Who contributed to the rebuilding of the Netherlands (1950-1957)

On December 27, 1949 Queen Juliana signed the transfer of sovereignty in the Palace on the Dam in Amsterdam, which ended the existence of the Dutch Indies. Indonesia was from now an independent state.

However, much time and many month of negotiations were spent at the Round Table conference (RTC) in The Hague. Four parties attended, namely a Dutch Delegation, a Delegation from the Republic, which was proclaimed by Soekarno on August 17, 1949, a Delegation of Federalists from other parts and islands of Indonesia, a United Nations Committee (Unci). Meetings were prolonged; proposals were rejected and replaced. One Subject brought to the table by The Netherlands was the debt issue, which required a long time.
The Netherlands subpoenas and demanded a status as a privileged trading partner. This meant that all benefits to investment and profits from about 3 billion guilders of private Dutch property investments remained Dutch and had to be transferred at an attractive rate to Netherlands. This was recorded in a financial arrangement; Finec!

However, the Netherlands was still not satisfied. They do not want to give up the island of New Guinea. They wanted New Guinea to remain a colony. Their goal was to move all the Dutch-Indo’s from the islands to their latest colony and not to the Netherlands. And they also had in mind the rich mineral resources of New Guinea such as bauxite, copper, gold and oil.
Immediately after the transfer of sovereignty the distrust grew between the partners of the Union. Both partners are not willing to understand each other. Both Drees and Luns had their own policy without taking in account the wishes of their Indonesian partners.
Meanwhile the Indonesians persisted and made New Guinea the main theme of all kind of speeches.
On the other hand, The Netherlands already made a revision to the Constitution in 1956 that New Guinea is Dutch territory. Especially the insensibility of Mr. Luns made the Geneva Conference a complete failure. The created Union between the two countries was denounced and on August 4, 1956 the Indonesian Government stopped the payment of debts to The Netherlands.

Just over a year later, due to the New Guinea problem, all Dutch properties were confiscated by the Indonesian Government.

The following statements by Mr. Lambert Giebels from the Groene Amsterdammer are false and totally misinformed the public. He wrote:

“However, in the Netherlands most people were not aware, that when Indonesia stopped paying its debts, they already had paid nearly 4 billion guilders. The residual debt was still 650 million guilders. Also during the period 1948 to 1953 The Netherlands had received 1127 billion Marshall Aid as a loan”.
“Most people in the Netherlands had in mind that thank to the Marshall Aid they could rebuild their country”. “But the Indonesian debt payment was completely overlooked. Also, during the same period, all capital income, pensions and savings were transferred from Indonesia to the Netherlands. All income of the Dutch companies were flowing to the Netherlands to cover the poor years in the fiftieth”.
“The annual contribution was an average of 8% and the New Guinea issue made a stop to it. During the period 1950 to 1957 Indonesia had contributed to the rapid post-war industrialization of the Netherlands, which was known in Europe as “Le miracle Hollandais!”

Mrs. Griselda Molemans wrote:
The real story are documented at the National Archives in College Park, Md., and those pertaining to the Treaty of Wassenaar.

The Indonesian government never paid this debt of 4,2 billion guilders. President Sukarno flat out refused to pay the amount to the former colonizer. Long after Dutch New Guinea (West Papua) was reclaimed by Indonesia in 1962, the two governments finally were on speaking terms again. It was Dutch Secretary of State Luns who proposed to be ‘magnanimous by lowering the debt of 4,2 billion guilders to 600 million guilders with interest.’ The Treaty of Wassenaar sealed this deal by which Indonesia paid the amount over 30 years and displaced families who had fled Indonesia and Dutch New Guinea between December 1st, 1957 and September 1st, 1962 could file a request for financial compensation. Hardly any rightful claimant though was informed that this request had to be submitted in the summer of 1969. (Follow tfir.nl for this specific claim against the Dutch State).

Also, only a fourth of the Marshall Aid has been implemented by Finance Minister Lieftinck who defended himself to the Federal Reserve Board that he ‘needed to build financial reserve’ and preferred to ‘transfer this reserve to the Fed bank account of the Dutch National Bank’.

 

 

History and survival of Edward G. Welcker

The sinking of Her. Ms. De Ruyter in the Battle of the Java Sea.

Foreword: On Sunday, February 19, 2017 I had the honor to meet Edward Gilles Welcker. After a few telephone conversations, Ernest Welcker, the son of Ed, invited me to come to their home in Laguna Woods, Orange County. At their home I also had the pleasure to meet Yvonne, the daughter of Ed. Yvonne helped me to get the conversation going with her 98 years old father. She also brought with her written information and interviews, which she had saved over the years. Ernie made me copies of the interviews, which took place about 20 years ago.

The story here below is fully based on the information I received.
Ronny Geenen, Glendora, CA (20-02-2017)

Edward Gilles Welcker
15/10-1918 – 3/3-2017

Edward G. Welcker was born on October 15, 1918 in Magelang, on the island of Java, Indonesia. His father, a Practice Engineer (Pring), worked as Superintendent at the Dutch-Indies Railroad Company (NIS)

From 1924 to 1932 Ed went to the Catholic Elementary school in Jogjakarta. At that time the primary school had seven classes. Then he went to the Queen Wilhelmina School (KWS) in Batavia (now Jakarta) and studied for 5 years Construction and Hydraulic Engineering. In 1937 he continued his education for 1 ½ year at the Institute of Electrical Professional Training (IVEVO).Like his dad he then started working for the Dutch-Indies Railroad Company (NIS). In 1939 Ed was called by the Royal Navy to fulfill his military duties.

He received his first military training at the Marine base in Gubeng and became a sailor in one month. He received his professional training to become an Electrician at the Royal Navy in Ujung, which he succeeded to finish in just half a year. Then he became Sea Militiaman Electrician on Her Ms. De Ruyter.

The year 1942 was a turbulent time and the threat of war was felt well. Exercises with the squadron in the Java Sea, around Bali, etc. On March 27th 1943 and after he was called for the roll, Ed went to his post the front electrical power unit. His task was to distribute the electricity to various parts of the ship. The same was done by his colleague at the rear power unit of the ship. Around 16:00 hours was relieved by Sergeant Electro Mechanic Langendoen.
He was then instructed to go to Lighthouse I, in order to assist in the loading of the 15 cm grenades. Here he saw Indonesian sailors crouched as though they were struck with fear, totally upset, shaking and stiff. They could no longer load the shells. Most likely they are exhausted and overwhelmed by fear. Ed and others had to replace them until about 18:30, the time it began to get dark. Then Ed was instructed to go to the starboard searchlight. This workstation was located higher, but still below the commando bridge (see the picture of de Ruyter). Ed had a good view over the starboard side of the ship. The fleet was just engaged to carry out a sharp starboard maneuver and Ed how Her Ms. Java went up in flames and sank within minutes.
Ed also saw also the air bubbles of the torpedo that came to his ship under an angle of 45 degrees. Her Ms. De Ruyter was hit amidships and immediately lost speed. Apparently the gear transmission room to activate the ships propellers was damaged. The flames leaped across the deck and not long after the anti-artillery platform was on fire. Grenades exploded like fireworks.
Ed went to the crane to lower the lifeboats. However, there was no electricity, which he reported it to the boatswain. The lifeboats were then lowered with manpower.

Commander KLTZ E.E.B. Lacomblé ordered everybody to abandon ship. Standing on the bridge the Commander thanked everyone and said goodbye to them. There was no panic among the crew, everyone was able to accomplish his task.

Ed then went to the special location to get his life-jacket, jump on port side overboard and swam to the raft on which he was assigned. But the sea was so choppy that the raft capsized and Ed decided to keep himself afloat with his life-jacket on.
Ed spent the whole day in the blazing sun floating in the sea until he was rescued by the Japanese destroyer around 17:00 hours. He was well treated on the Japanese destroyer. His sun burnt skin was treated with an ointment and he was given soft food to eat. Around 19:00 hours the next day he was ordered to report to the Japanese commander who interrogate him. The commander saw his Mido watch that Ed had recently bought in Surabaya. The Japanese commander ask him if he could buy the watch. Ed hesitated a moment ————-they have treated him well on their ship———-

His answer:” No, you cannot buy it. I give it to you as a gift, you may have it”, and he handed his watch to the Japanese commander.
The next day Ed was transferred to another destroyer where he met other fished up Navy sailors from the life boat. Before he went on board of the destroyer he was handed a duffel bag and a note which he could show to the Japanese on the other ship. On the other destroyer they wanted to know what is in the duffel bag. Ed showed the Japanese in charge the note and the Jap politely step away. Ed have never find out what was written on the note. The duffel bag contained clothes, cigarettes (although Ed was a non-smoker) and Japanese biscuits.

During this transport Ed also met Adjutant Electro Mechanic Langendoen who showed him his injury; his stomach was ripped open. As well as possible Ed took care of his superior and used the new clothes out of his duffel bag. They all ended up in the garden of de Wedana in Kragan near Rembang. They had to camp in the garden, sleeping on the ground without a blanket or pillow. There was also no washing facilities. Adjutant Langendoen was housed in the garage, which was converted into a sickbay. There were no beds, no mats, and as a result the patients were laid on the concrete floor full of oil and grease. When Ed had no fatigue-duty, he nursed the Adjutant as good as possible. This chore was to unload the landing crafts on the landing Kalipang, about a 15 minutes’ walk from the house of the Wedana.

Three days later, just when Ed was on fatigue-duty, the Adjutant Langendoen passed away.

After the war a fellow inmate of camp Kragan, the recruit sailor mechanic K.L. Topee declared to a hearing committee:” In the beginning of our camp time Sea Militiaman Electrician Edward Welcker left the camp repeatedly and secretly risking his own life to find food for us all. He has saved several lives and we owe a lot to him”.

Ed got a lot of help from the locals during these food expeditions. The local population was sympathetic to the prisoners. They even gave Ed a bicycle to help escape from the camp. He does not want to do it for fear of reprisals against his parents. The Wedana was also in favor of the red/ white/ blue and did not want to remove the Dutch tricolor. For this reason, the Japanese locked him, his wife and daughter in a henhouse. Later on they were liberated by their own people. This same flag was later torn into pieces by a demonstrative Sergeant Machinist Soeratman.

Popular fatigue duties were:

  1. Getting water brought them in contact with the outside world and they could wash themselves at the well.
  2. Chopping wood for the Japanese kitchen, where the men occasionally got the leftovers from the guards.

Topee also reported that the Indonesians among the crew prisoners of war of Her Ms. De Ruyter almost all openly distanced themselves from the Dutch in Kragan. Earlier, they had been little co-operative when they tried rowing to reach the coast of Java. In the camp the native Sergeant Machinist Soeratman clearly showed his anti-Dutch feeling by shredding the Dutch flag while the remainder of the native crew was laughing and watching. Two native sailors did not join; the native nurse Mandalika and the native stoker-Oiler Boenandir.

Later, all prisoners from the Camp, which is home to the Wedana in Kragan, were transferred to Camp “Jaarmarkt” in Surabaya.

American Signalmen were also posted on Her Ms. De Ruyter. They had to maintain contact with the American, Australian and Britisch ships. One of them, D.S. Rafalovich had a close friendship with Ed, even when they were transferred from Camp in Kragan to Camp Jaarmarkt in Surabaya. Eventually, at the end of the year 1943 they were separated; the Americans were taken to Japan and Ed was transferred to Thailand to the Burma Railway.

After the capitulation of Japan a group of 7 sailors, including Ed, went with a KPM ship to Batavia (Jakarta). He was stationed in Semarang at the port for patrol service.
On February 27, 1947 Ed Welcker and Gusta, Cornelia Frieser got married and after the wedding the couple went on honeymoon to Bandung. A pilot friend provided them a couple of seats in a plane to their destiny.
At that time it was nearly impossible to travel by road from Semarang to Bandung. The marriage couple was just one day in Bandung when the MP shows up to take Ed back to Surabaya. He had to report aboard Her M. Abraham Crijnsen. They were in need of an Electrician. Ed was promoted to Corporal Electro Mechanic Sea Militiaman. To his knowledge, he was the only Navy conscript with this rank.

On March 5, 1948 Ed was granted leave from the Royal Dutch Navy, where he had server for 12 years and began a civilian career with the Billiton Company. Ed was now 30 years old.

Ed wants the following off his chest and feel the need to speak freely about it:

  1. In 1997 Ed read in the monthly “The Indo” magazine, which was printed in California, that the Royal Dutch Navy organized a reunion for the survivors of Battle of the Java Sea. He personally never received an invitation. In response to what he has read in “The Indo” he has registered himself as one of the survivors. He then went together with his daughter Yvonne to Rotterdam.
  2. There he met Niek Koppen, the producer of the documentary film about the Battle of the Java Sea, who dodge Ed. This documentary with stories told by the survivors themselves was shown on the Dutch TV. Ed was never approached to tell his adventures. However, the story went around that Ed has shown no interest in an interview for the film.
  3. A table companion, Mr. Van Zeeland, told Ed: “You lives so spread out, it is hard to find you”. At that time Ed was still a Dutch Citizen and was registered as such with the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Los Angeles. Ed’s answer: “The inspector of taxes in the Netherlands has found me!” After this reunion Ed has never heard from the Royal Dutch Navy. Why Mr. Zeeland did concealed Ed’s story from the Navy?
  4. Until today two requests for discharge from military service for career-building in the civil society have never been answered. Eventually, at the request of the Biliton Company, Ed was able to leave the service.
  5. On the day Ed was leaving the Navy service, they asked him to stay for a few days longer. Then he was put under quarantine for three days. Ed was questioned by a naval officer and promised not to tell his experiences like the position of the ships. Was that the reason that Mr. Koppen and Mr. van Zeeland ignored him?
  6. Request for WUV support for him and his wife were denied.
  7. Ed was the star witness for Mr. Boenandir, who was recognized as one of the survivors of the Battle of the Java Sea and now also receive benefits from the WUV. (Mr. Tjip Boenandir died in 2009 or 2010 at the age of 90 years in East Java, Indonesia)

Epilogue: In the cozy living room of Ed and Corrie Welcker in West Covina, I Benno Apon decrease this interview. All those years above 7 points weights heavy on Ed. It was a relief for him to release above 7 thoughts.

As he says himself: His life has changed and I personally am glad that “Indo” Ed’s state of mind has turned positive.

Benno Apon
Whittier, Ca (1997)

The Indo Cowboy with a Dream

Norman De Buck

Southern California and especially Hollywood and Los Angeles are places where dreams come true. During his childhood, he was born on west Java in the town Cibadak (meaning: the river of the Rhino), Norman De Buck has always dreamed of playing a cowboy in a movie. Roy Rogers was one of his favorites. The family De Buck has moved around and Norman has lived in Bandung, Bogor and then Jakarta.

After world war two the bersiap period was the start for Indonesia to fight for independence and around 1957/1958 all the Dutch-Indo’s were forced by the new regime to leave the Dutch East-Indies and leave for the Netherlands. In 1959 De Buck family, father, mother and 4 sons, left everything behind and were shipped (ms Castle Felice) to The Netherlands, who were in the middle of rebuilding their country after the war in Europe and there were less opportunities for the Indo family. They arrived in Rotterdam and started living in Vlaardingen. But the cold there was enough to move De Buck family to Southern California and started a new life in El Monte, just east of LA, in the early 1960.

But like most emigrants, they first arrived in New York. Norman always expected to see skyscrapers and cowboys. New York had plenty of skyscrapers, but the move out west, El Monte, there were also no cowboys, no horses, no cattle and no six guns. Norm his father was an architect and draftsman in the old country, but switched to a machinist once in the United States. When he came first to the United States, he did not know how to speak English. He was able to learn quickly through an American friend that he met here. He taught him a lot of this country and took him everywhere. Norm finished his education at El Monte High School and then went to Mount San Antonio College for two years. He became fascinated with photography and hoped to become a freelance or commercial photographer.
But his future went in a different direction. Norman met and married Carol Williams of Pasadena and Temple City became their residence. Carol was working in a local stationary store, while Norm was employed by a supermarket in El Monte.

For Norman an ideal situation, because the movie studios and his longtime ambition and dreams were both within his reach.
There he learn the hard way of Hollywood. Being a Dutch-Indonesian, a mixed race, Norman most often cast in small roles as a Mexican and especially the stereotypes of the bandito-vaquero-cowboy. But Norman has accepted his roles with pleasure and he calls himself “The last of the Indohicans” and his Indo friends call him the “Mexican”.

“Now that I am living in my DREAMS I cannot believe that I have med and played with…Sam Eliott, Duane Johnson  …”The Rock”,Selma Hayek, Tom Cruize, John Voigt,..Etc, etc. and did many Commercials”

Then both Eline Jongsma and Kel O’ Neill started the project Empire. The Unintended consequences of Dutch Colonialism.
Empire is a documentary that explores the Dutch colonial and how the conditions of the past define our lives in the present. It left behind a legacy that can still be seen today in the cultures and in the bloodlines of the people and communities around the world. In 2016 this documentary was nominated for an Oscar.
In Southern California Norman got a small acting roll in the cast of this documentary.

Norm with Carol (wife), son Mark and daughter Dina

While living his Indohicans dream, in realty Norm, his wife Carol, son Mark and daughter Dina are living in Rosemead/San Gabriel and owns a well-established printing business for about 30 years.
Norman De Buck is an actor, known for Border Patrol (2007), Happy Hunting (2017) and Cutthroat Alley (2003).

2016 VIF the Movie (documentary)
The Vampire Saviors (TV Series) (pre-production)
Sorin (as Norman DeBuck)
2017 Happy Hunting
Jim (as Norman DeBuck)
2017 The Hero
Bounty Hunter (uncredited)
2017 Borderland
Mexican Fruit Truck Driver
2014 Battle B-Boy
High Roller Norm (as Norman DeBuck)
2012 Agent Steele (Short)
Restaurant Guest (as Norman DeBuck)
2011 That’s So Awesome (TV Series)
Creepy Customer 2
Beginnings End (2011) … Creepy Customer 2 (as Norman DeBuck)
Conversations with the Creepy Duo (2011) … Creepy Customer 2 (as Norman DeBuck)
Return of the Creepy Duo (2011) … Creepy Customer 2 (as Norman DeBuck)
The Creepy Duo (2011) … (as Norman DeBuck)
2011 Joe and MJ (TV Series)
Hector (as Norman DeBuck)
2011 Dinner with Fred (Short)
Mexican Farmer (as Norman DeBuck)
2007 Border Patrol (Short)
Illegal (as Norman DeBuck)
2003 Cutthroat Alley
Store Owner (as Norman DeBuck)

 

Japanese WWII war crime at Tiga Roenggoe


The murder of 21 City guards at TIGA ROENGGOE, · DELI, SUMATRA’S EAST COAST (WORLD WAR II).

  1. Introduction

In connection with the impending war danger in SE Asia the KNIL decided to strengthen its army with some relief Corps.
So there Relief Corps were established to secure certain places and important key areas; including the set up of City/Country guard units. Most city guards were exempt from reporting for militia duty, but they signed up as a volunteer at the local city guard, in order to contribute thereto by the security and defense of their private enterprises and plantations, as they also did in Deli on Sumatra’s East Coast.
Also Hendrik Jan Theodoor Hessing, who was born on the 26 of december 1906 in Semarang, considered it his duty to contribute to the defense of Deli, the country that he loved. He decided to sign up as a volunteer city guard; accordingly he became as Stw. Sld. Inf. KNIL. With the Deli Group.Hendrik Jan Theodoor profession was agricultural, “planter in the Cultures”, the way it was called in the old days, on the plantation of the Senembah Company.

Another city guard, who served in this unit, was Res. 1st Lieutenant INF. KNIL Paul Marinus VISSER. He was born on 11 February 1893 in Assen. Before WWII Paul was administrator of one of the company of the Deli My. He was married to Elisabeth Regina Visser-Veth and the family got 2 sons and a daughter.

Furthermore, Stw. Sgt. Jacobus Wilhelm MERKELBACH was also part of this group; by occupation he was a “Planter” on an established company of the Deli My.

2. Dramatic events at Tiga Roenggoe

In the night from 14 to 15 March 1942, 21 voluntary City guardians of the KNIL in Tiga Roenggoe, a village on the road from Pematang Siantar to Kabangdjahe, were killed by Japanese soldiers.
The city guards of the KNIL Hendrik Jan Theodoor HESSING, Paul M Visser and Jacobus Wilhelm Merkelbach also belonged to these victims.

The task of city guards was to guard some bridges and upon hearing messages that Japanese units had landed on the East coast of Sumatra – before their retreat for the highly powerful enemy – they acted in accordance with their entrusted mission-to dutifully destroyed the bridges. This brave decision was taken by them – despite being informed via the NIROM (Dutch-Indies Radio broadcaster) and newspapers – that the Japanese army, among other things, on the island of Tarakan and Balikpapan, had executed and beheaded our soldiers– who were involved in the destruction of bridges and important installations in their area.
In the meantime, on 12 March of 1942, the Japanese, who had landed, among others, at Laboean Roekoe, belonged to the motorized Regiment of the 2nd Division of the Imperial Guard.
After the landing this unit made a circulating movement and surprised the city guards at the village Tiga Roenggoe.
The city Guards were immediately captured, disarmed and then on 14 of March 1942 between 20.00 and 21:00 hours in cold blood murdered by the Japanese soldiers of the Cavalry scouting unit.
According to the later statements of 5 witnesses, namely, Pikir marga Poerba, Hendrien marga Poerba, Sarbia marga Poerba, Hasan marga Baragin en Janssen marga Manabe the next day around noon time the Japanese told the villagers to bury the bodies in a trench at a local school.
Their bodies lay scattered over a large area and there was a lot of blood everywhere. The victims were tied up with their arms on their backs. Some had a rope around their neck and one victim with a strongly build body turned out to beheaded. The victims were then dragged by villagers to the trench or on improvised bamboo stretchers to the place where they were buried.

Finally in nov. 1947 the remains of the City guards were discovered and all the victims could be identified by the Court doctor, Dr. TH. P.j. Boortman. Under the murdered victims were some very prominent “Delianen”, as the old-administrator of the Deli Mij, Mr. Visser and the former secretary of the Tobacco My “Arensburg”, Mr. W.F. van den Berg.

Furthermore, the Town Guards of KNIL Hendrik Jan Theodoor Hessing, Paul Marinus Visser and Jacobus Wilhelm Merkelbach belonged to the identified victims. Death appeared to be caused by shots in the “neck”, causing the head to be shattered. Afterwards all the victims were to be buried in a trench in the yard of the local school. From the investigation after World War II, it turned out that the one who had given the command to mass murder, was the major Junzaburo Nakamura, the Deputy Commander of the previously mentioned scouting unit.

However, during further investigation, Nakamura had been killed in WWII in New-Caledonia, so that the Netherlands Temporary Court Martial in Medan could not trial him for his serious war crimes.
The commander of the Scouting Unit, Col. Yuzo Kitayama was not present during the massacre at Tiga Roenggoe and the Temporary Martial Court spoke him free, because he was not aware of the criminal acts of Major Nakamura.

After the war the Dutch organization OGS reburied the victims on the Netherlands Field of Honor “Ancol” in Jakarta (Batavia), as to that Hendrik Jan Theodoor Hessing; box/row/nr.: VI 155 – the Netherlands Field of Honor “Ancol” in Jakarta as to that Res. 1st Lieutenant Paul M VISSER; box/row/nr.: V 185 – the Netherlands Field of Honor “Ancol” in Jakarta as to that Jacobus Wilhelm Markelbach; box/row/nr.: V 180.

May God’s blessings rest on all of them!

Jacq. Z. Brijl, Lieutenant- Colonel, Royal Neth. Army ret., BL.
The Hague, June 2017

They were worse than animals!

Sumatra, Indonesia

Foreword: The Dutch East-Indies were a colony of the Netherlands for over 300 years. During this period many Europeans live, work and married with native women. I was born on the island of Sumatra in a coal mining town Sawah Lunto, about 60 miles from the main city Padang, located at the west coast. I was just 5 years old when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. The Dutch, England and Australia joined America and declared war to Japan. Japan occupied the Dutch East-Indies on March 12, 1942 and the Japanese military put most of us all in concentration camps.
World war two in Indonesia ended on August 15, 1945. Indonesia started her independent fight and they became an official country on December 27, 1949. After that Indonesia and their president Sukarno kicked all the European and mixed blood people out of their country, about 300,000 of us ended in the Netherlands. Many of us were not happy living in a cold wet country, and the United States of America agreed to set up a Pastor Walter Act and about 50,000 of us were allowed in the sixties to immigrate to the US. Most of us choose California as our new homes.   

Today part of the Dutch people in the Netherlands believe their former Dutch citizens of the colony the East-Indies were oppressors, but these former Dutch qualifications fell far short in comparison to the activities of the Japanese liberators in Asia.
The most striking difference between the mentality of the old colonizer and the glorious liberator/occupier, the Japs, is well defined in Henk Hovinga his book “ Eindstation Pakanbaroe 1943-1945” (The railroad of Death thru Sumatra), in which he described the cruel, merciless behavior of the murderous Japanese masters against their Asian brown brothers, the Romusha’s ( hired laborers).
Beside the original native island residents of Sumatra, also all the imported Asians from the other islands fell under the regime of the Showa Tenno (Emperor of Japan).
In these particular areas that were ruled by the Japanese Kenpeitai (Japan’s secret military police and counter-espionage service) about 95% of their brown brothers, who were forced to hard labor, were executed or died by starvation, sickness, torture or a combination of the above that put them to death.

Thanks to the quick effect of the American A-bombs on Japan (on Aug. 6 & 9, 1945) some of these Indonesian slaves survived. Between 50% and 60% of the political prisoners of the Gunseibukan (Special trained Japanese forces) died in captivity, mostly as a result of the prior mentioned cruel methods applied by the Tokko-experts and the follow-up treatment of native prison staff.
The total number could not exactly be determined, but the individual and collective graves in the Sumatran places Bangkinang, Fort de Kock (Bukittinggi), Fort van der Capellen, Goeroenlawas, Padang, Padangpandjang, Painan, Soegaipenoeh and Tandjoeng Gadai (Gadoet) give numbers between 1300 and 1500.

Both the local and imported remusha’s, who were forced to work as diggers and build tunnels on the construction site Lobang Jepang in Fort de Kock (today called Bukittinggi), to protect the Japanese, have the largest percentage rate of human lives lost, namely all the 4,000 men lost their lives.

On October 4 and 7, 1943, 30 men, who were in the prison the Boei-Muara for more than a month, were taken out by some people of the Tokko (special higher police known of their brutality), who were accompanied by Japanese soldiers in a truck. The Japs shouting commands and beat the prisoners into the trucks. In the truck each Dutch prisoner got a bag over their head and taken to the MV-House, Padang, a collection of buildings with the central location of the Tokko. They had no idea what awaited.

Several of these Ombilin-men were fathers and their children were also in prison. Suddenly from one day to the next their lives were disturbed, when their fathers, under false pretenses, were roughly carried away with a last small hope: “We fetch you as soon as possible”. These children waited almost a year for father his promise. In that same year the prison had to be cleared and in the middle of the night the prisoners, adult and children with their little luggage, were ordered to mars to the station under loud cheers of the pro-Japanese Indonesians and loudly screaming women/mothers of the women concentration camp, that these prisoners past. In black-out wagons and open trucks many kilometers into the Sumatran jungle and were dropped on an area of dry sheds of an abandoned rubber plantation; Bangkinang.  

The group prisoners consisted of three Mining-Engineers with Phd, 17 Mining-Design Engineers, two Electrical Engineers, a warehouse Manager, and 2 others. All personnel from the OSM (Ombilin Coal Mining Company in Sawah Lunto). The group was supplemented with 5 men from European and Moluccan descent.

Eddie Geenen, my dad before word war two

Mother Claire E. Geenen-Chevalier

The following men from the Mining Company in Sawah Lunto were:
W. van Ameyden van Duyn, L.P. Apitule, C.R. Brouwer von Gonzenbach, E.J.A. Cosijn, H.C. van Don, B. Filet, C.J. Foss, E. Geenen (my dad), W.C. Goldman, O. Hisgen, J.H.G. Keim, G.
Keller, F. Kretzer, F.J. Keuskamp, W.J.R. Lanzing, F. Maidman, C.D.J. Marges, A.W.F. Molensky, F.A. van Ommen, J.A. van Ommen, C. H. van Raalten, A. Schlameisen, J.J. Thenu, F. Urban,
A. Uyleman Anthonijs (my oncle) and two others unknown by name.

Gerdy (Meity), parents and brothers; Family Uijleman Anthonijs

Upon arrival they were rid of their baggage and handcuffed. Then they were ordered to sit on the ground with legs crossed, dead silent and with the eyes facing to the ground. Any form of communication was prohibited or honored with disproportionate painful beating. In this position they had to wait their turn. That means that each one will be interrogated by the Japanese Tokko-lieutenants Sugibayashi and Miyauchi, the Tokko-Watari Tsurukichi and gunzo’s Yamashita and the Indonesian interpreters Bakri, Sjafei, Hartin and many others.
Such a trial consisted mainly with the use of the hand, fist, whip, a bullwhip, chair or a part of it, a piece of wood, rope or electrical cable, or a special constructed instrument to beat the political prisoner, who was enthralled as a precaution. This special constructed instrument could be a whip made from steel wire or spiked rattan, split at the top into quarters with nails on the inside to help stripped of the victim his cloth and skin from his back.
Intentionally or not, but when the victim during the beating accidentally fell to the ground, the Japanese interrogators and/or their Indonesian aides  started kicking or jumping, preferable at vulnerable spots of the body to increase the pain and intentionally made him aware of his injuries.
Many were forced to kneel during the interrogations with a piece of wood in the bend of the knees. After a while the person are not able to withstand it and started lowering his body. This weight of his body cause an abnormal force of pain to his own knees. The high pain level of injuries created by fire was obviously not left untapped.
Mostly were done in combination with the kicking through burning cigarettes, candles, oil lanterns, or red hot metal to create sear- or fire- wounds.
Also the excruciating operation by the application of electricity was not unknown; the vulnerable hanging position was almost perfunctory applied, often with preference for legs first and body up site down.
The fantasies of these Japanese and Indonesian torturers were infinite. These tortures lasted at least 10 days to prejudice the trial and sometimes they added more time as a favor. One had to be unobtrusive to the created rules. And that was hard. It is impossible not to respond to events in the immediate vicinity, especially when an acquaintance of family member received the favorable treatment from these tortures.
Because each victim had to look constantly to the ground, his vision can be eliminated, but not hearing or smell, which is much more difficult, if not impossible. The expert Japanese tortures applied to all means to get the desired information. There were also Indonesian Pembantu’s (helpers) as assistants. They were the indigenous candidate of Kenpeitai’s (Japan’s secret military police and counter-espionage service). Their tasks were to distribute the scarce food, removing dirt and disposal of the dead bodies. But ordered also other work, work involving all possible acts of pain and humiliations vis-à-vis third parties.

In the month October of 1943 of the approximately 150 men, who were found guilty (of what?) and who were convicted to imprisonment (15 years), 60% died within 2 years.
The condemned group of 30 men, my father Eddie Geenen was one of them, were almost one year later transferred to the men’s Japanese concentration camp in Bangkinang, a place located inland in a jungle of rubber trees.
But what was the reason, that suddenly these heavily tortured prisoners were transported to Bangkinang. One could only guess, but probably it was the following cause. The wife of the Japanese captain in charge of the Bangkinang camps became ill and needed an appendicitis surgery. One of the prisoners in this camp was doctor Vis, before doctor in Sawah Lunto and of the staff of the Ombilin mines, who was known as a good surgeon.
After the surgery the same captain ordered his men to hunt for some wild animals, tiger and wild pigs, to give the meat to the prisoners. Shortly afterwards the tortured Ombilin Mine survivors, though with years of prison sentences, arrived in Bangkinang.
After the war (Aug. 15, 1945) on September 1, 1945, 14 men came out alive out of several prison camps. While they all got medical treatment, 2 more died within 2 months.

Graveyard stone, located in Tanah Abang, Jakarta, bones have been removed

Graveyard stone of Eddie Geenen, which is located in Jakarta; his bones are gone!

Afterword: My father Eddie Geenen, a very sick men in bad condition, and his family were transferred with the passenger ship, the Sibajak, to Batavia (today Jakarta) to be nursed in CBZ-hospital. Much later my mother told me, that my dad has also been castrated during the Japanese torture. Dad died in that hospital to pleurisy and blood poisoning on August 18, 1948.

After the war the allied courts accused the Japanese torturers of the Tokko and the Kenpeitai of the following inhumane acts on their victims.

  1. Continuously and prolonged beating with sticks, rods, bullwhips, bludgeons, bats specially made for that purpose, horsewhips made of steel wire or electrical wire.
  2. Using jujitsu on the prisoners
  3. Use of burning cigarettes or open flames on bodies
  4. Using several forms of waterboarding and beating at the same time
  5. The use of electrical wires on the most sensitive body parts, which has been wetted
  6. Creating open wounds on the whole body
  7. The body with hands and feet tied to the back and in between a peg was stabbed, hung on two support points
  8. Women bodies with their hands and feet tied to their back and in between a peg was stabbed, while hanging on two supporting points, were raped by the Japs.
  9. On purpose dropping the hanging bodies from a certain height to the stone floor.
  10. With heavy shoes and boots jumping on several parts of the body
  11. Sticking needles under the nails
  12. Sticking pencils between the fingers, squeezing them together and rotate the pencils
  13. Kneeling on the sharp edges of triangular beams placed at the level of the knees and on the transition from the shins to the feet. At the same time they place a shelf over the calves and the Kenpeitai started standing and jumping on it.
  14. Prisoners for days standing in the burning sun without water and food
  15. Hanging on the legs with heads down
  16. Beating the hands with an iron rod
  17. Deliberate denial of food, water, medicines and medical assistance
  18. Locking up prisoners for days in overcrowded rooms preventing the bodies from moving and stretching

The exercise of the systematic torture and terror by the Nips had often cause death or caused grievous bodily or mental harm and caused the arrested victims hard physical and mental suffering.

Collected data included:
The book KURA! By Lou Lanzing
Mannenkamp Padang en Bangkinang (Sumatra’s westkust) by H. van den Bos
Personal info from Mr. W. Keller, now 90 years and living in the Netherlands

 

 

 

 

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

CONQUERERS BECAME LOSERS

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 DEFINITIVE BEGINNING OF THE END OF COLONIALISM FOR THE
KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS.

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.

Borneo

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

“Indië”.
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.

“Indiëganger”.
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

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

“Indisch”.
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.

“Eurasians”.
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.

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

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

“Natives”.
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.

Goud

Goud

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.

 

Bersiap-Sukarno

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:

http://www.warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=52966