Saturday, July 19, 2014


Forced labor

In the beginning, interned men were forced to work for the Japanese in some camps. In Cimahi for instance, men were put to work in the airfield. Starting in 1944, internees were forced to work for the Japanese army almost everywhere. The men had to work on the land and in the docks, to help build railway lines, like the Thai-Burma and the Pakanbaru lines, or they were sent to work in Japanese mines. The women had to sew soldiers’ uniforms and make ropes or wooden nails for ships. Starting in 1944, the upkeep of vegetable gardens became compulsory. Not only did the Japanese expect the camps to be as self-supporting as possible, part of the gardens’ yield had to be tuned over to the Japanese on behalf of the army. In some camps, the internees had to breed pigs for the Japanese. They were paid for their work, namely 15 guilder cents a day.

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