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4th and 9th Battalions' Encampment in Tjimahi

Town: Tjimahi
District: West Java
Region: Java
Location: Tjimahi is in West Java, northwest of Bandoeng. The 4th and 9th Battalions' Encampment was north of the railway track that cut through Tjimahi, between Gedong Delapan (northwest), Bataljonsweg (northeast), Kampementsweg (southeast) and Stationsweg (southwest).
From April 1942 to January 1944 this location served as a prisoner of war camp >>
Other name: Kampement 4de + 9de Bat. Infanterie
Internees: prisoners of war
Number of internees: 10.600
Information: From April 1942, the barracks and (under-)officers’ homes in the large encampment of the two garrison battalions in Tjimahi functioned as an accommodation for British, Australian, Dutch, Indo-European, Moluccan and Menadonese prisoners of war. The camp grounds were approximately 2,000 square metres in area. The encampment was planned to hold a maximum of 2,500 men, but there were far more prisoners of war put into the barracks. The encampment was encircled by barbed wire. On May 5th seven Ambonese and Menadonese prisoners of war were executed, because they had slipped out of the camp by night and returned the following morning. They were buried on the camp grounds. At the end of January 1944 the last prisoners of war were taken to the 10th Battalion in Batavia, after which the camp was used for the internment of men and older boys.
Commendant: kpt. Suzuki Susumu; kpt. Yamaguchi Kozo; kpt. Kasahara Gengo
Guards: Japanese military personnel, Koreans, heihos
Camp leaders: maj. J.W.G.A. Hoedt
Literature: Veenstra, J.H.W. e.a., Als krijgsgevangene naar de Molukken en Flores. Relaas van een Japans transport van Nederlandse en Engelse militairen 1943-1945 ('s-Gravenhage 1982)
Jacobs, L., Executie van een dwangarbeid: krijgsgevangen op de Zuid-Molukken en Flores 1976)
Liesker, H.A.M. e.a., Je denk, ken niet, maar kèn!! (Waddinxveen 1997)
Heijmans-van Bruggen, M.P. (red.), De Japanse bezetting in dagboeken: kamp Tjimahi 4 (Amsterdam 2002)

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From 02 February 1944 to 23 August 1945 this location served as a civilian camp >>
Other name: Kampement 4de + 9de Bat. Infanterie, Bunsho II Kamp 4
Internees: men and boys
Number of internees: 12.357
Number of deceased: 744
Information: From the beginning of February 1944, the barracks and (under-)officers’ homes in the large encampment of the two garrison battalions in Tjimahi functioned as accommodation for interned men and boys from all of Java. The camp grounds was approximately 2,000 square metres in area. The encampment was planned to hold a maximum of 2,500 men, but there were far more internees than that put into the barracks. The encampment was encircled by barbed wire. In March 1945, a separate block in the encampment was set up as a bloc for boys, and all the boys aged from 10 to 16 were put there. It comprised 3 large halls which each held 200 boys, one smaller room for 50 boys, and a number of small rooms for the leadership. The block leader was initially Indo-European F.C. Backer Dirks, and later the “totok” teacher J.H.C. Claessens. Pastor C.F. van Schaik en H.H. van Herwerden also counted among the staff of the boys’ block.
Commendant: kpt. Kasahara Gengo; kpt. Takagi Seigo
Main guards: Hirasawa; sgt. Segami; Nakamura; Nakajina; Tsuyama; kpl. Yamagami
Guards: Japanese military personnel, Koreans, heihos
Camp leaders: P.H. van den Eeckhout; J.W.F. Richel; J.F.G. Steyn (C. Heintz); jhr. mr. C.H.V. de Villeneuve; D.F. Blokhuis; F.C. Backer Dirks; J.H.C. Claessens; ds. H.H. van Herwerden
Literature: Wackwitz, J.G., Kesilir juli 1942-september 1943. Rapport van de leider der kolonisatie ('s-Gravenhage 1988)
Liesker, H.A.M. e.a., Je denk, ken niet, maar kèn!! (Waddinxveen 1997)
Liesker, H.A.M. e.a., 2603-1945, jongens in de mannenkampen te Tjimahi, Baros 5 en 4e/9e Bat. (Waddinxveen 1993)
Brugmans, I.J., Gevangen op Java. Dagboek uit een Jappenkamp, 1942-1945 (Zutphen 2004)
Heijmans-van Bruggen, M.P. (red.), De Japanse bezetting in dagboeken: kamp Tjimahi 4 (Amsterdam 2002)
Ee, M. van (red.), Boys Town. Het ontstaan van Boys Town, barak 20 in het burgermannenkamp Baros 5 in Tjimahi, de periode okt.'43-okt.'44 en wat er daarna gebeurde. Een terugblik van een aantal onder ons op hun ervaring van toen (Soest 2002)

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From 23 August 1945 to April 1946 this location served as a relief camp >>
Other name: Kampement 4de + 9de Bat. Infanterie
Internees: men, women, and children
Number of internees: 8.000
Information: From the end of January 1944, the barracks and (under-)officers’ homes in the large encampment of the two garrison battalions in Tjimahi had functioned as accommodation for interned men and boys from all of Java. On 22 August 1945, during a major roll-call assembly, the Japanese surrender was announced and the Japanese camp leadership left. The heihos who had been guarding the camp were at first replaced by Japanese soldiers, and later by British and Dutch military personnel. Food came from a central camp kitchen and there was enough of it. Now and then Red Cross packets arrived. After the Indonesian nationalists declared a food boycott in November 1945, vegetables, meat, eggs and fruit became scarce. There was enough water and clothing. There were no proper toilets; the people had to use squatting-toilets over a ditch. There were many lice and mosquitoes in the camp. The ill were taken to the Military Hospital. Men in the camp had their wives and children join them, and from mid-October Indo-European families from in and around Tjimahi sought refuge in the camp. Those who wished to go to the Netherlands were divided into three groups: the urgent group (sick people), the widows and orphans, and the rest. In mid-February 1946, the first two groups had nearly all left and the evacuation of the third group began. They were taken by armed convoy to the Andir airfield in Bandoeng to be put onto transports to Batavia. Travel by train or car was not possible due to continuous pemoeda attacks. In April 1946 the camp was abandoned.
Main guards: sgt. Segami; sgt. Sunakawa; kpl. Yamagami
Guards: Japanese military personnel, heihos
Camp leaders: J.F.G. Steyn (C. Heintz)
Literature: Liesker, H.A.M. e.a., Je denk, ken niet, maar kèn!! (Waddinxveen 1997)
Heijmans-van Bruggen, M.P. (red.), De Japanse bezetting in dagboeken: kamp Tjimahi 4 (Amsterdam 2002)

See also