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Uniekampong in Belawan

Town: Belawan
District: Eastcoast of Sumatra
Region: Sumatra
Location: Belawan is an island off the east coast of Sumatra, north of Medan, in the Belawan estuary.
From [01] April 1942 to 26 June 1942 this location served as a prisoner of war camp >>
Internees: prisoners of war
Number of internees: 3.200
Number of deceased: 5 (at least)
Information: The Unie Kampong was a complex of wooden barracks built in the 1920’s for harbour workers employed by the Royal Mail Company, the Rotterdamsche Lloyd, and the Steam Travel Company Nederland. The prisoners of war were interned in the northern part of the kampong. The camp was encircled with barbed wire, also used to separate it from the civilian men’s camp in the southern part of the kampong. Among the prisoners of war were native, Dutch, British, and Australian military personnel. They were put to work in the harbour loading and unloading ships and trains. In mid-May a group of about 2,000 Dutch, British, and Australian prisoners of war were transported aboard the Tokobashi Maru to Burma. At the beginning of June approximately 300 native prisoners of war were freed. The remaining prisoners of war were taken during June to the camps Lawesigalagala and Gloegoer.
Commendant: lt. Oda
Guards: Japanese military personnel
Camp leaders: maj. C.F. Hazenberg
Literature: Aalst, A. van, "De Congregatie en de oorlog. III. De fraters van Medan", Verleden en heden van de Congregatie der Fraters van Tilburg 1946) p. 3-29
Spaans-van der Bijl, T., Tot betere tijden? Het levensverhaal van Willem van Pelt (1920-1959), rubberplanter op Sumatra (Amsterdam/Antwerpen 1991)

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From 12 April 1942 to 27 July 1943 this location served as a civilian camp >>
Internees: men
Number of internees: 540
Information: The Unie Kampong was a complex of wooden barracks built in the 1920’s for harbour workers employed by the Royal Mail Company, Rotterdamsche Lloyd, and the Steam Travel Company Nederland. The civilian men and boys were interned in the southern part of the kampong. Among them were “Europeans” from in and around Medan, and British and American planters. The camp was encircled with barbed wire, also used to separate it from the prisoner of war camp. At the end of July 1943 the camp was cleared and 540 internees were taken in three transports to Belawan Estate.
Commendant: lt. Oda
Guards: Japanese military personnel, heihos
Camp leaders: G.J. Noë; F. de Haas; W. Schuurbiers
Literature: Leffelaar, H.L., De Japansche regeering betaalt aan toonder. Een oorlog die niet verdween (Alphen aan den Rijn 1980)
Zwaanswijk, T., 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 1995)
Velde, J.J. van de, Brieven uit Sumatra 1928-1949 (Franeker 1982)
Ende, A. van den, Wij logeerden bij de Jappen (Bloemendaal 1969)
Brandt, W. (W.S.B. Klooster), Zwarte moesson (Baarn 1966-3)
Leffelaar, H.L., Leven op rantsoen (Amsterdam 1959)
Leffelaar, H.L., Through a harsh dawn. A boy grows up in a Japanese prison camp (Barre 1963)

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