"The pigsty massacre"

When the Allies in East Java surrendered to the Japanese, around two hundred Allied soldiers retreated to the hills around Malang and organized themselves into small groups of resistance fighters. Some time later, they were captured by the Kempetai. The prisoners of war were tortured by the Japanese, squeezed into bamboo pig baskets, and transported in open trucks in sweltering heat of around 40 degrees Celsius to a marshalling yard. There, they were loaded, basket and all, into freight cars and driven to the coast.

Suffering from thirst and cramps, the prisoners were brought aboard waiting boats. The ships sailed out of the harbor to the waters just off the coast of Surabaya, known for its many sharks. There, the unfortunate prisoners, still locked in their bamboo cages, were thrown overboard to the waiting cannibals.

About Liese van Kampen, a friend of ours. When she was 15 years old, she and her father, hiding behind coffee bushes, saw five trucks drive by. The cargo beds were loaded with stacked bamboo pig baskets containing men. In English and Dutch, the men desperately cried out for help and water.

The trucks drove towards Banjoe wangi. She will never forget this tragedy that she witnessed as a 15-year-old! Unfortunate prisoners, still locked in their bamboo cages, thrown overboard to the waiting cannibals.

a drawing of a man in uniform and a gun
a drawing of a man in uniform and a gun

Witness No. 2 Pro Justitia

Government Bureau for the Investigation of War Crimes in Batavia

Minutes of the meeting: Investigation of pig crates

On this day, March 8, 1948, appeared before me: G.G. J..., unpaid police officer, responsible for the investigation of war criminals and collaborators, a person who, when asked, claims to be: Name: N. K.T (Chinese-Indonesian) 37 years old

employee, transportation company Kalimas, Surabaya

One day, at the end of March 1942, I was in Meulenstraat in Malang. It was 11 in the morning when I saw 2 trucks heading towards Malang station. When the trucks stopped, I saw that they were guarded by armed Japanese soldiers. I also saw about 40 pig baskets in the truck beds, in which white men dressed in khaki shorts or green pants were lying. Behind these trucks, I saw more trucks coming, carrying about 100 Indonesians in K.N.I.L uniforms. There were 5 to 6 trucks, and they were guarded by Japanese soldiers. When I got closer, I saw that in the first two trucks there were Europeans in pig baskets. The baskets were tied with rope. There was a European in each basket. I continued walking. Later, I heard that they had all been captured in Dampit.

Witness No. 5 Alfsea War Crimes Instr. No 1

Translation: Declaration: Female Dutch nationality

Samenvatting van onderzoek. mevrouw L. M Ch….

Declares under oath:

"I am 31 years old and was born in Surabaya and hold the Dutch nationality."

"I also currently live in Surabaya. In the second half of April or early May, I was on my way to a country house near Dampit when I saw several trucks coming from a side road and then turning onto the main road in my direction."

This road is about 5 to 6 meters wide, so the coachman of my carriage stopped to let the trucks pass. From a distance of 2 meters, I could see that the trucks were loaded with baskets, 3 to 4 stacks high. In each basket, I saw a man with his hands tied behind his back and legs pulled up, also securely tied with rope. Some of them appeared to be Ambonese and others were Europeans. The uniforms were green and torn.

The faces and bodies were covered in blood. The Japanese guards were soldiers of the Kempeitai. Another truck and several motorcycles with Kempeitai soldiers followed.

Because I lived in Malang at that time, where the Japanese regularly conducted house searches, I knew the insignia of the Kempeitai. My mother and I later heard from Indonesians that the trucks were heading to Ampelgading and from there they traveled across various plantations and then over the South Smeroe road with the destination being Pasirian on the south coast.

I have been told that the prisoners were thrown alive and in the baskets over the high steep rocks into the sea at Pasirian. This was the place where centuries ago was the Indonesian place of sacrifice to the gods. The commander in charge of the Kempeitai in Malang and its surroundings in 1942/1943 was a tall man, slim figure, broad shoulders, short-cropped hair, deep voice, almost European. The local Kempeitai commander of Malang also during 1942/1943 was M... and was nicknamed "The Lion of Malang."

Signed, L.M. C... March 8, 1946

On Liese van Kampen's website, there is a fragment from Mr. L.F. de Groot's book about the trial in Batavia from 1946 to 1949. He writes that the observations mentioned in the overwhelming number of related statements could only have arisen from hallucinations and rich imagination. The supreme commander of the Japanese occupation army in Java, General Imamura, was later acquitted by a Dutch tribunal due to lack of evidence. A later Australian military court found General Imamura responsible and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Website Liese van Kampen: www.dutch-east-indies.nl