Grogol

 

We were transported to the camp Grogol, outside of Batavia. Before it became an accommodation for prisoners, Grogol had been a mental hospital. (The camp Grogol had been opened on 4 July 1943 and stayed opened until 27 August 1944). The camp existed of barracks. Approximately thirty people stayed in such a barrack.

FOto

Foto

Collection R.P.G.R. Voskuil: The former clearing-house for psychiatric patients in Grogol served from July 1943 until April 1945 consecutively as a women- and children camp and men- and boys camp.

In the barrack across from ours stayed psychiatric patients. They were prisoners as well. At night, we heard them screaming. I saw a young woman washing some food from her plate under the tap. In my eyes, this was absolutely crazy! The appeals in this camp were held beneath a big banyan tree, which was still there when I visited the place again in 1993 with Jacques. Sleeping-places were 50 centimeters wide. There were bed bugs and cockroaches. Bed bugs look like little wood louses. Circular, red-brown animals that were approximately half a centimeter big. They appear at night and cause a lot of itching bumps. Mother treated the, in my memory, big zits as well as she could. The only thing she could do was keep them clean. Trees writes about this period: with only eaten 50 gram of rice and a piece of “bread”, we had to plough six hours per day, during the hottest hours. We plowed the whole field around Grogol, and we could also build rice-fields!

The Red Cross
The food and medicine that the Red Cross delivered, got confiscated immediately and was delivered to the Japanese army. The soldiers did not use everything, and stored what was left.