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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.

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