World War Two in the Dutch East Indies
told me that Mrs. Sloekers and her son Jan had to leave the plantation
and they were now just like us, in an internment camp, I can’t remember
in which camp they were, but they were not in Malang.
One bad afternoon
I went with four boys and a girl to one of the three forbidden houses
in the Welirang street, I have forgotten the numbers, but those three
houses were behind the Kempeitai building, once a Christian high school,
in the Semeru street. The Kempeitai was of course outside our camp, there
was quite some barbed wire between the Semeru street and the Welirang
street. The three houses behind the Kempeitai were empty, and the doors
were locked, so the six of us crawled to the back garden. Luckily there
were trees and shrubs so we could hide ourselves behind them. We couldn’t
see much, but what we heard was more than enough. I was really scared
when I heard people, men and women, screaming in death agony.
More people were coming
into our camp De Wijk, but at the same time a few others were transported
to some unknown camps somewhere in Java. The sphere in our camp began
to change a little, because quite some people had no money left to buy
something extra for their children.
In November 1943,
my mother had a visitor, he came by bicycle from the “ Marine camp”
where my father stayed. He told my mother that he was bringing her bad
news. My two younger sisters and I were asked to leave the room.
We were all four very
upset, this was a real nightmare. Because I had visited one of the three
forbidden empty houses in the Welirang street, I fully understood what
was now happening to
Sadly enough there
were many true rumours about how the Kempeitai treated their prisoners.
war we learnt that my father’s Japanese barber, Mr. Matayoshi, was
not only a barber but he had also been a secret Japanese colonel as well.
Mr. Matayoshi became the interpreter from the Kempeitai in Malang. So
he must have met my father in November 1943 at the Kempeitai office.