We were transported to the Grogol camp outside Batavia. It was a facility for the mentally ill before it became a shelter for prisoners. (Grogol as a camp was open from July 4, 1943, to August 27, 1944) It consisted of barracks. In such a barracks, there were about 30 people.

a black and white photo of a building with a red frame
a black and white photo of a building with a red frame

Collection R.P.G.R. Voskuil: The former transit house for the mentally ill in Grogol served successively as a women and children's camp from July 1943 to April 1945, and then as a men and boys camp.

In the barrack opposite us, there were mentally ill patients, also prisoners. We heard their screams at night. I saw a young woman rinsing food from a plate under a tap. In my eyes, this was truly insane! The roll calls in this camp were held under a large banyan tree, which was still standing during my visit with Jacques in 1993. The sleeping places were about 50 cm wide. There were bed bugs and cockroaches. The bed bugs look like small woodlice. Round reddish-brown creatures, about half a centimeter in size. They come out at night and give you a lot of bumps that itch.

Mother treated our, in my memory, large boils as best as she could. The only thing she could do was clean them as well as possible. Trees writes about this period: On 50 grams of rice and a piece of "bread," we had to work for six hours a day during the hottest hours of the day. We completely worked the field around Grogol, and we can even create rice paddies!

The Red Cross

The medicines and food that started to come in through the Red Cross were immediately confiscated and delivered to the Japanese army. The soldiers did not use everything, but what was left over was stored.