Internment

Internering

Japan had a great need for fertile land and raw materials. The ideal was a Greater East Asia. India would be part of this. All European influences and people did not belong in this new world.

During the Japanese occupation, a genocide took place among the Indian population. 50 million people were interned in civilian camps, interned as prisoners of war or employed as labor soldiers or used for forced prostitution.

The news about the war in the Netherlands was available to us until the arrival of the Japanese, who put an end to this reporting. Although the war was planned in a smart way, it was difficult for the Japanese to notice who the enemy was. Officially, the enemies were white and of Western descent. But how white should this enemy actually be? Japanese occupiers tested the loyalty of the population. Who was for Nippon is for us, who was for the queen was against us.

Father had to register and was detained in a men’s internment camp. Mother and her five girls were left alone in the company. We slept in one room, while men of the kampong guarded us after hearing alarming reports of the marching pemudas (rebelling the youth) Highly honored visitors were announced. Two Japanese officers took the opportunity to stay overnight. Mother, who had heard about the reputation of Japanese armies, brought her four oldest girls to safety with her friends in the kampong. She held her youngest daughter tightly. Fortunately nothing happened and the visit passed safely!

Then we got our call and left in a Grobak (a chest on wheels, dragged by horses) to Sukkanoemi, where we had to register. From there we were transported to our first internment camp.