We are Indische Nederlanders, not Indonesians

Daan van Lent of the Dutch newspaper NRC.nl wrote on April 13, 2017 the following article:

“It must be right first time ‘
Wendelien of Oldenborgh represents the Netherlands next month at the Venice Biennale with the project “Cinema Olanda”. She made a new film.
“One of the subjects of that movie was about and I quote:”
—————— “A third story, the Indonesian migrants who came to the Netherlands after World War II. ”300,000 Eurasians and Moluccans. Now, in 2017, they seems to have been seamless integrated and have become almost pet immigrants. But they were not then. ”

Many “Indische Nederlanders” in the Netherlands and other parts of the world, like California are not please because of the constant stupidity and arrogant attitude shown by many Dutch people, especially those from the press and politicians.

Here below is the story written by Anneke van de Casteele on the same sickening topic.
The Dutch version from her hand
: http://annekevdcasteele.blogspot.nl/2017/03/wij-zijn-indische-nederlanders-geen.html

‘We are Indische Nederlanders, not Indonesians!’

Last Tuesday night, February 28, 2017, Dutch D66 democrat party leader Alexander Pechtold was one of the guests on TV talkshow ‘Pauw and Jinek’. We saw him verbally wipe out a competitor in the upcoming Dutch elections, because of his contradictory statements, rightly so. However, we also heard him make a mistake, which he later described on Twitter as ‘careless’. He referred to the group of approximately 1.7 million Indische Nederlanders (Dutch Indos) living in the Netherlands today, as ‘Indonesians’. The Dutch Indo community was in an uproar. Also rightly so.
Did I cringe when I heard it? You know me, so yes. Was I surprised? Well, no. Pechtold is not the first and certainly not the only one who calls us ‘Indonesians’ (or worse: Dutch Indians).
Is it Dutch ignorance? Well, that could be very well possible. Were it not that even Dutch Indos often make the same mistake, especially the younger generation often describes itself as ‘Indonesian’ or even uses both terms, carelessly. This is where education comes in.
Is it just an innocent slip of the tongue? A slip of the tongue could be easily forgiven. However, ‘innocent’ it certainly is not. With the use of only one single word, the largest and oldest group ‘Dutch with a migration background’, as it is called nowadays, is put into a box where it does not belong. For many Dutch Indos this ‘slip of the tongue’ has grave connotations.
After almost 75 years of our presence in the Netherlands, The Hague still does not see us. It is the well-known blind spot. They know full well that we are there, but they do not want to see it, for then they would obviously have to address the never fully realized restitution of justice for the Dutch Indo community. From us, they expect ‘silence’ and ‘assimilation’: the ancient misconception that The Hague should really have to get rid of after all this time.
Hey, what’s that? These Dutch Indos no longer remain silent. What the hell. They make themselves heard. “We are not Indonesians!” It was as if I heard my father speak out some 40 years ago, when an office worker of Civil Affairs, while renewing my Dad’s passport, stated that my Dad was born in Indonesia.
“I was born in the former Dutch East Indies, Madam, not in Indonesia.”
The blonde innocence itself behind the desk replied, “But that’s completely the same thing?” She was being a bit dumb, sorry Alex (Pechtold, not Willy).
What our democratic people’s representative does not realize – and anyone who makes the same mistake – is that that the one word ‘Indonesians’ is the whole reason that we Dutch Indos are here in this country and not in Indonesia.
I am not going to explain for the 1000th time what a ‘Indische Nederlander’ is. What I will do, is indicate why it is not an innocent slip of the tongue to refer to us as Indonesians, but an error, which holds a denial – and in public – of our existence, of our identity and our history, of our Dutch citizenship.
In a nutshell: to use the label ‘Indonesians’ is not only technically wrong, it is also laden. It rips open old wounds. Using this label ‘stands for’ the bersiap, the rapes and massacres, the revolution, the ‘sale guerre’ which the Netherlands led until 1949. It stands for the insults, threats, poverty, and unemployment due to the Indonesian government nationalizing Dutch companies.
It stands for fleeing to the country of the nationality stated in everyone’s passport, it meant forever leaving your native land, home and hearth. It stands for anxiety and trauma. It stands for the scandalous reception in the Netherlands, boarding houses, skyrocketing debts and the never heard war trauma, starting all over again from scratch.
It stands for the never materialized restitution of justice, such as the never paid KNIL wages and salaries (the back pay issue). It stands for the suffering of our parents and grandparents. It stands for forced assimilation, racism and discrimination.
So, For many Indische Nederlanders so very much is concealed in the ‘careless’ choice of words of Dutch politician Mr. Pechtold.
But perhaps even more important in Pechtold’s decision to call us Indonesians is the absence of the ‘Indisch’ (Dutch Indo) story in Dutch education. When I say ‘Indisch’, I mean Indisch. Our story needs to be told by us, not through the rose colored glasses with the white lenses, worn by The Hague. We are perfectly capable to tell our own story and we have been doing so for years and years. If you would have been paying attention, you would have seen it, Mr. Pechtold.

If Dutch education had not made us invisible, the Dutch people would have known their own country’s history, including Dutch colonial history. Then the Dutch – including Mr Pechtold – would have known who we are, why we are here and that we are not Indonesians.

Please Note: Dutch citizens with roots in the former Dutch East Indies have a large variety of ethnicities, far more than only the Indo-Europeans or Indos. The words ‘Indische Nederlanders’ or ‘Dutch Indos’ popped up extensively in the discussion and I used these for simplification.

Geplaatst door Anneke van de Casteele op 17:37 op haar blog

This article is placed with the permission from Anneke van de Casteele


Robert’s Fermin Memoirs

Robert was born in the former colony The Dutch-Indies, today called Indonesia.  Between 3-1942 and 8-1945 the Japanese occupied the Dutch colony. On December 27, 1949 Indonesia became an independent country.
Here are his memoirs of the war period and few years after.

Robert Fermin’s memoirs


In order to capture the Queen of the Netherlands and the government, the German army launched operation Fall Gelb on May 10th 1940, where for the first time in modern warfare thousands of paratroopers were deployed in large numbers. The airports Ypenburg, Valkenburg and Ockenburg were among the first attack targets. Kees Oversier (88), then cadet with the Garde Regiment Grenadiers, fought near Ockenburg in The Hague, where the airport was recaptured from the Germans.

It was around four o’clock in the morning of May 10 when hundreds of German paratroopers were dropped around Ockenburg. Kees Oversier, who as a 19-year-old Reservist Cadet Officer and section commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion Grenadiers was stationed a few kilometres north of the airport, said that they were completely taken by surprise by the airborne troops. “We had never been trained for an attack from the air.”

Awakened by the sound of airplanes he immediately reported to Reservist Captain Muller Massis, the company commander. “Ammunition was distributed and we made ourselves ready to advance on the enemy. Where they were, we did not know exactly, but we did go in the direction of the airport Ockenburg in Loosduinen. In any case, we had to ensure that the enemy forces could not advance towards the center of The Hague. In those days communications were very poor, there was little coordination thus allowing anyone acting on their own initiative. However, also a lot of courage was displayed. Knowledge of the strength of the airborne troops we did not have. ”

German Preponderance

The airport itself was guarded and defended by troops of the 22nd Depot Company under Captain Boot.

Oversier: “There were roughly a hundred men who had only been in service for three months. They courageously stood firm and given us an opportunity to mobilize and march on”. While the Depot troops battered the German paratroopers and planes with rifles and faltering machine guns, several German transport aircraft still saw a quick opportunity to land, with the result that within a short time about four hundred Germans landed in and around the airport and immediately opened fire on the Dutch troops. Because of their superiority, the Germans managed to capture the airport early in the morning. The Depot troops lost 24 men and 13 were wounded in this attack. Because of the shelling the airport was out of order; it was one big disaster with twenty plane wrecks blocking the runway, making further German landings impossible. Led by General-Lieutenant Graf von Sponeck the Germans spread out in groups into the surrounding woods. In the meantime Dutch troops had begun encirclement of the woods.

Retake Airport

 Grenadiers and Jagers were quickly given orders to move up to the airport to recapture it. On the north side of Ockenburg the 1st Battalion Grenadier was in action, south-west of the airport, at Monster, the 1st Battalion Jagers. To the east, at Loosduinen, positions where a Grenadiers Section of the 47th Machine Gun Company, 47 PAG (anti-tank guns) and some reinforcements were stationed. The 1 Company Grenadiers, with among others, Oversier marched around eight o’clock in the morning of the 10th of May towards Loosduinen and the airport.

“Civilians were applauding us along the way, glad we went to fight the Germans. The ammunition car soon fell into enemy hands, and there were many skirmishes with the Germans. In the neighbourhood of Loosduinen we came under heavy fire, killing several soldiers and injuring our captain Muller Massis. Command was then transferred to Reservist 1st Lt. Verspyck Mijnssen and I was given responsibility for another section. Now I had as a 19-year-old man suddenly sixty men under me, all fathers with families who were called up during the mobilization. ”

Kees Oversier

War Over

 The next day, on May 12, the Grenadiers, in cooperation with the Jagers, were ordered to clear the entire wooded area around Ockenburg. “I have seen dead German paratroopers hanging in the trees. We also came across a number of motor bikes of the DKW brand, which I myself have ridden. The Germans had all sorts of things with them. I heard that they even had a white horse with them one of the planes to parade and mark their triumphal entry. That day we drew further through the woods to Monster, but by then our war was over and done”.

The parachute troops of Graf von Sponeck had regrouped and did not linger here but had moved toward Wateringen. There they fought on properly. Our task came to an end on that third day though, when Rotterdam was bombed and we as winners became the losers. For that we did cry.”

In the Militaire Spectator of August 1941 the fighting around Ockenburg was discussed in detail. The article also mentions the bold attack on the Belvedere by Kees Oversier: ‘Said Ensign behaved here very brave and showed a lot of prudence.’ ‘Fort this courage I received from my Queen Wilhelmina the Bronze Cross, which, in 1946 was awarded to me in the Dutch East Indies. “I was there, since March 1946, after traveling around the world, as staff officer and head of the Combat Intelligence with the Tiger Brigade in Semarang and Salatiga.

But the Bronze Cross is not the only award that Oversier received. During the war he was actively involved in Dordrecht with the underground resistance and he hid, among others, an American pilot who later could flee through the Biesbosch to the liberated south. For that Oversier received the Verzetsherdenkingskruis (Resistance Commemorative Cross) and even an award from General Eisenhower and the British Air Chief Marshal.

Oversier, when folding the old topographic maps of The Hague dunes and airport Ockenburg, says he can look back on an exciting military episode from his life in the Grenadiers, retiring as reserve Major. But when he talks about those days in May 1940, the bombing of Rotterdam and the subsequent capitulation, his voice falters. It keeps sticking in his throat. Never forgotten.

Van overwinnaars naar verliezers door Anne Salomons uit: Checkpoint nr. 4 / mei 2009. Vertaald door John Papenhuyzen op verzoek van Jacques Brijl.

Dutch East-Indies, circa 1940


The Japs

The Japs

Everywhere in the Dutch East-Indies, rumors, based on intelligence reports, were being spread, that Japan was becoming a formidable military power with an eye to it’s “Grand Design” of changing the Asian continent into an area, which they themselves had declared as: “Asia for the Asians”, whereby they would free most of the Asian nations of the yoke of Colonialism and turn them into free Asian nations, one of which was, of course, the Dutch East Indies, Holland’s rich Crown Colony, of which our family at the time were Citizens. Everywhere in the Indies we received information that the threat of an attack by Japanese Aircraft was imminent and we were instructed to build bomb shelters on each of our yards and premises. After the shelters were built, they meant a lot of fun and adventure for us ,children, as we had a chance to play hide and seek and other games in them. However, this fun time for me turned out to be short lived when my father, Dr. George W.F.Lucardie, a Government health Officer and Army surgeon in the Royal Dutch Army, announced that he had received orders from headquarters in Batavia (now Jakarta), that he was being transferred and that he would bring my mother and two younger sisters, Rosaline, who was 5 years old and Gertrude, 8 months old, with him. He was being transferred to North East Borneo and the island of Tarakan in charge of a Mobile Emergency Medical service platoon in Northeast Borneo.



They would be living in a small town named Tanjung Redeb in North East Borneo and he would be commuting between this small town and Tarakan island, 70 KM (approx. 40 miles to the North.) I was going to stay in a boarding house of a distant aunt on the Island of Java, since it was in the middle of the school year; I was in third grade then. Our family intended to be reunited at the beginning of the new school year. Alas, after the sad separation from my parents, it turned out to be THE Plan that NEVER materialized for me. We said the last farewell in Soekaboemi, in West Java, where my Dad at the time was resident Physician at the known Police Academy where police officers were recruited to serve in the whole Dutch East Indies. About one month before our separation and farewell I found it hard to fall asleep at night and when the day came my heart was racing with no end. We went to the railway station together. And when the departure whistle blew, my Dad stood at the steps of the caboose and he was waving us goodbye, while I did the same, teary eyed, until the train disappeared on the horizon as a black dot, a sight, which is forever engraved in my mind and soul. I cried for 24 hours after the farewell and then every night, for a month. Dad and I were very close. My older brother was always getting in trouble and into mischievous situation and my younger brother would not understand what was going on. At night when he had to visit some patients in the hospital, he would call me : “ Come Adik (Adik was my nickname, meaning younger brother in Indonesian, the name that our servants had given me), join me to the hospital and see my patients.” At the hospital we then went from ward to ward where he had his patients while Dad held me by the hand.
This separation from my Dad has had a deep and profound impact on my life and character and in some situations, even at my advanced age, subconsciously I get into a pensive mood and ask myself what Dad would have done…..
My Dad also took with him a whole Javanese family of servants with 13 children, a gardener and a driver. The name of the head of this servant’s family was Bison and his wife’s was Ripah. She was the constant babysitter of sister Gertrude, we called her Gerry, and she usually carried her around in a sling, made of a sarong, and the two were inseparable.
In this small town of Tandjung Redeb the Royal Dutch Army maintained a small garrison
where the National Guard was responsible for the protection of the rich coal mines of the Berau River Valley, an area approximately 14 KM (8 miles) to the North and near other small towns of Telukbayur and Rantaupanjang, North of the Suwaran Mountain.
My Dad was not the only military person who was deployed to this area. From many places in the Dutch Indies, military specialists were posted and assigned to this area in Northeast Borneo. The reason for this was that The Netherlands were suspecting that in case the Dutch East Indies were going to be attacked the Japanese would in the first instance attempt to gain Energy Security and try to invade the Mining areas of the Berau Valley and the Djuata oil fields and refinery of Dutch Shell Oil on the Island of Tarakan, which also had an air strip with an Air Base. Thus these two area were reinforced and primarily the island of Tarakan, where in the center of the island the Military Head-quarters with all the communication systems were located, near the Air base, surrounded by heavy anti aircraft Artillery posts. Also reinforced were three anti aircraft artillery units in the South of the island near the delta of the big Pamusian river in the small towns of Peningki, Karungan and Tandjung Pasir and one unit on the East coast of Tarakan near the small town of Amal. In the interim, all military units of the area were given the strict orders, that in case of a real attack by the Japanese, all the mining installations of the Berau Valley mines and all the oil installations on the island of Tarakan were to be sabotaged and destroyed. This order, it turned out, was not given too soon.
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian islands, were attacked by the Japanese and the American Pacific Fleet practically paralyzed (Japanese Code word: “Tora!Tora!Tora!”). After December 8, 1941, Tarakan repeatedly sustained unexpected air attacks. These attacks were apparently surveillance attacks to test the strength and the capabilities of the Dutch defense system.

Dornier Do-24K

Dornier Do-24K

On January 10, 1942, a surveillance sea plane of the Dutch Air Force, a Dornier Do-24K, spotted a gigantic Japanese invasion Armada heading for Tarakan Island and Northeast Borneo. After transmitting this finding to the Upper Command of the Royal Dutch Army, the Upper Command realized that the Dutch Armed Forces would not have the chance nor the capabilities to win it from the superior Japanese military powers and the command was issued to immediately start the total sabotage and destruction of the oil fields on Tarakan and the coal mines in the Berau Valley.

lr-picture-4 lr-picture-5 lr-picture-6The hunch of the Dutch military command that these two areas in Borneo would be the first target of the Japanese, turned out to be accurate, since it was indeed the energy security which the Japanese needed to execute their plan for the invasion and occupation of all of the Dutch Indies colonies and the rest of Asia.
The air attacks, started in December 1941, were repeated more frequently until January 9, 1942, whereby the complex of the Upper Command of the Royal Dutch Army was completely destroyed, including the Communications center.

lr-picture-7The Japanese invasion forces, consisting of the Right Wing unit of the Sakaguchi Detachment under the command of Major General Shizuo Sakaguchi, landed on the East coast of Tarakan at Amal on the 11th of January 1942. This Detachment was followed by the 2nd Kure Special Naval Landing Force. In the night of January 11, 1942, prior to the full blockade of the Island of Tarakan, a Dutch Submarine, the K-X, a Patrol Boat, the P-1 and a civilian motor launch boat, the Aida, managed to escape.


lr-picture-8The minesweeper, the Prince of Orange, was not that fortunate and was spotted and sunk by a Japanese Destroyer, The Yamakaze and Japanese Patrol boat, the P-38.
The Royal Dutch East Indies Army had courageously fought off the Japanese in a brave and professional military manner, but finally had to surrender because it was outnumbered and the Japanese had tremendous weapon superiority. The Japanese had a total troop strength of 6,600 men against a Dutch troop force of 1,200 men.. And in the morning of January 12, 1942, the Dutch Forces were forced to raise the white flag at the High Command Post of the City of Tarakan, under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel S. De Waal, but not before all means of military communications of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army had been completely destroyed and paralyzed, with the consequence that the military personnel at the heavy Naval Artillery posts in the South of Tarakan Island, at the towns of Peningki, Karoengan and Tandjoeng Pasir had no clue whether or not the Royal Dutch Army Command in Tarakan City had already surrendered and the fighting unconditionally and officially stopped.

lr-picture-9Suddenly, on the same morning of January 12, 1942 at 8.00 a.m., the personnel at the Naval Artillery posts in the South sighted two Japanese Destroyers sailing north and carrying the white flags, obviously fully equipped and heavily armed.
The Artillery personnel didn’t exactly know what to think about this situation. They could not contact Head Command, but finally came to the conclusion that it could be a Japanese trick, not unlike the attack on Pearl Harbor and they did not trust the white flags. The Dutch Army therefore let the two Destroyers approach quietly till they were at striking distance, about 400 meters, near the first light buoy, and then fired all four heavy canons repeatedly till they were completely exhausted. The first Destroyer was hit at amid ship, followed by a tremendous explosion, causing it to sink at starboard and forcing the Japanese to abandon ship. The second destroyer sustained a direct hit on the rear near the propeller, which was also followed by a heavy explosion. In a short time both Destroyers sank to the bottom of the sea at the estuary of Tarakan. There was not one survivor of the Japanese. This all happened at 8:30 a.m. and was over at 9:00.
At 10:00 a.m,. several Japanese armored cars were approaching the Naval Artillery Posts of the 7th Batalion of the Dutch Royal Army carrying white flags. Several Japanese officers came out of the Japanese armored cars, while Lieutenant Colonel S. De Waal came out of the Dutch vehicle as the representative of the Dutch Army. All the Dutch military personnel were ordered for a roll call at the drill grounds of the 7th Batalion where the Japanese officers and Lieutenant Colonel S. De Waal issued a joint statement that the Dutch Royal Army had officially and unconditionally surrendered and a cease fire declared. All Dutch arms and military equipment had to be destroyed and all personnel of the three Artillery posts of the South were ordered to assemble at the barracks of Kampong Baru, at the roll call grounds.
In the interim, more heavy armor and military personnel came out of the other ships of the invasion armada, such as light tanks and armored vehicles, to be deployed to completely occupy the City of Tarakan, which was patrolled and secured from the harbor to the refinery and oil storage facilities to the air strip and ancillary structures.
Not long hereafter a Japanese interpreter and lieutenant Colonel S. de Waal announced to the troops assembled at the Kampong Baru barracks, that the Japanese Army needed aproximately 150 men of the POW’s to be transported to the Island of Java where they would be deployed in navigation operations and assisting in the transport of military arms and equipment. Every single POW assembled at the barrack had clearly heard this announcement. Alas, the truth turned out differently which came to light two days later.
After the Dutch officer and the interpreter had finished their announcement, about 150 men of the POW’s ( which officially was determined as 168 men later) were horded into Japanese Army trucks, without any registration or identification, and taken to the harbor area. Here they were ordered onto a Japanese naval vessel. This vessel was then directed to the first light buoy, where on the same morning the two Japanese Destroyers were sunk by the Dutch artillery.
The Japanese then stopped the engine and ordered the POW’s to line up at the railing of the vessel. They were then all blindfolded and had both hands tied behind their backs. Subsequently every POW was killed by bayonet and thrust into the sea…..
At roll call, in the morning of January 15, 1942, at the Kampong Baru barracks, the Japanese announced that 50 men of the POW’s were going to be marched to a bridge near the harbor area. At the harbor, near the landing pier, the 50 men were handed a big shovel or a hoe and ordered to march in the direction of the beach.
lr-picture-10On arrival at the beach the POW’s saw to their astonishment and despair the dead corpses of their old buddies, in various degrees of decomposition, which had been washed ashore.
Most of the 50 men got sickened by the stench and realized what had happened when they discovered dead corpses with the blindfolds and the tied hands.
A Japanese sergeant then shouted the order through the interpreter that a big hole was to be dug right at the beach where all the corpses were to be buried into a mass grave. However, due to a strong wind and the high tide that morning, it was very difficult to dig just one big hole, so it was decided to dig one long and deep channel parallel to the beach line in which the corpses were rolled and buried. Most of the corpses still had on their green uniform of the Royal Dutch Indies Army although many did not have their name tags on so that they were unidentifiable by their old buddies. But many of the POW’s could make out the buddies of the Artillery units at Peningki, Karoengan and Tandjoeng Pasir and it became clear that they had been killed by the Japanese as a vendetta for the sinking of the two Destroyers.
As I have mentioned above, my father was a member of the Mobile emergency medical service platoon in Northeast Borneo. There were two doctors assigned to this platoon who were making their rounds in both the Tarakan and Berau Valley area. And to me, as I have mentioned below, it’s highly plausible that my father was present in Tarakan during the invasion.
In 1950, I received a statement from the Dutch Governments investigation Department that my Dad most “probably” had fallen in battle on the island of Tarakan and my mother and younger sister had perished in North Borneo. But the statement was neither confirmative nor exact. From an indigenous Dutch Army sergeant in Tarakan, I came to know that during the beginning of the invasion one detachment of the Japanese invasion armada was heading for the Berau Valley area and when it discovered that all the coal mines had been sabotaged and all installations destroyed, ALL Dutch citizens, men, women and children alike without exception, had been rounded up, pushed into the mine shafts, after which these were inundated, drowning all Dutch citizens. Today, Indonesian miners working in the same mines of the Berau Valley, can tell you that they have an eerie feeling when working in the mines, as if they are sometimes surrounded by ghosts.
The Japanese were infuriated. The magnificent PLAN of the Representatives of the Land of the Rising Sun, in this first two-prong attack, in the interest of the complete rooting out of Colonialism in Asia, backed up by the Energy Security of the Dutch East Indies, had been defeated and their dreams totally shattered.

Prisoners behind barb wire

Prisoners behind barb wire

The old military camp of the 7th Batalion at Kampong Baru was officially transformed into a POW camp and surrounded by fencing. Here the POW’s were systematically starved and worn out causing many to go under and succumb.
Originally, there were about 700 POW’s. To better control the POW’s, the Japanese divided the POW’s in three groups of 150 full blooded Dutchmen, 200 Dutch-Indonesians and 350 Indigenous Indonesians (ex-army technicians) they were all housed in separate barracks. However, I also believe that it’s plausible that my father had been in this POW camp till 1945, because there was a doctor’s quarter in this camp.
Just before the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the capitulation of Japan in 1945, what was left of the emaciated 350 Dutch and Dutch-Indonesian POW’s, were ordered onto an old vessel under pretense that they were transferred to a larger, more concentrated and bigger POW camp on another island near Borneo. The vessel was towed to the very spot where three years ago the two Destroyers had been sunk by Dutch artillery fire.
At the same spot the vessel was then sunk with the same canons of the Artillery posts of
Peningki, Karoengan and Tandjoeng Pasir. Some of the POW’s were able to swim ashore but were killed by bayonet on the beach by the Japanese so that actually none of the 350 POW’s survived.
I am saddened by some requests from relatives, wives and children of these POW’s, to
furnish some information on how to plan a pilgrimage to this area or visit any graves either on Tarakan Island or the Berau Valley.
Due to the fact that there were totally no survivors in this saga it is clear that the Government of the Netherlands is unable to issue any definitive documentation on what really happened in both the Berau Valley and Tarakan Island areas.
I myself have been to Tarakan Island twice when I was working nearby in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On the first trip I couldn’t get any information, because I did not meet the right people. On my second trip, I stayed at the only Hotel on Tarakan Island, the Orient Hotel.
People on the island are very friendly and wish to make friend with all foreigners. When they asked me what business I was doing in Tarakan, I told them my story about my father and that I was seeking some information about the war years. When I was finished with my story, a small Chinese man in the corner stood up and introduced himself as Mr. Tan Boen An. He was the owner of the Hotel and asked me in Indonesian:” Ini anaknya Dokter Si Pih ya” (so you are a son of Doctor Frits ?”). Frits was my father’s nick name.
I was totally surprised. And then he told me what I wanted to hear: that my father had been on the island just before the invasion. They were good friends before and played cards and table tennis together. And then and there I knew that my father had definitely served on the island of Tarakan. Mr. Tan Boen An then told me to wait till the next day because he wanted me to meet Pak Sakim (Mr. Sakim), who had been an indigenous sergeant in Technical Services and was a Tank Mechanic in the Dutch East Indies Armor Division. I am really thankful for this introduction through which I could come up with this story. The next morning I was picked up by Mr Tan Boen An’s son, Hengky. I spent all of this day at Pak Sakim’s house, peering over maps and gathering all the information..
Before Hengky left us alone, he told me that he wanted to take me for a boat ride to the first light buoy the next morning. In the next morning Hengky picked me up and we drove to the harbor where he rented a speed boat with a driver. When I passed a flower shop at the harbor I bought a bunch of roses. Then, when we reached the spot where it all happened, I laid the flowers on the waves, said a small prayer, in the believe that my father had fallen there, either in 1941 during the invasion, or in 1945 as a POW.
It is a small consolation and it gives me some comfort that in 1946 the Japanese upper command in the Northeast Borneo area were sentenced to death by a Joint International Military Tribunal (Dutch, British, Australian and American).
I still hope to go back to the Northeast Borneo area for a last visit, if possible, depending on my overall health, my age and finances, of course. But this time to visit the Berau Valley and Tandjoeng Redeb town.
Because, what is still intriguing to me and is forever engraved in my mind, is the fact that in the “Death Certificate” from the Dutch Government, only my father, my mother and ONE younger sister, Rosaline, have been mentioned. NOT my youngest sister, Gertrude, who was one year old then.
This youngest sister was a happy child and I used to play with her and make her laugh.
I never forget when she was bursting with laughter. As I mentioned before, she and our servant Ripah were inseparable and when Ripah carried her in a sling made of her sarong, people could easily suppose that she was Ripah’s child. It is thus possible that my mother had entrusted Gertrude to Ripah during the invasion and that she is still alive in an Indonesian Kampong (village) in Borneo.
It is very well possible that I am one of the few survivors of the roughly 350 Dutch POW’s who fell in battle in Northeast Borneo. Over the past 10 years I have repeatedly written in some Dutch magazines and asked for any information, so far without any success.
My only hope is that there are some survivors who could provide some information in the Tandjoeng Redeb area or the Berau Valley of Northeast Borneo.

Frank A. Lucardie, North Las Vegas
(with permission of Mr. Arthur Olive)

The career of Alphons Ceasar Chevalier

He was born on October 13, 1896 in the town Padang of West Sumatra. As a seventeen year old boy he was send on November 1, 1913 as an apprentice mechanic in the automotive business to the State Railways and Construction located in the city Tandjung Karang in South Sumatra.
After finishing his apprenticeship he continued his training as a mechanic and started on September 1, 1918 in the Automotive Department of the State Railways in Benkoelen, west Sumatra. Being very talented, on February 15, 1922 he was promoted to a Mechanical Engineer 2nd class and assigned to work at the Department of Auto Service of the State Railway Company in the town Sibolga. Because of his skills he became a highly respected force in mechanical car repair. On October 1925 he was send to the higher situated town Fort de Kock, today called Bukitttinggi.

But Alphons Ceasar Chevalier had other goals and on December 31, 1925 he decided to leave the company and started his own private automobile repair shop in the much larger city of Padang.
Working on his own lasted exactly one year, because on January 1, 1927 he was appointed head of the auto workshop at the Ford Central. Then he started working for the Car repair company Biscuits and Co in Padang and in 1929 he left for another Company called N.V. Velodrome in the same city.
Because of his knowledge and mechanical reputation Alphons Ceasar Chevalier was appointed Member of the Commission for the inspection of motor vehicles for rent in the cities of Sibolga, Angkola, Sipirck and Padangsidempuan. In 1934 he was promoted to Inspector of Motor vehicles, trailers and heavy trucks and been relocated from Tapanuli to Kotaradja in the district of Aceh.

But Japan became a threat and Alphons was called for military duty by the Dutch KNIL. As a soldier he was placed in the 2nd Bataljon in Kotaradja, Aceh, which was part of the military motor transport division. But the Dutch Knil army could not withstand the Japanese army and he became a prisoner of war like all his comrades. In June 1942 they were transported as prisoners to Medan, Sumatra.
Alphons Ceasar Chevalier was ordered to see Professor F.J.W.H. Sandbergen and from there he was forced to work for the Japanese military to provide repair work on their cars located in Kampong Baru.

Soon after the war on October 10, 1945 he had to report back as a Knil soldier, this time to Captain Brondgeest.
Five days later, on October 15, 1945 he was ordered to report to Lieutenant Raymond Westerling in Medan, who was setting up a new commando group, the Special Forces 136.

On July 14, 1946 Alphons Ceasar Chevalier applied for release of military duties and the army commander and the Dutch Government granted his request under 10/7-1946 No. 702 as per August 14, 1946.
He went back to his mechanical profession and in January 1949 he became head of the Motor Transport Service of the Department of Public Works and Reconstruction in Sibolga.
Alphons Ceasar Chevalier settled down, married Helena Harahap, a young woman from the Batak tribe in Sibolga and together they raised 6 children.
Alphons died on February 20, 1983 in Medan and Helena, who was born on May 21, 1908, also died in Medan, Sumatra on November 28, 1991.

Genocide in the Indonesia

An Annotated Bibliography Compiled by Jaydi Colmenares Raney

Historical Overview

East Timor and Indonesian Communists

Who: Civilians and PKI supports; East Timorese
When: 1965-66; 1972 & 1999
Where: Throughout Indonesian Islands (Java, Sumatra, Bali); East Timor
Estimated Numbers: Approx. 500,000 killed in Indonesia, 500,000 arrested; 200-300,000 killed in East Timor

Indonesian Communist Party (PKI)

Indonesia is a victim of its own national composition. With 13,700 islands, over 250 languages, and at least 300 ethnic groups, the diversity of interests destabilizes the central authority. After independence from the Dutch East India Company in 1949, the two largest political parties, the Indonesian National Party (PNI) and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), shared power with several other small parties. The popularity of the PKI grew as the peasant farmers were attracted to the ideology. The coalition government struggled to preserve the balance of the PKI and the army. In 1965, coup called the September 30 Movement attempted to seize power. The PNI and General Suharto quickly turned back the uprising. Suharto established de facto control and became president in 1967. The new government placed the former president under house arrest until his death in 1970. The army blamed the coup attempt on PKI and launched retaliation and a round-up of all suspected sympathizers. The conflict between the PKI and the army culminated in the massacre of 500,000 PKI supporters and the arrest of 500,000 others, mainly civilians, from 1965-66, until the PNI had established full dominance. Suharto stayed in power until 1998 in one of the longest reigns of any military dictator. For over 30 years of his rule, raids and massacres continued.

The killings had ethnic and religious dimensions with the targeting of Chinese populations and attacks by both Christians and Muslims. The two political parties basically were composed along ethnic, religious, and class distinctions. Indonesian Muslims and parts of the Christian population aligned themselves with the conservative PNI to suppress the atheists or indigenous polytheists. Furthermore, some victims seemed to be selected because of their Chinese heritage. Analysts also identify social features that marked the victims since urban elite tried to control the rural peasants. Due to the political nature of these killings and the strategic relations between the Indonesian government and the international community, few states have called this incident a genocide. Like many military regimes, the Indonesian government was characterized by continuous armed oppression of a civilian population.

East Timor

The Campaign to End Genocide: An Initiative of the World Federalist Association.

This tension between civilians and military again was manifested in mass killings and destruction in East Timor. Indonesia invaded the small island in 1975, one day after a visit to Jakarta by President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The occupation claimed over 200,000 lives, or 1/3 of the population, and occurred against United Nations appeals to the Indonesian government, largely because of US support of the government and its arms buying.

For two decades, the East Timorese resisted occupation. In 1998, after President Suharto was forced to resign due to the economic crisis, the new government offered to have elections to decide the fate of East Timor. On August 30, 1999, with a voter turnout of over 98% of East Timorese, 78% voted for independence in U.N.-supervised elections. The subsequent murder, looting, and arson by anti-independence militias and Indonesian police and troops destroyed around 70% of the local property and displaced 3/4 of the population. United Nations estimates placed the casualties at 1,500 killed. Many people were relocated forcefully to West Timor. Currently, East Timor is under UN supervision awaiting full independence.

US policy makers often ignored the Indonesian conflicts until the outbreak of violence after the Timorese elections. The Indonesian government was considered a long time arms trade partner and an ally against the so-called Asian Communists. However, American and East Timorese human rights activists worked with members of Congress over the years to slowly change foreign policy. In reaction to the violence in East Timor, the US suspended military relations with Indonesia.

The United Nations annually released resolutions condemning human rights violations by the Indonesian military, but it neither recognized East Timor’s autonomy in the face of the government’s invasion nor took any action against Indonesia. However, groups of non-governmental organizations and global human rights advocates mobilized opposition to the violence. The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded a joint Peace Prize to Bishop Carlos Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor for seeking a just and peaceful solution to the conflict. Indonesia of late has been under further scrutiny for its militant reaction to national movements in Aceh, Maluku, and West Papua.


Bertus Jawa / CZ

Bertus de Jong

Bertus de Jong

It was the year 1964, the place was The Hague, Netherlands and the location was the workshop of Van Anrooy at the Loosduinsekade. Two young man were developing a monoposto HvB race car.  Han van der Blij was the designer/builder and Bertus De Jong was the mechanic, who took care of the engine. It was a success story from day one.

But Bertus was also an enthusiastic racer of ISDT (International Six Days Trial) and other off-road bikes, like the Side-back three-wheel motorcycle racing, popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. A Czech Motokov bike racing Team saw the successful racer and soon he was invited to join the team, racing Jawas and CZs. Bertus was also a very talented mechanic and made name for himself on both counts.

In the mid 60’s the Czech company Motokov wanted to expand their business reputation with Jawa and CZ bikes.

Bertus was also well versed in the English language and was sent to the United States to teach American mechanics. He kept on giving classes to American mechanics out west who were working on the Jawas and CZs for Motokov and later to American Jawa. But Bertus soon started also his own business, Bertus Jawa/CZ, doing race preparation work, selling machines, various enterprises, etc. He opened his store at 701 Glendora Ave, La Puente, CA 91744, outside of Los Angeles, and nearly all race enthusiasts know where to find him.

In the beginning years he also treated fans to an exhibition of European side-back, three wheel motorcycle racing. Bertus de Jong and England’s Trevor Harisson put one time a demonstration during a race intermission.

AS the years passed his businesses expand and he raced less and less. He devoted more and more time to fabricating scarce parts, redesign and rebuild poorly made ones and doing engine works. Gradually Bertus built up an inventory of spare parts, like air boxes, clutch tools, brake levers, seat foams, and covers, and dozens of small unique bits that have endeared him to off-road racers.

In the mid 70’s Jawa pulled out of the American market and the same did CZ in the early 90’s. Bertus decided to buy out dealer stocks. Over the years about 350 dealers in the west of the United States.

All these stocks have been transferred to the shelves in his workshop in City of Industry. All these parts are joining the gradually growing lists of specially made and manufactured items. Also crates that followed him home from European trips of European manufacturers now fill his shop and spill out into two semi-trailers, a variety of crates and boxes and a “bone-yard” full with old Jawa’s and CZ’s, to die for.

Bertus does not work on computers, but any racer can reach him by phone. He has not a walk-in shop, but call him and he opens up his workplace. He is there by himself and often working in the machine shop. And if you walk in you find yourself surrounded by parts, whole bikes, half-finished bikes, pictures, memorabilia and much more parts. Bertus can talk for hours about what he loves, the Jawa’s and the CZ’s. Each piece and every bit, every bike or part has its own story. Hours passed by and you learn more and more about the history and these typical racing machines. Wonderful stories from a self-assured Dutchman. There are stories everywhere mixed with customer’s projects and orders moving along toward completion. Bertus consider his job a hobby and he keep working into late at night. Each year he rebuilds many engines, sends thousands of dollars’ worth of parts around the world, especially to Australia, and visits Europe several times.

If you need help with your Jawa or CZ, Bertus can help you. Just let him do the work and do not tell him what to do. And if you likes Jawa or CZ and you are in the LA area and likes to visit his motorcycle shop, you better call him. He refuse to work with computers. His number is known by many bike racers but here is the number: 626-330-2326.

Johannes Arnoldus Hendrick Breymann

Johannes Arnoldus Hendrick Breymann

Johannes Arnoldus Hendrick Breymann

In early 1940 Japan also threatened to invade the Dutch East Indies.

At that time Johannes Arnoldus Hendrick Breymann was a teacher at the Queen Wilhelmina Technical University in Batavia (today Jakarta, Indonesia). He was born in Waingapu on July 17, 1910 on the island of Sumba in the former Dutch East Indies archipelago.

The call for mobilization conscription in the KNIL (Royal Dutch East Indies Army) came on December 8, 1941 and as early as March 1942, Mr. Breymann as conscripted sergeant KNIL and all his colleagues were interned in a camp on Java controlled by the Japanese army.

But on a certain day he succeeded leaving the camp and knocked at the front door of his home in Meester Cornelis, Batavia. He appeared fully dressed in military uniform and could only say goodbye to his wife, his son and his two younger daughters. It was also the last time during a 3½ year war period they had seen him.

Mother Breymann and all other mothers and their children were left behind in a very difficult period. At the beginning many mothers were able to buy food through barter and by selling furniture and other useful items they had in their homes. However, at some point, mother Breymann could no longer sustain it and she had to move in with her retired father, who was living in the Kerkstraat, near the Rehobot avenue in Batavia.

Meanwhile, Sergeant J.A.H. Breymann together with other KNIL prisoners were deported to Japan. Upon arrival, he was transferred to the Japanese Internment camp Hakodate I, where he and his comrades were forced to hard labor under very inhumane conditions.

Sergeant J.A.H. Breymann survived the war and was transferred by the liberators on September 15, 1945 to Manila in the Philippines. Here the Dutch KNIL soldiers were given the badly needed medical treatments, food, cloth and time to recuperate from the cruel period in Japan. After this badly needed, but short time, Sergeant Breymann and co-KNIL military comrades were transferred by a British ship to Batavia. The KNIL assigned him to the 1st Division Art./3de Batt. to Balikpapan in Borneo.

Mother and children were still living with Grandpa when they were notified by the Red Cross that Sergeant Breyman J.A.H. was freed, and transported from Manila, Philippines and Batavia as a KNIL man to be stationed in Balikpapan, Borneo.

Mother and children managed to travel with a cargo ship from Batavia to Balikpapan where they found their father in good health; a particularly happy time for all.

After Indonesia became independent the Breymann family repatriated to the Netherlands and not much later they immigrated to the United States.

In the city Grants Pass of the state of Oregon the family built themselves a new life, and father Breymann went to work as a teacher again. There he also died and found his resting place on February 1983.

Not so long ago son Robert Breymann and his wife experience a very special day. They were given in honor and memory of Mr John Arnodus Hendrick Breymann the Mobilization-War Cross (MOK), including the Medal of “Order and Peace “+ the demobinsigne KNIL, which was established in 1948 by Queen Wilhelmina. This Mobilization-War Cross was made possible through the efforts of the Dutch East Indies veteran lieutenant-colonel bd Jacques Brijl, who despite his age, still find time to work and reward the forgotten Dutch KNIL soldiers and their families.

Japan gedurende de Tweede Wereld Oorlog!

Japan en Wereld Oorlog 2.

Japanners groeiden op met het vaste geloof dat ze afstammelingen waren van goden en hun Keizer zagen ze als hun oppergod.
Ze hadden niet alleen een ander cultuur, maar ook een heel andere mentaliteit, een heel andere voeding en daardoor zelfs ook een andere geur.
En de Japanse staatsreligie en de keizerlijke Mores bepaalden dat zij uitsluitend leefden voor en bij de gratie van hun god de keizer. Zij vonden of moesten het een eer vinden om onvoorwaardelijk alles op te offeren, met inbegrip van hun leven.
Ondanks hun vele handelservaringen op internationaal niveau verkeerden de Japanners vooral moreel nog in een ander tijddimensie.
Zij zullen nooit proberen andere volkeren te bekeren want alle niet-Japanners behoorden tot een onderklasse. Dit gold vooral voor de barbaren van Europa en de halfbloeden, de Indo-Europeanen.
Immers zij waren en zijn het enige volk van goddelijke afstamming.
Zelf de conventies van Genève lapten ze volledig aan hun laars met de vele doden als gevolg.
Immers hun schepen vervoerden vele gevangenen en de ruimen werden overvol gevuld, zonder dat de vereiste Rode Kruis embleem duidelijk op het dek werd aangegeven. Hierdoor zijn vele van de schepen door de geallieerden getorpedeerd geworden en naar schatting ongeveer 20,000 mensen/gevangenen van allerlei nationaliteiten verdronken.

Indonesia and the Dutch East Indies

Map Dutch-Indies before 1949 (1 of 1)
Words, terms and expressions

Identification for the Dutch East Indies. The transfer of sovereignty took place on December 27, 1949. The name Indonesia was already circulating in nationalist circles. Queen Wilhelmina used for the first time officially in a radio speech in London on December 6th, 1942, announcing a greater independence from the Dutch overseas territories. After the war, The Hague has continued to use the name.

Before the war, this term was often used for anyone who went to Dutch East Indies to work there. After the war, this term claimed by the Dutch East Indies veterans. Their website also called www.indiëgangers.nl

In the Dutch East Indies indicative of immigrants from British India (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka).

Global: coming from Dutch East Indies. White Dutch in the Dutch East Indies did not regard themselves as Indisch people but meant only the lower social Eurasians with it. The phrase “typical Indisch” has lost over the years, many of its original negative image. See the many Indische Pasar malams held in the Netherlands.
Indisch food is different from Indonesian food. For example, the rice table does belong to the colonial Indisch cuisine, but not to the Indonesian. There are many more similarities than differences.
The significance of Indische boy is generally: an Indo who is still Indisch and behaves himself as an Indo and is not ashamed to speak with an Indisch accent, especially with his Indische friends. And sometimes a Totok can be much more Indisch than an indo.

“Indisch Dutch”.
Dutch born in the former Dutch East Indies and / or have lived there for long periods. This group includes not Dutch soldiers who served after the war in the country.

Covered by above group, but are similar in origin and partly Indonesian. Some find the word Indo derogatory, others consider it just as a name of honor. Also, the word ‘Indo’ is used in today’s Indonesia, and especially among young people of mixed descent popular again. A lot of artists (singers, actors) are Indo and are proud of it.

Within Indische circle the name for Indisch white Dutch and all the Dutch who came from the Netherlands. Totok is originally a Chinese word.

Designation for the people of Indonesia, and already used before their independence.

The only acceptable alternative for Indonesian native, if you want to differentiate in a Dutch colonial context or between Dutch and Indonesians, as in the KNIL camps.

“Inlander” is a derogatory word and was used in a typical colonial context. During the revolutionary period 1945-1950 Dutch soldiers indicated the Indonesian opponents with the equally derogatory ‘ploppers “(a corruption of the Indonesian word Pelopor, which in turn is derived from the Dutch” precursor “)

“Javanese” is a collective term for all the inhabitants of Java.
But much more so for those residents who live mainly in Central Java and East Java and speak Javanese. Other larger groups ‘Javanese’ are the Sundanese of West Java who speak Sundanese and Bantamese from the most western part of Java, formerly known as Bantam and now Banten.

“Colonial war and police action”
The armed action by Dutch troops in Indonesia after World War II is often described as a colonial war which was intended to restore the Dutch colonial rule in glory. The goal was to bring ‘peace and order’, the Netherlands wanted to precede the (already in December 1942 by Queen Wilhelmina) promised speedy independence.
Rather it is precisely police actions. In the summer of 1947 and in December 1949 two big offensive actions were undertaken by Dutch forces to accelerate the above described desired situation. These actions, both of which only lasted several weeks, were labeled with this term because this was not a war but a policy mission in principle.
So, avoid the term colonial war. They were Dutch military actions (with twice an offensive = police actions), in an area that is officially still under Dutch rule. After nearly four years struggle and diplomacy both parties agreed to transfer the sovereignty in 1949.

Gold diverted from Batavia to New York

New York

New York

Redress Debt 3 billion?

In a local Dutch newspaper Mr. Henk Schouten published an article with the title:
“Gold bars from the Dutch-Indies diverted to New York.”

According to the Dutch authorities during the Second World War all Dutch gold, silver and money in the Dutch-Indies were confiscated by the Japanese occupiers. This is also the reason that most Dutch-Indo’s became victims of the government and were told that their savings at the banks and life insurance policies could not be paid.

Through her research, Ms. Griselda Molemans, read her book “Opgevangen in Andijvielucht”, has discovered that just before the Japanese occupation in February 1942 a secret money transport took place from the Dutch-Indies, city of Batavia to New York. She found above information in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Of all the Dutch gold, 154,341 kilos are derived from the Dutch East Indies.
The amount of gold from the Dutch East Indies, which was diverted, amounted to $135.2 million, and the value of money was $ 60.2 million. All blood money from individuals and entrepreneurs who had invested their capital in banks and insurance companies.
The Dutch National Bank is guilty of deceit. In the archives of the Federal Reserve, all documents are on microfilm and easy to be located.

The life insurance companies and banks have rarely disbursed the funds to their customers, since these authorities demanded documents of savings and policies as evidence for submission.
However, many did not even survive the war, and/or became victims of the Japanese occupation, Japanese internment camps, of looting and murders during the bersiap by the local Indonesian population and the burning of their possessions including prove of the documents.

Others who conducted an investigation on behalf of the Dutch government as the NIOD, denies the above. According to the NIOD there was only approximately 8 million that the Dutch government has confiscated. In reality, the amount of money that was siphoned off, was 546.8 million guilders, which is many times higher. And we speak of values 70 years ago!

According to the article most of the Dutch-Indo’s remain quiet, numbly through all opposition bodies, deprivation and high deposit liabilities during their reception in the Netherlands, which had to be repaid.

Hopefully the above will soon be fully exposed before we older people are all dead.

The biggest jewelry heist in the history of the Dutch East Indies.



On August 15, 1945, the Japanese captain Hiroshi Nakamura and his fellow military college’s entered the warehouse located at the river the Kramat. He made an agreement with the manager of the pawnshop that the jewelries and diamonds in the safes be transferred into five suitcases. And once the suitcases were full, a few baskets were filled.
The booty should be transferred to the office of Nomura, Nakamura’s chief, which was located at the Koningsplein square.
However, Nakamura decided to take all the loot to his own house to sort everything first. His mistress Carla Wolff and a friend, Bram Roukens, help him pick out the jewelry and the next day were five similar heaps of jewels. Apart was a heap of jewels selected by Carla for her own future. Nakamura agreed.
A few days later, he also brings her money worth 200,000 guilders and about 20 bars of silver to keep in the safe, which was intended for the four Japanese internment camps.
Nakamura considered the safe in his home not a safe place. A Chinese friend helps him to transport the treasure to a much safer place and most of the jewelry and money were locked in a large safe at another location. The silver bars get another place.

Meanwhile Carla could not keep her mouth shut and told everybody how rich she was. She even gave some jewelry as a present to some of her girlfriends. Almost everyone around her had to know how rich she was. The British military Police were also very suspicious about Nakamura. Where does he get so much money and power? After all, he was only a captain!

Nakamura is arrested and interrogated. During these hearings, the English find out about the jewelry heist. During the interrogation it emerged that five suitcases with stolen jewels each worth about 100 000 guilders, were handed over to five Japanese camp commanders to fund their prison life. Both Nomura and Nakamura did not know with certainty whether these suitcases also had arrived in the respective camps or were sold by the respective commanders. Only in Bandung some talks and stories about stolen jewelry were spreading and that these stolen goods were in possession of Japanese and KNIL soldiers. An investigation had no result.
Meanwhile, also arrested the Chinese friend of the captain. This is because of arms smuggling. Carla Wolff is now scared and she asks Nakamura to remove the jewelry from the big safe and bury treasures in the backyard. Only the money stays in the safe.

Carla’s indiscretion had dramatic consequences. Eventually she was arrested by the British Captain Morton, who was told about the jewelry heist Maurice Noah, a NEFIS employee.
After a long period of interrogation Carla surrenders and told Morton everything.
The jewelries were hidden in two kerosene cans that are filled up with solidified wax. Morton, his assistant sergeant Dawson, Ulrich, and Noah take the cans including 200,000 guilders from the safe.
The bulk of the jewelry ends up in the hands of the British paymaster. But Morton and Dawson kept the money and quite a lot of jewelry too. Both collaborators Noah and Ulrich each receive 50,000 guilders and some jewelry as a reward.
During a hearing of Mrs. Ulrich the prosecutor in Batavia, Mr. Ed Brunsveld van Hulten found out about the involvement of Carla Wolff, who in the meantime had been released by Morton. She told Brunsveld the whole story that has taken place. Brunsveld begin an inquiry, even the British involvement. In Singapore he met with Colonel Sharp, chief of the British Special Investigation Branch.
Colonel Sharp feels compelled to travel to Batavia. Morton and Williams are both arrested and brought before the court martial. Morton is freed due to lack of evidence, Williams is fired and send to one year of forced labor.
Meanwhile, Carla also attempt to sell her buried and selected jewelry part. She asked the help the landlord Crown of the premises she was living in. Brunsveld finds this out and have them both arrested and both end up in jail.
One of the few who managed to escape is the friend of Carla, who had helped her to sort out the gems from the suitcases. His name is Bram Roukens. He moved to the Netherlands and was untraceable. Sergeant Dawson moved to England, where he was later arrested.

Brunsveld takes the following prisoners to the court: Carla Wolff, Renee Ulrich, Maurice Noah, Who Ong Soon, Tio Who Koen and JPB Crown. The excavated jewelry from the backyard of Carla Wolff have now been estimated by the UK Paymaster at 331 000 guilders and the paper money at 144 000 guilders.
In court Carla continued to deny everything. The possession of 270 000 guilders was not hers, but from Nakamura. In the meantime, the part that was handed to the Paymaster by Morton has an estimated value of over 475,000 guilders.
Carla gets 8 months jail time, Noah and Ulrich, who both have confess, get 14 months and 8 months jail.
The judges, led by Mr. LF de Groot were carefully judging the statements of Carla and all the others who were involved in the operation in the pawnshop. Nomura is again firmly interrogated about his view of all the valuables in the Japanese possession. All those jewels and valuables after all, were owned by the poor Indonesians and the Indo-Europeans, who had pawned their possessions to buy food, hoping later to get it back.

However, the hearings have never produced the full details of the estimates stolen goods and the value could not be determined. But it should have a value of many millions. In an old newspaper was mentioned even an amount of 9,000,000 British Pound.

The court finds both defendants guilty of looting and condemns Nakamura to imprisonment for ten years and Nomura to a sentence of five years.

In 1949 the sentences of the two prisoners were reduced drastically by the Indonesian legal authority and the men were free to go home.
Carla Wolff was release from prison in 1947 and a few years later she moved to the Netherlands. In 1985 a daughter of Carla, who lived in Jakarta, asked her already sick mother, to come and stay with her.
Carla Wolff died that year at the age of 77.

Information are gathered from old newspaper articles and a new one by Peter Schumacher.



Power vacuum-Bersiap-Sukarno after Japanese surrender

Sukarno meets Hirohito

Sukarno meets Hirohito

On November 8 1944, there was a large demonstration in Batavia. Sukarno held a fiery speech and said: “Our guys should if necessary be prepared to spray the Indonesian soil with their blood and tears to make the land fertile and prosperous.” On August 11, 1945 Sukarno spoke at the headquarters of the Japanese commander-in-Chief of South East Asia with the words: “Undoubtedly, this gift, this granting of independence, a favor from the most sacred Majesty, the Tenno Heiko, derived from his infinite wisdom and we wish to express our eternal thanks for that”. Japan capitulated on August 15, 1945 and on August 17, 1945, Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed the Republic of Indonesia.

Because at that time no Allied forces were present who could take over the authority of the Japanese soldiers the New Republic gains time and influence to use their power and opportunity. On September 29, 1945 a detachment British troops in strength of less than a thousand men came to Batavia. Long before the capitulation of Japan their war propaganda transmitter echoed everywhere in the cities and the kampongs by loudspeakers at the request of Sukarno. On August 8 Sukarno spoke: “America, Netherlands and England fighting now to extremes to return here. Fight to the death to destroy them “. Due to a lack of the presence of the protective troops after the capitulation of Japan the imminent and horrible massacres could occur.

In mid-1945 the Japanese started a PETA volunteer army consisting of Indonesians. This new youth Army consisted of 38,000 men and was divided into battalions of 500 people. There were also the Indonesian auxiliary troops, called heiho’s. All those young people learn of the Netherlands, England and America were their enemies and Japan their friend. General Soetomo, nicknamed Boeng Tomo, made sure that it was dangerous for women and children to leave the internment camps. In fact, one was nowhere safe. The first bersiap period led by Sukarno and General Soetomo had begun and the killing of Dutch, Chinese, Menadonese, Ambonese, Timorese and Indonesians had begun on gruesome manner and on a large scale.
After the first Bersiap period a second period followed in July-August 1947, when, partly as a result of the activities by the Dutch first police action, a wave of new massacres of the Indo-Dutch and Indonesians, who remained loyal to the Netherlands.

A teenager in camp Bangkinang

Bangkinang and the experience of a 16 year old girl

Gerdy, parents and brothers

Gerdy, parents and brothers

During World War Two in the former Dutch Indies Bangkinang had 2 Japanese Internment camp, because the Japs kept the man and boys older than 12 years separated from the women and the children. Bangkinang was in the middle of a jungle of rubber trees and about 250 km from Padang. Men and women camp were about 2 km apart.
During the month of December 1943 we had to leave our prison in Padang and had to walk with our spare luggage to the station. The blinded trains then brought us to Pajacombo and from there the Japs transported us, 35 people per open truck, and a total of 400 to 500 women and their children to Bangkinang.
All happened under the burning sun and no food and water. The whole transportation to our new location in the jungle took more than 8 grueling hours.

The main problem in this women-children camp of about 2300, as in all Japanese camps, is the severe hunger and lack of medications, not to mention the cruelty of some of the Japanese, Korean and Indonesian guards.
The standard food allocation consisted of a small can of rice and a small amount of tapioca flour, which just made “blubber”, Meity says today with disdain. Her mother had arrived in the camp separately from Meity, because she had a leg surgery due to infection and had to be transported with other sick people.

On each truck transporting prisoners from Pajacombo to Bangkinang with heavy winding roads was also a Japanese guard. This guard on the truck she was seated, was constantly looking at Meity, while she was holding her golden necklace with at the end a cross with in-bedded stones . When the Japanese soldier got her attention he pointed to himself and made a catholic cross sign to let her know that he also was a Christian. Meity understood him and made also her catholic cross sign. Once in Bangkinang this Japanese guard approached her, gave her a package and indicated her to hide it under her close. Later in the barak, she opened the package and it was dried salted fish. He had given her food.

Some of the Indonesian guards were helpful smuggling letters between the women and men camps. A prime exchange spot was, gruesomely enough, the camp mortuary called Kuburan, a structure located between the two camps. Following the death of a person, we were permitted to come to view the body for the last time and at the same time letters were exchanged.

Food smuggling was even more frequent. But we had to watch out for a Korean guard, which was given the nickname the Cyclops. He was always hiding in the dark somewhere against the fence wall, to catch us smuggling for food, because we were too hungry. So, it was kind of fun to do things like that, but it was scary too, especially when the Cyclops was on guard, a cruel person.

Meity recalls one particular incident involving a young mother of 2 small children who joined the girls in smuggling food. During the work in the yard just outside the camp this young mother, Nelly Kornmann, had met somebody from the village and asked her for a package of nasi ramas. These villagers bring you food in exchange for money or jewelry.
The Japs caught her and started beating her so badly – she fell down and then they hit her with the butt of the rifle, while she was lying on the ground.
We were standing there and we could not help, because the other guards were pointing their riffles at us. This young mother recover, but she did not go outside anymore and only spoke with her two children.

Meity herself was beaten severely in another smuggling case. At that time she had some jewelry as a bundle in a handkerchief to help others to sell it for money.
Meity went to the wall to make a sale, but on her way one of the Dutch girls passed her and said: “Slanted eyes are watching you” and went to the bathroom.
I followed her also to the bathroom.
Then I heard his footsteps and banging at the doors. Finally he pulled my door open and pulled me out. It was Cyclops, the Korean guard. Luckily he made one mistake, he looked one moment away from me. I flipped the bundle of the jewelry in the handkerchief over the partition.
He pulled me out and to his office and wanted to know where the package was. I told him I have no package. Then the beating started and I landed under his desk. By another blow I fell with my head against the edge of his desk, which cause a local crack in my skull. Medical wise I experience my whole life balance problems due to that beating.
He pulled me up by my hair and started hitting me again. Then he searched for the package, but could not find it, which made him angrier and I received some more blows. Then he put me in the corner and I had to stand there, the sadist.
Later on I heard from my mom, another girl was behind me in the other bathroom and caught her package with the jewelry. She heard and saw everything and brought the package to Meity’s mother.

Meity, at that time about 17 years, confronted her most sexually dangerous situation a couple month before the end of the war. I was ordered to go to the front office. Already there were 3 of my friends from Sawahlunto, namely the sisters Heidy and Tera Freeth and the 13 year old Leksmi. I thought, “O boy, what is going on?” There was a black sedan and the Japs pushed us in the car and drove us out of the camp. They took us to their soldier’s camp and placed us in a room. That camp was a shocker, because all those Japs were walking in the cawak (loincloths). After a while Sakai, the Jap who put us in the car, came back with 3 other officers. They were looking at us as available meat and were laughing and kind of giggling. “Which one do you want”? Then about 15 minutes later they left the room. We do not know what is going to happen.

Meanwhile mom was like crazy and went to the lady camp leaders to tell them to go to the guard and let him call the Kempeitai. She even threatened with a revolt of the 2300 people, if no action was taken. So they did and went to the guard and told him to make the call and that they could not tolerate this. The guard indeed called the Kempeitai, who went to the soldier’s camp and ordered the officers to let the girls go back to their camp. Sakai and the 3 officers were mad and for the girls it was a miracle that that happened.

The end of war and announcement of the Japanese capitulation came on august 22, 1945. Food droppings from the Allied Forces provided some relief and hope to the Bangkinang women and child internees. RAPWI was in charge and the Japanese were ordered to protect the internment against the permuda’s. British troops replaced the Japanese and Indonesian guards. Meity her father came over from the men’s camp for a visit. Many Dutch and Dutch-Indies stayed in the camp due to the increase of violence and murders created by the Indonesian permuda’s against all who were associated with the Dutch. The bersiap had started.
Then the British started moving the men, women and children from the Bangkinang camps back to Padang, also Meity and her parents. In Padang, to the large building the “Landraad” where they were guarded by Gurkhas and Indian Siks.
A couple month later they decided to move to Batavia where Meity and her parents got united with her brothers. Rudi had been in a POW camp and survived Pakan Baru as well as the Junyo Maru ship wreck. Henri had been captured by Indonesian troops soon after the revolution began and had spent time in Amberawa camp. Liberated by the British, he was then taken to Sri Lanka.
Edwin, the eldest, had been dispatched to the Burma railway to serve as a field medic. The war experience at the Birma railroad made him sick and he became traumatized.
In 1947 the whole family Uijleman-Anthonijs depart together for the Netherlands.

Today Meity and her husband Daniel Ungerer, both at the age of 87, are living in Southern California
Meity (Gerdy) her mother tante Lucy is the sister of my father Eddie Geenen.

Greatest Armada in history

Here comes another surprise… It was 1944 and the pictures were not available during the war. The US kept this place unknown to the citizens of the US. This is quite a story!!

This is phenomenal …! An Armada of ships and airplanes poised for the invasion of Japan…that never happened…because President Truman authorized the dropping of “A” bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima that resulted in the Japanese surrender. Just think of the American lives that would have been lost had this invasion occurred. Be thankful that we had a President with the courage to make the call. Sadly most Americans today know nothing about this and the sacrifices made by those before us. We are not teaching US history in our schools anymore…. Some great pictures of the Ulithi armada! US Naval armada deployed for invasion of Japan. Keep this for posterity. There will never be another assemblage of naval ships like this again. Staging area for the invasion of Japan. Check out the carriers on “Murderer’s Row.”

If any of you folks had fathers, grandfathers or uncles in the Navy during World War II, they may well have been involved in this operation, given the tremendous number of the ships and personnel involved.

You may also recognize them in some of the photos. Click below:


Chili peppers are healthy

Eating hot and spicy help one live longer

Most of us Indo-Dutch like to eat spicy and we eat sambal in all kind of mixtures and dishes.
But what do we know about the hot peppers?

International researchers found out comparing people who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who at them at least three to five times per week were live likely 14% longer.
Those who ate spicy meals once or twice a week were 10% less likely to die during the study period of the researchers.

International researchers and scientists have already recognized that spices do have a beneficial health effect. And special capsaicin, the ingredient that gives you the hot bites when eating the chili peppers, have been shown to fight all kind of inflammations, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer, to mention some ills.

According to the researchers the effect of eating spicy foods have the same result on men and women. Among the study volunteers, those who reported eating fresh chili peppers had a better result than did volunteers who ate only dried chilies.
The difference could be that fresh chili pepper contains more capsaicin and nutrients like potassium and vitamins C, A, K and B6.
The study included nearly half a million volunteering people between the age of 30 and 79 and for a period of 7.2years.

To measure the heat units of a chili is based on the Scoville Scale.
Here are a few examples of peppers and their heat units:
Anaheim pepper                  500 to 2500
Jalapeno pepper               2,500 to 8,000
Serrano pepper               10,000 to 23,000
Cayenne pepper             30,000 to 50,000
Thai pepper                    50,000 to 100,000
Habanero pepper        100,000 to 350,000
Ghost pepper               855,000 to 1,041,427

The other side of Holland (By Saskia Rossi)

The small, friendly country famous for its tulips, windmills, cheese, and weed. A rich cultural heritage (Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer), a climate of tolerance and innovation, and liberal beliefs. I am proud of the way it takes care of its seniors and of the vulnerable groups in society such as the disabled, the homeless, and the jobless. I am less enthusiastic when it comes to the way it has been treating its Dutch-Indonesian citizens.
My parents came from Indonesia, which implies that they experienced the invasion and the occupation of their country, the Dutch East Indies, then colony of the Netherlands, by the Japanese. Many of the Dutch-Indonesian people, who were all Dutch citizens, served in the Army and Navy. Most of them were taken prisoner and spent years in internment camps. Thousands of them did not survive and those who did, had to face more hardships.
After the capitulation of Japan on August 15, 1945, Indonesia did not want to be under foreign rule any longer. A violent struggle for freedom ensued. In this gruesome period, called the Bersiap, again thousands of Dutch(-Indonesian) men, women, and children lost their lives. In 1947, the Netherlands sent troops to Indonesia in order to reestablish their rule, that is, to preserve their profitable colony. Finally, in 1949, under great international pressure, the Netherlands had to recognize the independence of Indonesia.
What did this mean for the Dutch-Indonesian people? Being Dutch citizens, but living in a country that was no longer Dutch, they only had a few options. The majority chose to depart for the unknown. Roughly between 1950 and 1960, some 300,000 Dutch-Indonesian people embarked on a long journey that would take them to their new home, the Netherlands. Here, they had to start all over again. Of course they met with prejudice, silly regulations, and blatant racism. They had to accept (and pay for) inadequate housing, take jobs that did not reflect their qualifications, and undergo constant social scrutiny.
Much later, in 2000, in an attempt to counterbalance the chilly welcome, the Dutch government made a financial reparation, Het Gebaar, the Gesture. The name itself is poorly chosen; it suggests magnanimity on part of the giver, while it was no more than a band-aid. It did not heal the raw wound underneath.
Recently, the pain and frustration have become unbearable. Since 2013, de Indische Kwestie, the Dutch-Indonesian Issue, has been on the political agenda of The Hague. The much anticipated public hearing in de Tweede Kamer, the House of Representatives, scheduled on July 1, 2015, was adjourned one day before the assembly, a few days before the summer recess. Once again, the aging Dutch-Indonesian beneficiaries are supposed to wait just a little longer.
De Indische Kwestie, the issue that stirs up a lot of emotions in the Dutch-Indonesian community, has two components: Back Pay and Compensation for material war damages.
In a nutshell:
Back Pay:
Unlike their Dutch counterparts, interned or held hostage by Nazi Germany, Dutch-Indonesian government officials and military personnel were not paid for the 41 months under Japanese occupation. An exception was made for Navy personnel; the then Minister of the Navy felt morally obliged to pay his men. Their salaries were retroactively paid in full. All others who proudly served their country, fought for the Queen, and remained loyal to the Dutch flag under the most trying circumstances never received a dime.
Compensation for material war damages:
The Dutch government paid 5.9 billion guilders (precursor to the euro) to Dutch individuals who suffered damages during the occupation of Holland by Nazi Germany. Dutch-Indonesian citizens were strictly excluded from this settlement. The Allies in the war against Japan, like the United States, Great Britain, and France did take financial responsibility for their fellow citizens in Asia. The Netherlands has never acknowledged any financial or legal liability; from the beginning, unhindered by a sense of duty or codes of honor, it has pointed at Indonesia to deal with this matter.
Seventy years have passed since the end of World War II. My father, who served in the Army, passed away a long time ago, all my uncles, who served in the Army and Navy, passed away too. For them it is too late. But others are still alive, still hoping and waiting for recognition, for formal apologies, for justice. Will Holland step up to the plate and finally do what is the right thing to do or will colonial history repeat itself?

Saskia Rossi
Monrovia, California

Posthumous honored with the Mobilization War Cross

Johannes Jacobus WINSSER has been posthumous honored with the Mobilization War Cross!

The family Francois Marie Winsser-Laarhuis consisted out of father, mother and 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. All the 5 children were born in the home town of their parents, the city of Semarang in the former Dutch-Indies.
Grandfather Frans Winsser has first served as a military in the Royal Dutch Indies Army and made it to Non-Commission Officer (NCO). After his military service he joined the police corps of Semarang and became superintendent of police.

Grandpa Frans Winsser

Grandpa Frans Winsser

Family Winsser-Laarhuis, standing beside his mother is Jan Winsser

Family Winsser-Laarhuis, standing beside his mother is Jan Winsser


Grandfather Frans Winsser Family Francois Marie Winsser-Laarhuis
standing beside his mother is Jan Winsser
His youngest son Johannes Jacobus Winsser was born on March 30, 1913 in Semarang.
Jan Winsser decided to join the KNIL as a professional and hold the position of European Brigade Titular in the Dutch Infantry.
At the age of 24 he got married to his lovely wife Suze Pauline Jeekel. Suze Pauline Jeekel herself was born in Delanggu, in the region Klaten, which is located on Mid-Java between Jogjakarta and Surakarta.
What exactly happened during the Japanese occupation, but Jan (Johannes Jacobus) Winsser became a Japanese prisoner of war on March 8, 1942.
He was one of the many chosen Dutch KNIL soldiers transported like cattle by the Japanese under terrible heat and with nearly no food and water by open trucks trains and boats to Burma where they had to build and work like slaves on the Burma Railway at the orders of the Empire of Japan. This railway, which is 258 miles long (415 km) long, is also known as the Death railway between Ban Pong, Thailand and Thanbyuzayat, Burma.
After above mentioned ordeal he was moved by the Japanese military to a Japanese concentration camp in Raha, South Celebes where he died on April 11, 1945, just a couple months before the end of the war.

Johannes Jacobus Winsser was honored with the MOK

Johannes Jacobus Winsser was honored with the MOK

Meanwhile his wife Suze Pauline Jeekel and her 3 children, the girls Gertrude and Sylvia and their son Ronny, had to survive a horrible and cruel war. They were welcome by Aunt Jeane Riekerk, who had a large house in the country just outside Cimahi.
Directly after world war two was ended and the Japanese capitulation was a fact the bersiap broke out and especially young Indonesian, part trained by Japanese, want their independence and went after the Dutch-Indo’s, most women and children. Suddenly news was spread; that a British ship did arrived in Semarang with prisoners of war from the Thailand-Burma railway and Suze Pauline decided also to go with her 3 children to Semarang. At the harbor they found out that the ship had no prisoners of war, but British and Indian military personnel and soldiers, who had to stabilize the peace in Semarang and surrounding areas.
Moments later the Indonesian permudas attacked the people in Semarang and at the harbor and for the safety of the women and their children they were all moved to board a British ship (possibly the Sussex). Suze Pauline and her children were then transported to Thailand. In Thailand she found out that her husband was no longer a laborer and much later also that he had died. She then was shipped back to Batavia, and from there to the Netherlands. Meanwhile she got remarried to Mr. Somers and together they had another 5 children. Then the opportunity came and they decided to leave the Netherlands for America and arrived in California.
Today Suze Pauline Somers-Jeekel still lives at the age of 97 among her family.
Huib Otto, the son of one of the sisters of Jan Winsser, have never met uncle Jan. But he found it important for the family to apply for the MOK.
Per The Minister of Defense a letter dated June 11, 2015, including the Mobilization War Cross and Certificate, was sent by certified mail to the daughter of J.J. Winsser, Mrs. Sylvia P. Kailola-Winsser in Cerritos, California.
Last but not least, like many families before, the Winsser families were honored because of the tirelessness work and devotion of Jacques Z. Brijl, Luitenant-kolonel bd, drg. “Bronzen Leeuw”.

Less fortunate in Indonesia

Boarding-schools in Kebonagung, Malang

Many small Dutch non-governmental organizations (NGO), sometimes even private ones that has been setup by a family, are assisting and providing medical, agricultural and educational assistance to projects in Indonesia. One of these organizations is Horizon Holland Foundation supported by Jacq. Z Brijl, retired L.C. of the Dutch Army. Of the half millions of children living in boarding-houses only about 6% are orphans. Many parents are too poor to take care of their children.

One of the projects, supported by Horizon Holland Foundation is boarding-schools for girls and for boys called Asrama Anak Anak in Kebonagung district Malang, Java, Indonesia. This project, the two boarding houses, was built with the help of local people and sponsors in 2005. Today there are 40 students living on the small campus, all children from the street, who have been displaced and sometimes also abused. Three of them are now college students. Half million children from Indonesia are living under the same circumstances in boarding houses and only 6% of them are orphans. Many parents are too poor to feed and take care of their infants. Hananto Jonatan, Chairman Church Council in Malang, is the driving force behind these (boys-girls) boarding schools.

Peter Logman is a simple Indo, who is very unselfish and committed helping the poor and disabled children in Indonesia. Today he volunteers as a coordinator for Pelita and for the Indo dining table at the nursing home Rumah Kita Wageningen. He also organizes the Pasar event at Bronbeek and the proceeds are all going to the two boarding homes and schools.

Peter Logman ready to step on the Matrix

Peter Logman ready to step on the Matrix

On Sunday, May 10, 2015 Peter, as a 65 years active sportsman, decided to climb stairs on the Matrix exercise machine at the sport center Aerofit in Didam, the Netherland. His goal was climbing 4000 stairs with on each ankle a weight of 2kg. He managed to accomplish this grueling exercise in about 42 minutes. His accomplishment was also broadcast on television, but most important was the objective support for the boarding schools in Malang Kebonagung district.

Peter Logman on his way to the 4000 stairs up

Peter Logman on his way to the 4000 stairs

Hopefully you also feel the need to support Peter Logman with his project Asrama Anak anak in Kebonagung, Malang, please send your donation to:

Weeskinderen Kebonagung (Malang)
REKNR: NL61 INGB 000 240 0060
And I thank you,
Peter Logman
E-mail: sl.lotus@online.nl

70 Years peace in west Australia


74 years ago the Japanese forces launched a cowardly attack at Pearl Harbor and a couple weeks later also swept into the Dutch-Indies and attacked unprepared Darwin the northern Australian city.

73 years ago refuges and soldiers fleeing from the Japanese invasion were arriving in large numbers on the coast of west Australia. The city of Broome with its airfield and convenient located harbor was very suitable for flying boats. And Broome was an ideal passed through town on their way south for the couple of thousands mostly Dutch refugees, including many women and children.

Broome, west Australia

73 years ago nine Japanese fighter planes left Koepang, arrived over Roebuck Bay couple hours later and started destroying flying boats (Dorniers and Catalinas) of the Dutch, British, US and a pair Empire class of Australian flying boats. They were all burned and/or sunk. At the Broome airfield strip all the planes, like US B-17 and B-24 bombers and Dutch Douglas DC-3 transporters were destroyed. Not one plane survived the Japanese attack.

73 years ago dozens of people lost their lives during this cowardly attack on the city of Broome.
Many Dutch women and their children were trapped in the flying boats at anchor in the harbor. Many others were burned into the flames. Others jumped into the water to swim to the shore, but instead drowned or attacked by sharks. Many Dutch bodies were first buried in the Broome War Cemetery and later reburied in a special area called Karrakatta Cemetery in the city of Perth. Many could not be identified and lie in unmarked graves.

73 years ago the Japanese army invaded Java. Timothy van der Kuil, who was a cost estimator in the printing and publishing industry, got enlisted as soldier in the “StadsWacht” (A special military group to protect the City). Later this group must have been taken over by the Dutch KNIL army. And as a KNIL soldier Tim became a prisoner of war and ended up in the Struiswijk jail in Batavia.

71 years ago Timothy van der Kuil was boarded and packed on the ship the Junyo Maru together with 1377 Dutch, 64 British and Australian, and 8 American prisoners of war along with 4200 Javanese slave laborers (romushas). They headed to Sumatra to work on the Pakan Baru railway on the island of Sumatra.
As was common on these hell ships, between the decks, the Japanese had inserted a layer of bamboo scaffolding to make extra decks. The holds were crammed with bunks three or four deep. Every level was jammed with prisoners. Many were very weak and sick and suffered from malaria and/or dysentery. There was not enough water and no latrine facilities. Some died and others went mad. The Japs ignored to indicate the red cross on this 5000 tons ship while transporting Pow’s and prisoners and the British submarine Tradewind torpedoed and sank the Junyo Maru. An estimated 5620 prisoners died including Timothy van der Kuil.

73 years ago the Japanese set up concentration camps like Tjideng, a suburb of Batavia with many small houses. The kempeitai Kenichi Sonei was notorious for his cruelty and barbaric acts.
The camp started with 2000 women and children prisoners and grew in population to an overcrowding of 10500. Despite all the cruelties, lack of medication and hunger mother van der Kuil, her daughter and son Peter, who was only about 3 years old survived this Tjideng camp.

Some 15 years ago Peter started to research his past in Tjideng camp and that of his father and created two websites for that purpose http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanderkp/tjideng.html and http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanderkp/junyopg1.html and both are also located on Peter’s page file:///C:/Users/Owner/Desktop/Peter’s%20research%20project.html

Peter van der Kuil and Bill Zitman in Perth

Peter van der Kuil and Bill Zitman in Perth

But when Peter died, Bill Zitman, an Indo who lives and runs his business in Perth, decided to finish the work Peter started and contacted Jacq. Z Brijl, retired L.C. of the Dutch Army.
Mr. Jacq Z. Brijl, who lives in The Hague, Netherlands his mission, is to get all KNIL men, who were forced to work at the Birma and the Pakan Baru railroad, a Mobilisatie Oorlogskruis.


Georgina and Serena



Last Saturday, May 2, 2015 a gets together was held at the Dutch Annex Australian War Memorial remembering the liberation of the Netherlands 70 years ago. It was a sunny morning when the ceremony was held in the open air on the walled grass field of Karrakatta Cemetery in the city of Perth. Among the many were also the Foreign Minister of Australia, Julie Bishop and the Ambassador of The Netherlands for Australia, Annemieke Ruigrok. Both came from Canberra on the east coast of Australia.

At the end of the Memorial Ceremony the Dutch Ambassador handed Georgina van der Kuil the “Mobilisatie-Oorlogskruis”. Especially for Georgina but also for the family van der Kuil and all the other attendees an emotional and happy occurrence to receive the acknowledgment for her grandfather. Peter started the research of what happened to his father and now the sisters Georgina and Victoria, and their mother Serena can close the book.

Bill Zitman writing to me says it all: I shall not go into the translation of this report, but it mentions the venue with a historical link – the atmosphere – those present (of importance) – our combined emotional feelings to the ceremony – Peter’s search for answers – the closure obtained (with regards to Tim) and a ‘thank you’ to Jacq Brijl.