eat and enjoyed the tasty food.The whole camp was now whispering about the relation ship between Jan and the Japanese.Jan did not mind. The meetings with Foeroe Kawa were an unbelievable source of information.The unsuspecting Japanese told them all kinds of military important data.Foeroe Kawa probably thought that the internment white men were totally harmless. The information were codified, and taken outside the camp by the Pimpel and the Tall guy to a secret location.These nightly escapes were for the two Dutch men a very dangerous undertaking.
One night Foeroe Kawa visited the camp again accompanied by a number of non commisioned officers. This was the last time he was visiting Jan, he told him. He came to say goodbye, because he was going to be stationed in New Guinea. Five minutes later Jan got the information how large the division was, which was going to New Guinea.After a few more words Jan got the information that a large-scale operation was on it's way to attack Australia.All his tactics Jan had to use to be able to get a little more information about this operation. One by one the Japanese man gave away all sorts of worth knowing details.So much military information Jan received that night,which had not happened in months while he was working in the resistance.That same night this information reached the Allied headquarters.
A few months later the new internment camp was completed.It was situated at an old Chinese estate, at the rubber plantation along the road from Buitenzorg to Batavia. It existed of numerous barracks in which it could house thousands of internees.Even in this camp the resistance continued their work. Smit, clever man as he was, organized new members through other persons for his organization; he formed the heart of a sort of police army.The organization talent of this captain was surprising. One night Smit asked the three friends to come and see him.He informed them that tonight he expected a sending of weapons, which he liked to hide somewhere in the vicinity of the camp.They had to receive the weapons and hide them.Accurate and detailed they discussed their plan.To-wards nightfall it started to rain. Darkness fell over the camp.The camp was totally fenced in on all sides with high braided bamboo fences.On each corner of the camp was a watch-tower from where the guards could oversee the camp, and from where they could shoot anybody who would try to get over the fence.Behind the fence on the other side there were three meters of totally bare ground.All the trees had been chopped down.On this part large searchlights lighted up the bare area and Japanese patrol were walking back and forwards.Behind this area was another obstacle of barbwire.But one tree was still standing,for some reason the woodcutters forgot to cut it down. The branches reached over the barbwire and the fence. Standing on the roof of an small outhouse toilet, you could just reach one of the branches and with a bit of dexterity it was possible to get yourself on free ground.But when that evening the Tall guy grabbed the branch and pulled himself up, the branch broke under his weight and with a loud thud the Tall guy fell on the ground.The two others held their breath. The sound of the rain saved them. None of the guards had heard the noise.But now the branch was broken, and there was only one possibility left, they had to climb over the fence cross the area with the searchlights to reach the barbwire. Jan went first. Without making a sound Jan climbed over the fence.On the other side of the fence he stood strait up against the fence in the shadow of a post and looked left and right.No sound alarm came from the watch-towers.He laid flat on the ground and crawled through the mud on his stomach and a few meters further he ended up in a discharge gutter, which led from the fence to the barbwire. Sliding down into the gutter he was now able to crawl to the barbwire without being seen.Looking over his shoulder he pointed to the Tall guy , who already was climbing over the fence,to the discharge-gutter. At the barbwire he waited for the two others.Together they tackled the last obstacle the barbwire and were on their way.From top to toe they were covered in mud.Carefully they walked through a rubber garden.Here were always patrols, but the patrol obviously had gone undercover out of the rain.

The search lights behind them looked spooky in the haziness of the rain. But suddenly a bundle of light came over the forest, where they walked going from tree to tree, as ducks walking behind each other.Alarm?? While walking they listened sharply. The only thing they heard was the wind in the trees, and the dripping of the rain on the ground. The house they had to go to was lying at the end of the drive way. They had left the camp at the back and had to walk around in a big circle through the forest to get there.They came to a small river. Further down was a little bridge, but it was in reach of the search lights.

The river they had to cross.

They had to swim to cross the river, at least the mud would be washed off their clothes.They sneaked right across a cassave field, and reached the house.
Cassave and coffee plantation.West Java.

Here lived Mr. Slijkhuis, employee of a large tire factory in Buitenzorg, he belonged to the resistance group of Kelter.He had received the weapons last night and had buried them in his garden.He seemed in a bad mood, and refused to handover two guns at Jan's request to the Pimpel and the Tall guy, unless they had a signed piece of paper from Smit. He was mad , because he had not received the large sum of money which Smit had promised him ,from which he had to pay the coolies, which had transported the weapons. Jan would discuss this with Smit and promised to return the next evening.They had a short conversation and soon after they were on their way back to the camp.

Will continue.
Next:Almost caught on the way back to the camp.
A fight between the guerrilla fighters on the hills of the volcano Salak.
In the hands of the barbaric Kempetai.

Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts. NGO,Status Roster

His Excellency Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, 10 April 2012
Petition: 209
Subject: abduction of Dutch boys 10 years old during Japanese military occupation.


One of the cruelest measures by the Japanese military during the occupation of the Netherlands East Indies was the abduction of Dutch boys over 10 years old into separate concentration camps. They were separated from their mothers and locked up. They had to find their own way under the most difficult circumstances. Against all war conventions they were put to work under harsh and often sordid conditions. They were starved, lacked normal medical guidance and left without any medicine. In fact the Japanese military kidnapped these children and abused them.
NB Medicine provided for by the Red Cross was used by the Japanese military for their own use!!

On March 27 2012 a U.S. congressional panel advanced a bill that would severely punish countries for not addressing child abductions. The penalties include calling off cultural or scientific exhanges, or denying export licenses to countries that do not promptly seek to resolve abduction cases. When these measures become U.S. law it would be followed by many other countries, and would significantly embarrass Japan. Japan has a very poor record on child abductions stemming from the mass abduction Dutch boys of 10 years and older in the Netherlands East-Indies during the occupation, but also from the mixed Japanese-American partnerships to-day.

Prime Minister,

The abducted Dutch boys were forcible taken from their mothers, who protested vehemently, but to no avail. Many died; those who returned lost their youth and had difficulties in adjusting to normal life. For those boys, if still alive, the time has gone, they would be well in to their eighties now. Their experience is not forgotten and remains cruel to this day. We hope that you take note that the sub-committee on human rights of the U.S. House of Representatives proposal is primarily aimed at Japan's proven poor record on child abductions in the past as well as today.

We look forward to your response on this matter and our continuous requests to rectify the violation of human rights during World War Two by the Japanese military.

On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,

J.F.van Wagtendonk

Since April, 1990. K.v.K. 41 156 189, NGO, status Roster
Secretariaat St. JES, Zoutmanstraat 23 x, 2518 GL Den Haag,

"Fragmento, memories of a campboy"

General b.d. GL.J.Huyser, born in Surabaya 1931 stayed during the war in the Japanese internment camps 'Darmo' in Surabay "Karangpana's in Semarang and in the boys camp 'Bangkong' in Semarang.

By Govert Huyser,

The Heiho flogged with well aimed lashes
Ten year old boys behind an army truck
By incomprehensible decree they were declared a man-and men.
don't belong with their mothers anymore.
He was in line with in his one hand his teddybear.
clenched around the one paw left.
In the other hand a bag with in it
The find bit of sugar and some malaria pills,
His mother put it in at last
He forced back his tears
After all, he was a man now.
His mother prayed and intensily hoped
To once see him again.
At his birth she had
thought of such a nice name for him.
She, she died of malnutrition and malaria
Lacked the pills that saved his life.
He ended up in a Dutch contract pension
Cold, wet, uncomfortable and not so nice either
The hunger winter was more important in conversations.

Than his story of his- cruel- departure.
About good and evil he always thought differently
All his relations broke down
Booze and drugs sometimes helped,
for a moment avoiding reality.
His career failed over and over
The only thing he missed was his old,
one-armed, soft teddybear.

Govert Huyser.

Looking at my children and grand children it's hard to imagine that your 10 year old would be taken away from you.To think that they had to look after themselves under the most horrible conditions. Even harder to imagine that they were used for slave labor.
Some mothers lost their sanity. It was heart breaking to see these little boys been taken away from their mothers. It was forever carved in my mothers brain.To see them getting on these Japanese trucks, some crying and some oh so brave! How cruel these military Japanese were.Thank God I was a girl, and only 4 years old.

Boys Camps


Memorial Monuments in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

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