DEATH MARCH THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS

The Never Before Told Story Of A Forgotten Period After WWII And A Gruesome Discovery In The Mountains Of Java. By Hans Vervoort. The War Cemetery, Kembang Kuning, in Surabaya is impressive. Thousands of white crosses for World War II victims stand in neat long rows and if you walk past them they regroup in…

The Bersiap

‘Be prepared! ” This cry of Indonesian independence fighters was the indication for a turbulent and violent period during 1945-1946 in the former Dutch East Indies. Bersiap is the name given by the Dutch to a violent and chaotic phase of Indonesia’s revolutionary period following the end of World War II. The Indonesian word bersiap means…

Letter by Autie Titia Bouma

Letter by Auntie Titia

This is a letter by Titia Bouma, my great auntie, to Jetze Bouma, her brother born in 1902 in Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia). She wrote this letter at a Red Cross refugee camp in Singapore. Jetze in turn sent this letter from Singapore to Tanjung Priok to Jan Sluijter who in turn sent it to…

A Festive Massacre

By: Hans Vervoort Translated from Dutch by Willem ten Wolde “Homesickness is: knowing the way in a house that no longer exists,” is one of the most beautiful statements by writer Rudy Kousbroek (Pematang Siantar 1929 – Leiden 2010). Rudy undertook a nostalgic trip back to Sumatra in 1979 and later—with a television crew in his…

Today’s Enemies Will Be Tomorrow’s Friends.

By Joty ter Kulve. Today’s enemies will be tomorrow’s friends—however unimaginable it might seem. I certainly did not think this when the doors of our concentration camp in Jakarta were thrown open in August 1945. I had just survived the horrors of imprisonment and was full of negative feelings towards the Japanese. Now, seventy years later,…

Commemoration Ceremony San Francisco 2015.

The following speech is by Jesse Eijsbroek,  given at the commemoration ceremony in San Francisco on August 2nd, 2015: In June of 1942, the Japanese Empire launched an ambitious military logistics project to connect the existing railways between Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma. The line was considered difficult—navigating through hilly jungle terrain and around many…