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East Indies camp archives ( Indische kamparchieven ENG )


Fort Willem I in Ambarawa

Town: Ambarawa
District: Central Java
Region: Java
Location: Ambarawa is situated in Central Java, south of Semarang. Fort Willem I was in the southeast of the city.
From March 1942 to August 1945 this location served as a civilian camp >>
Other name: De Boei, Benteng
Internees: men
Number of internees: 1.000
Number of deceased: 150 (at least)
Information: During the Japanese occupation, Fort Willem I functioned as a prison for political and other prisoners and suspects from every sector of society.

From 14 October 1945 to 23 November 1945 this location served as a republican camp >>
Other name: De Boei, Benteng
Internees: men
Number of internees: 550
Information: In October and November 1945, Fort Willem I served as the headquarters of the Indonesian resistance groups. On 14 October, the republicans imprisoned approximately 500 Europeans, including Red Cross and RAPWI personnel and Japanese soldiers, in the fort. Upon arrival they were harried and driven by blows to the top floor. They were given no food for the first eight days, and after that the food was poor: the morning and mid-day meals were cooked corn, often undercooked, and in the evenings they had a little rice with some vegetables. There was enough water to drink, but not to wash. At first the men were crowded 80 to a cell. Later they were moved to two large spaces. A wooden barrel in the corner of the hall was the toilet. They slept on mats on the floor, and there was no medical care. On 23 and 24 October some men were set free, and they were taken in at Camp Ambarawa 7. The Japanese soldiers were taken to Semarang. The rest of the men were freed by British troops on November 23rd. Thereafter the camp functioned as a relief camp.
Commendant: Sartoso

From 23 November 1945 to 13 December 1945 this location served as a relief camp >>
Other name: De Boei, Benteng
Internees: men, women, and children
Number of internees: 3.500
Number of deceased: 2
Information: After Fort Willem I was captured from the republicans by British troops, it served as a relief camp for evacuees from the camps Ambarawa 7 and 8 and Banjoebiroe 10. In addition, men, women and children from the surrounding area sought safe shelter there. The fort came under continual fire from the republicans. In the first half of December all men, women, and children at the fort were evacuated to Semarang. On 10 December the camp was completely emptied.
Guards: British military personnel
Allied commander: lt. A. Nooteboom
Literature: Wendelaar Bonga, D., Eight prison camps. A Dutch family in Japanese Java (Athens 1996)
Lenderink-Talsma, E., Vierduizend mensen en één koeiekop. Een waargebeurd verhaal van een familie in het Jappenkamp (Amsterdam 1993)