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East Indies camp archives ( Indische kamparchieven ENG )

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Colonization Project in Kesilir

Town: Kesilir
District: East Java
Region: Java
Location: Banjoewangi is situated on the east coast of Java. Kesilir was about 50 kilometres southwest of Banjoewangi.
From 06 July 1942 to 22 September 1943 this location served as a civilian camp >>
Internees: men and boys
Number of internees: 3.050
Number of deceased: 82
Information: In 1942, Japanese lieutenant colonel Imamura ordered that a large agricultural project for “Europeans” be started near Kesilir. The plan was to create a colony which would eventually house 70,000 people, which he himself would oversee. In July and August, approximately 2,500 “European” men were brought from Mid- and Eastern Java, many of them having been previously interned. In March and May 1943, about 650 men from Bondowoso and Soerabaja followed. They needed to build nearly all of the shelters themselves. They were put to work clearing and cultivating approximately 2,500 hectares of swampland. They had almost no materials or tools to work with. They had to see to their own medical care, clothing, and food to augment the meager rations. Until February 1943, family could bring them packages during monthly visits. Because the projects seemed unsustainable, Kesilir was abandoned in June 1943. The Indo-European internees were taken to Tangerang, the “Europeans” to Banjoebiroe.
Commendant: lt. Yoshida; lt. Okabayashi; lt. Akabori; lt. Kanuma; kol. Kawasaki Butai; lt.-kol. Katsube
Guards: Japanese military personnel, native police personnel
Camp leaders: J.G. Wackwitz
Literature: Wackwitz, J.G., Kesilir juli 1942-september 1943. Rapport van de leider der kolonisatie ('s-Gravenhage 1988)
Moscou-de Ruyter, M., Vogelvrij. Het leven buiten de kampen op Java 1942-1945 (Weesp 1984)
Smit, H., Ondernemingsleven in Nederlands Indie (1929-1942). Burger-geinterneerd (1942-1946). Sentimental journey Indonesie (1977) [1980])
Verheem, R., Bevrijding zonder bevrijders. De "Sinjo" tussen Indië en Nederland (Baarn 1980)