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Lawesigalagala in Koetatjane

Town: Koetatjane
District: Atjeh
Region: Sumatra
Location: Lawesigalagala was an abandoned plantation some 15 kilometres southeast of Koetatjane in the Alas Valley (North-Sumatra), west of the road to Kabandjahe.
From March 1943 to July 1943 this location served as a prisoner of war camp >>
Internees: prisoners of war
Number of internees: 1.600 (approximately)
Number of deceased: 4 (at least)
Information: The 8 hectares of the camp grounds were divided into six separate and individually fenced departments, each with eight to twelve wooden barracks roofed with atap. Between the internment camp and the road there were military barracks, a guard building, the camp hospital, and the homes of the higher ranking personnel. Indo-European, Moluccan, Menadonese, and other native ex-KNIL military personnel were interned there. The work consisted of working the terraced farmland and cutting wood. At the end of May 1943 the internees were put under pressure to become heihos, assistant soldiers in Japanese service. The majority of the native ex-KNIL military personnel eventually gave in, but 52 Indo-European prisoners of war refused. They were taken to Koetatjane prison.
Commendant: lt. Suzuki; lt. Myasaki
Guards: Japanese military personnel, native police personnel, heihos
Camp leaders: sgt. Saimina

From 13 August 1943 to 06 October 1944 this location served as a civilian camp >>
Internees: men
Number of internees: 315
Number of deceased: 4
Information: The Lawesigalagala internment camp was set up in July 1940 for Germans, and from mid-August 1943 served as a civilian collection camp for all of Atjeh. The 8 hectares of the camp grounds were divided into six separate and individually fenced departments, each with eight to twelve wooden barracks roofed with atap. Between the internment camp and the road there were military barracks, a guard building, the camp hospital, and the homes of the higher ranking personnel. The male civilian internees were housed in six barracks, surrounded with barbed wire, gedek, and a wooden fence. The camp leadership was in the hands of Pastor C.A.L. Rademaker. On October 5th all boys 10 years old and older were taken from the women’s camp to the men’s camp. A day later the men’s camp was cleared, and 315 men and boys were taken to the men’s camp at the Belawan Estate and from there to Si Rengorengo.
Guards: Native volunteers
Camp leaders: C.A.L. Rademaker
Literature: Dijk, F.N.J. van, en T. Zwaanswijk, Noord-Sumatra in oorlogstijd. Oorspronkelijke dagboeken uit interneringstijd chronologisch samengevoegd (Makkum 1995)
Dijk, F.N.J. van, en T. Zwaanswijk, Noord-Sumatra in oorlogstijd. Oorspronkelijke dagboeken uit interneringstijd chronologisch samengevoegd (Makkum 1997) Schroeff, J.P. van der, "De geschiedenis van Lawe-Sigalagala, een kamp in Atjeh", Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde 1985) p. 1565-1567

From 26 September 1943 to 10 October 1944 this location served as a civilian camp >>
Internees: women and children
Number of internees: 610
Number of deceased: 18
Information: The Lawesigalagala internment camp was set up in July 1940 for Germans, and from mid-August 1943 served as a civilian collection camp for all of Atjeh. The 8 hectares of the camp grounds were divided into six separate and individually fenced departments, each with eight to twelve wooden barracks roofed with atap. Between the internment camp and the road there were military barracks, a guard building, the camp hospital, and the homes of the higher ranking personnel. The female civilian internees and children were housed in ten barracks, surrounded with barbed wire, gedek, and a wooden fence. The camp leadership was in the hands of Pastor C.A.L. Rademaker. On October 5th all boys 10 years old and older were taken from the women’s camp to the men’s camp. A day later the camp was cleared, and 500 women and children were taken to the women’s camp at the Belawan Estate.
Commendant: Satu Nishi
Guards: Native volunteers, heihos
Camp leaders: mw. L. Oostwoud Wijdenes-Winkelman; mw. A. Palmer van den Broek-Boor
Literature: Heekeren, C. van, e.a., Het pannetje van Oliemans. Vijfhonderd krijgsgevangenen onder de Japanners, Zuid-Atjeh, 1944 (Franeker 1975-2)
Blom-van de Werk, C.W., Dagboek vrouwenkampen Noord-Sumatra 1942-1945 (Zutphen 1998)
Dijk, F.N.J. van, en T. Zwaanswijk, Noord-Sumatra in oorlogstijd. Oorspronkelijke dagboeken uit interneringstijd chronologisch samengevoegd (Makkum 1997)
Dijk, F.N.J. van, en T. Zwaanswijk, Noord-Sumatra in oorlogstijd. Oorspronkelijke dagboeken uit interneringstijd chronologisch samengevoegd (Makkum 1998) Schroeff, J.P. van der, "De geschiedenis van Lawe-Sigalagala, een kamp in Atjeh", Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde 1985) p. 1565-1567
Jacobs, A., Ontwortelden ('s-Gravenhage 1947)

From [August 1945] to [1948] this location served as a ex-Japanese camp >>
Internees: men, women, and children
Number of internees: 998 (July 15th, 1946)
Information: At the time of the Japanese capitulation, Moluccan, Menadonese, Timorese and Javanese military personnel and their wives and children remained in Lawesigalagala. Many of the military personnel were forced to fight on the Japanese side, in, among other places, Burma. After the surrender they were left to their fate and had to take care of themselves by selling products at the market. The climate was good and the ground fruitful. There was enough water and food, but not medicines or good clothing. Malaria and yaws ran rampant. An Indonesian doctor visited every 8 or 10 days. At the end of May 1946, a transport brought assistance goods from Medan, including clothing, food packets, medicines, and money. Religious services were held in a small fixed-up church. There was a small swimming pool for the children. In November 1946, April 1948, and August 1948 groups of Moluccan women and children were evacuated.