“Herman Keppy, who has done research into the resistance of people from the Dutch Indies says that the students studying in the Netherlands knew a lot about what was happening in the world. The aim of the Perhimpunan Indonesia (Indonesian political association whose members were mainly students) remained the struggle for the freedom of Indonesia. But fascism was a big threat and therefore they let go of their primary aim to fight against fascism first. As soon as fascism was defeated, the battle for the freedom of Indonesia would be resumed.”
Meet the Jewish sisters Emi and Mini Freibrunn (pictured in the foreground). They lived in Amsterdam during the Occupation. They were brought to a place of safety in the Veluwe area by the Indonesian in the background, Rachmat Koesoemobroto. His Dutch fiancée, Nel van den Bergh (on the right), was arrested and killed in Camp Vught. The two sisters survived the war and currently live in Israel. Bapak Koesoemobroto, a law student at the outbreak of the war, returned to Indonesia after the Liberation of the Netherlands and his own country. Thanks to Murjani Kusumobroto.
KNIL captain Eddy Latuperisa (Kudus, April 9, 1902 – Leusderheide, July 29, 1943) was in direct contact in The Hague with one of the leading figures of the (illegal)Ordedienst, the body responsible for order, Johan Schimmelpenninck. On behalf of Schimmelpenninck, Eddy Latuperisa organized bridge evening, among other activities, which were basically meant to let officers cadets and midshipmen (prospective naval officers) join the Ordedienst. He was also supposed to take care of weapons and an arms cache, with Schimmelpenninck’s money.
Latuperisa was involved in the attempt of three men (the Indian Peter Tazelaar, Wiardi Beckman and Frans Goedhart) to flee to England from Scheveningen on the night of 17 on 18 January 1942. This attempt failed, Tazelaar escaped the German soldiers, but the other two were arrested.
Latuperisa was also put in prison and sentenced to death after the Second OD process. Below you will find a fragment from his last letter to his family:
“I’m perfectly willing to go, in the full conviction that He’ll have mercy on you and will stay beside you and also the full awareness that He’ll forgive me with love everything I’ve done wrong in my life here on earth.” From research by Herman Keppy
In 1938, Parlindoengan Loebis (Batang Toru June 30, 1910 – December 31, 1994), Chairman of Perhimpunan Indonesia, wrote in the anniversary issue of the organ ‘Indonesia’: “The immediate task of the national movement in Indonesia in this serious period of advance of the international fascism is, as part of the fight towards the independence of the country, the fight against the growing fascist threat, for the preservation and the promotion of democracy and peace. From the inside, Indonesia is threatened by the increasing activity of the National Socialist Movement and from the outside especially by the aggressive plans of Japan and the annexation lusts of Germany. The immediate dangers for Indonesia, linked to the fascist aggression, are still very much underestimated by many leaders of our national movement.”
Loebis, a family doctor of Batak descent, married Jo Soumokil, a Moluccan, in 1941. They moved into a house adjoining a practice in Amsterdam, where three months later, on June 26, 1941, he was arrested by two Dutch plainclothes officers. Via the camps Schoorl and Amersfoort, he survived the horrors of several concentration camps in Germany (Buchenwald and Heinkelkamp near Sachsenhausen). From ’30 jaar Perhimpunan Indonesia, 1908-1938’ and ‘Orang Indonesia di Kamp Konsentrasi NAZI’ (kommunitas bambu, Jakarta 2006).
The Loohuizen family lived in the Bomenbuurt (Tree Area) in The Hague. Fons Loohuizen’s father was a native Dutchman and his mother a Moluccan, called Anaatje Magdalena Noya). One of their sons, Alphonso Julius (Semarang, April 30, 1917) who was called ‘Fons’, managed to get to England during the war, where he was trained as a pilot. He actually came into action for the 320 Squadron of the RAF. During a raid on June 24, 1944, the Mitchell in which he flew was hit by Flak guns over Chateau d’Ansennes. The aircraft had not dropped the bombs yet and exploded. Fons and his colleagues did not have the ghost of a chance. From research by Herman Keppy
What genius thought was behind the idea to parachute an unmistakably Eurasian-looking radio operator over Steenwijk? In order not to attract attention among the fair-haired farmers? We will never know how things would have worked out, since on the day of his dropping , October 24, 1942, Humphrey Max Macaré (Bandung , October 12, 1921) was already met by a German reception committee that, thanks to the at full steam operating Englandspiel, had been informed of his arrival. Macaré was taken prisoner and eventually deported to Poland, where he was executed on April 30, 1944. From research by Herman Keppy
During the war, Gitel Münzer, a Jewish woman in The Hague of Polish origin was looking for a place to hide her children. Her two daughters were lodged with a Catholic couple. Then she had only to find shelter for her nine months’ old son. When he was asked to take care of Alfred Münzer, the Indonesian Tolé Madna (Maos 1898-1992) did not hesitate one moment. He and his nanny Mima Saïna took the little boy under their care for three years.
The Münzer girls, however, were reported by the husband of the couple who had taken them in. They were deported and gassed. Their father died in a concentration camp elsewhere. Gitel, however, returned from camp Ravensbrück and could stay with Tolé Madna to enable her son could get used to her. Mother and son later moved into Gitel’s own apartment. In the fifties, she emigrated to America, but always kept in touch with the Madna family. Thanks to Alfred Münzer.
VICTOR LUCAS MAKATITA
During the war, resistance fighter Gerard Dogger was assigned a cadet sergeant as his bodyguard. “His name is Makatita and he is pitch-black, from the West. He’s a cheerful guy with a great sense of responsibility. His Dutch, however, is still flawed,” wrote Dogger in his memoirs. Makatita, however, was not from the West at all, but came from the East. He was a Moluccan, born in Batavia on April 30, 1919. Whether his Dutch was that flawed is very doubtful, for besides the fact that he already studied at the Royal Military Academy, at home they spoke Dutch, possibly with an Indian accent. Makatita played soccer for HV&CV Quick in The Hague, another Dutch-speaking environment.
Makatita, a fellow cadet and a journalist also undertook the dangerous journey. The route they followed through France, however, was known to the Germans. Another group of refugees had previously been intercepted near Dijon. The same happened to Makatita and his friends. They were executed on April 9, 1942..From research including ‘De Vierkante Maan’ (The Square Moon) and ‘Moluks Verzet WO II’ (Moluccan Resistance World War II.
Raden Mas Rawindro Noto Soeroto (The Hague October 11, 1918 – Laren, October 30, 1945) is the son of an Indonesian poet and politician, once very well-known in the Netherlands. During the war, Rawi and a few friends set up a resistance group, which was rounded up quite soon. Rawi ended up at the notorious Oranjehotel
“The accused Noto Soeroto is a friend of the accused Eenhoorn, who also has the pseudonym Makke (…). Eenhoorn asked the accused Noto Soeroto whether he was willing to cooperate as a go-between for the receipt of letters and messages. The accused Noto Soeroto promised his assistance. Then the accused received some sketches, drawings and messages for some time, about six or seven in all, partly through the mail, and drawing partly through one Mr Bakker. These were messages about and sketches of military positions in Scheveningen, The Hague. The accused passed them on (…) to Eenhoorn.” Translated from the German police report dated September 24, 1941 (NIOD, AuB183/41)
Herman (pictured with Iwan Faiman) about Indonesian resistance fighters in Amsterdam: “Because of their own independence struggle, they were closely allied to the Communist Party, the only party that agreed with them. Because of their independence struggle they were no longer wanted in the Netherlands after the war.” Het Parool of Tuesday April 29, 2014
Like his brother Arie, Jan Nout (Semarang, January 7, 1920) was a member of Ordedienst, the body of officials responsible for order that early 1942 threatened to be rounded up rapidly. Jan ended up in the Oranjehotel and hence taken to Sachsenhausen, where he was executed. Not until eight months after his death did his mother, Lien Nout-Mandagi, receive his farewell letter.
“Here then my very last letter to you. The blow has been dealt. Tomorrow morning at 4 am the sentence will be carried out by means of the bullet. An almost unbearable prospect. But we’ll bravely get through these final hours with God’s help. Dear Mom, will you strongly face this suffering? You’re also a soldier’s wife and I’ll die a soldier’s death.” (…)
Dear Mom, it’s so difficult to take leave from you on paper, but I have to. So once again, many thanks for the good things and humble forgiveness for my sins committed to you and Dad. A long, last kiss from your repentant son Johan.”From a blog by journalist Werend Griffioen, Jan Nout’s nephew, May 4, 2010.
During the war, Mrs Ans Poetiray (Weltevreden, 1927) lived in The Hague and relates about her brother Donald Poetiray (Batavia, July 21, 1922 – The Hague, October 3, 2005): “Donald was a member of the relay team 4 x 100 meters, champion of the Netherlands. He started and the fastest member finished, Albert Spree, an Indian boy. Together with Albert he fled, but they were intercepted at Compiègne in northern France. Possibly treason
Donald was transferred to Buchenwald. Albert Spree ended up in Ravensbrück, soon got an intestinal infection and died. Through the Red Cross, we received letters from Donald. We were even allowed to send him packages. After all, he was colored, was not Dutch, but a Dutch subject, so in a way not an enemy of Germany. The other prisoners had no contacts with their home front. My brother wrote, for example, to my mother to visit that kind aunt Hendrien at a certain address, because he’d always enjoyed staying with her. This turned out to be a woman my mother didn’t know at all who missed a son. This woman learned from my mother that her son was still alive and kept prisoner in Buchenwald.” From interview by Herman Keppy with Ans Poetiray in De Groene Amsterdammer (a weekly magazine), May 2007
Evi Poetiray (Besoeki, January 13, 1918): “We, Indonesian students, were very intimate with the makers of the illegal papers Vrij Nederland, De Waarheid and Het Parool. At the time, one of the Indonesian students, Irawan Soejono, was shot in Leiden during such a transport. It was very dangerous, but I was young and not afraid.
When I’m thinking of the war, I’m thinking of hunger, hunger, hunger. Maybe you can write a funny story about this. There was a time when all we got every day was a bowl of potato peel soup. Well, at least it was hot. And you got a loaf of bread that had to last a week. With ration coupons you could get some sugar, potatoes and coal.
When Irawan Soejono was killed in Leiden, we went to Leiden by bike: three boys and three girls. We, the girls, on the back, ‘bonceng’ (hitching a lift), on bikes without tires. One of the women, Elly Soumokil, had a three-month-old baby, but she just had to go to Leiden. She had taken her son to a cousin at the Wilhelmina Hospital in Amsterdam and then left for Leiden.
We found a place to stay in Oegstgeest. Eight of our boys had gone into hiding there. One of them was Frits Harahap. They had entered the resistance and it was their task to raid distribution offices and steal ration coupons.” From interview by Herman Keppy with Evi Poetiray in Jakarta: getuigenverhalen.nl
The Moluccan boy Henk Poetiray turned 18 in The Hague on March 19, 1942. He disappeared a few days later. After some time, his family learned that he had arrived in Switzerland with much difficulty.
From this country Henk and his friend Paul van der Bilt fled across the Dolomites. The Italian gendarmerie, however, arrested the boys and handed them over to the Germans. Henk ended up in Berlin, where he had to work in a factory. He witnessed the terrible bombing on the city and the fierce battle from street to street. He was eventually liberated by the Russians.
After the war, Henk Poetiray emigrated to America, where initially he made a career, until post-war trauma started troubling him. During his last years, he became a man who tolerated only few people and only few people tolerated him, much to the chagrin of his family and friends. How a war destroyed a sweet and brave boy. On August 30, 2014, Henk Poetiray died in Denver, Colorado, 90 years old.
Raden Mas Djajeng Pratomo (Dagan Siapiapi, 22 februari 1914):
“Pada bulan Juni 1941, Sicherheitsdienst (SD) dari kaum nazi mengadakan penggeledahan di berbagai tempat tinggal mahasiswa Indonesia di Leiden. Mereka mencari empat anggota pimpinan dari grup perlawanan Indonesia ‘Perhimpunan Indonesia’. Dua di antara mereka tertangkap, yaitu R.M. Sidartawan dan P. Lubis, sedang yang lain dapat meloloskan diri.
Pagi-pagi hari tanggal 18 Januari 1943 SD mengadakan penggeledahan kembali di tempat tinggal orang-orang Indonesia di Den Haag. Mereka menangkap dua orang mahasiswa dan dua orang buruh: R.M. Sundaru, R.M. Djajeng Pratomo, Kajat, dan Hamid. Empat orang tawanan ini diseret dari kamp konsentrasi yang satu ke kamp yang lain: Schoorl, Amersfoort, Vught, Neuengamme, Buchenwald, Oranienburg-Saxenhausen, Dachau. Dua orang dari mereka tewas karena siksasn dan penderitaan di kamp-kamp tsb. Sidartawan di Dachau dan Mun Sundaru di Neuengamme.”
“The Sicherheitsdienst (SD) of the Nazis raided an Indonesian student house in Leiden in the month of June 1941. They were looking for four members of the board of Perhimpunan Indonesia (Indonesian Association). They had already arrested two of them, Raden Mas Sidartawan and Parlindoengan Lubis, somewhere else.
On the morning of January 18, 1943, the SD conducted another search of the homes of Indonesians in The Hague. They arrested two students and two Indonesian workers: Raden Mas Sundaru, Raden Mas Djajeng Pratomo, Kajat and Hamid. These four prisoners were dragged from one concentration camp to the other: Schoorl, Amersfoort, Vught, Neuengamme, Buchenwald,
Oranienburg-Saxenhausen, Dachau. Two of them died as a consequence of the abuse and hardship in the camps, namely Sidartawan in Dachau and Mun Sundaru in Neuengamme.” From a written statement by Raden Mas Djajeng Pratomo
Mimi Saïna was employed by the Madna family in The Hague as a resident nanny. However, Tolé Madna divorced his wife in 1936. Two daughters stayed with their mother and the son went to live with the nanny and the father. Five years later, the father, Tolé Madna, was asked to take care of a nine-month-old Jewish boy and he did not hesitate one moment. For three years, he was a father and Mima a mother for the boy. Tolé’s son became the older, caring brother. When Alfred’s birthmother returned from the war, the boy had no memories of her. To enable her son to get used to her, she was asked to move in with the Madna family. Tragically enough, Mima Saïna suddenly died a few months after the return of Alfred’s mother. Alfred still remembers mama Mima singing the lullaby Nina Bobo for him. They are together in the picture above. Thanks to Alfred Münzer.
When in hiding in Amsterdam, Raden Mas Setiadjit Soegonda (Dengon, June 7, 1907), chairman of Perhimpunan Indonesia, directed the Indonesian resistance in the Netherlands.
In addition to leading the Indonesian resistance organization, during the war Setiadjit wrote articles for Vrij Nederland, among other papers. After the war, he got a seat in parliament, but soon left for Indonesia, where he took on the presidency of the socialist Partai Buruh Indonesia. He was appointed vice president in the Sjarifoeddin cabinet. During the suppression of the communist rising under Muso, with whom he had sided, Setiadjit was killed by the TRI, Tentara Republik Indonesia (the Indonesian Republic Army) on December 20, 1948. From research by Herman Keppy.
After the massacre in the Java Sea, corporal engineer Wim Siahainenia (Kwari, June 21, 1914 – Den Helder, April 21, 1987) evacuated and fled to Colombo aboard the minesweeper Willem van der Zaan. He then left for Scotland to work as a stoker aboard the submarine O 15.
He had his most anxious moment after an attack in a Norwegian fjord. “We were met by a German squadron and, with intervals, were bombarded with depth charges for eighteen hours. Fortunately, there was a strong current, which enabled us to escape sailing very quietly, only using our electric motor. This is called creep speed and all you hear are the screw propellers above and all those explosions. I was the only Amboinese aboard the submarine, but there were also Javanese and Medanonese people.
Through the Red Cross, a message was sent to my father, a pastor in the Moluccas: ‘Your son is missing, presumably killed.’ He never believed this and was not really surprised when I suddenly turned up after the war.” From ‘De Laatste Inlandse Schepelingen’ (The Last Native Sailors) by Herman Keppy, Focus, 1994
Cor Spook (currently spelled as ‘Spoke’, Pematangsiantar, March 18, 1923) relates: “My oldest brother Frits (Batavia, September 5, 1920) was arrested by the Germans. Someone had been killed and they thought that he might have something to do with it. But there was no proof. So… he spent quite some time in prison, until he eventually was released. My brother Nico was beaten up by the brown shirts (uniformed troops of the NSB, the Dutch national socialist movement – HK). I was kept prisoner in the Oranjehotel (prison in Scheveningen – HK). That was after an action by students and schoolboys. We’d heard that there would be a meeting of members of the NSB in The Hague and we wanted to give them a good beating. But the Germans found out and were waiting for us on the roofs with machine guns. We were all arrested. I was released after three weeks, probably because I was only seventeen years old. But me and my brothers knew that we’d be in trouble again if we stayed in the Netherlands.”
In 1941, Frits is the first one to leave, but not after he had taken care of forged identity documents for his brothers Nico and Cor, which enabled them to travel through France. Nico, Cor and a friend started their escape to England in 1942. The provisions they took were rye bread, cheese and honey. Clothes? Only what they were wearing. From interview by Herman Keppy with Cor Spoke in Moesson, July 2010
Their story needs to be told, according to Keppy, because not enough attention is paid to the Indian resistance. “There is, for example, not a single memorial in The Hague that recalls the major contribution of the Eurasian community to the resistance movement. There was an Indian nurse called Mies Walbeehm who lived on Reinkenstraat and hid 24 Jews. There’s a memorial plaque in the street, but her name isn’t mentioned anywhere. That’s incredible, isn’t it? They’re heroes who should be honored. On the other hand, you can only honor them when you know them. And I’m trying to do something about that.” Interview by Alexandra Sweers in Den Haag Centraal (local newspaper), May 30, 2014
Albert ‘Ab’ Spree (Magelang, September 18, 1922) was a national top sprinter of V&L (Vlug en Lenig), an athletic club in The Hague, national junior champion in 1939, 1940 and 1941. During the war, he fled the Netherlands with his V&L buddy Donald Poetiray, attempting to reach England via Switzerland. Their aim was to join the Allied Forces. Unfortunately, their attempt failed. Donald ended up in Buchenwald, but survived. His Eurasian friend Albert Spree died soon after an illness in camp Ravensbrück on July 29, 1943.Thanks to atletiekhistorici.nl
Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Military Police Pierre Versteegh (Kedoengbanteng, June 6, 1888 – Sachsenhausen, May 3, 1942) was famous as a dressage rider. He was a member of the Dutch team that won bronze at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928. He also performed in two disciplines during the 1936 Games in Nazi Germany. In the early days of the Occupation, Versteegh, an Indo, was appointed chief of staff of the (illegal)Ordedienst (OD), the body of officials responsible for order, but not for long. He was soon arrested in his home in Bussum, on the very day his daughter got married. After a lawsuit, known as the first OD process, he was sentenced to death and executed in Sachsenhausen on May 3, 1942. From research by Herman Keppy, article was posted on javapost.nl on April 26, 2012
One of those pilots who didn’t return was Frans Loohuizen. You knew him, didn’t you? Former telegraph operator-gunner Frank Voogt (Cheribon, June 23, 1923 – Den Helder, October 17, 2009) nodded: “Yes, I saw him flying apart.” (…)“Ah, when a plane was hit, then you started counting, those parachutes. When you saw four parachutes coming down, then you knew: safe. But when there were only three, then you didn’t know who stayed. Yes? That’s the trouble. And, you were moved, but at some point you’d get as blunt as a blunt ax. Eh, I’m still shuffling, (makes dismissive gesture), he isn’t.”
Regarding Van Loohuizen, no parachutes, I assume?
No! Loohuizen, Sluis, Keppler and another one (…) Hilliger, I still remember that.”
You still remember it exactly, so it made quite an impression on you? “It’s etched in your head.” interview with Herman Keppy for www.getuigenverhalen.nl
“In 1942-1943, Mrs Sara Walbeehm (…) sheltered a large number of Jews in hiding in her apartment Reinkenstraat no. 19 in The Hague. On the night of 22 on 23 March 1943, Kock and his assistants raided her apartment and all Jews present at that time (25 people, including a baby) and Mrs Walbeehm herself were taken away. Not one of the Jews returned.”
The above quote is from the Weinreb report that was published in 1976. Sara Maria ‘Mies’ Walbeehm (deceased in 1981) was an Eurasian nurse, who, for her commitment to these people in hiding, was tortured in Scheveningen prison and interned in camp Vught. In 1944, however, she was released, which did not stop her from concerning herself about people in hiding again. Research from Herman
The lawyer Rutger Webb (Sigli, November 2, 1914) was the leader of the commando group that raided a distribution office on Copernicusstraat in The Hague on August 24, 1944. The hold-up was successful, but Webb was arrested. Rutger or ‘Tutti’ was the bosom friend of Rudi Jansz’ (the father of the musician Ernst Jansz) who initially was also a member of the commando group.
Jopie Jansz (Ernst’s mother): “I was taken from my cell again and taken to a room from where you could see the courtyard. He said: ‘Go and stand there and have a look. That’s T. ‘ It was him, Tutti. The old Eurasian lady beside me burst out crying. It was terrible, because you knew: that boy’s going to die. He’ll never come back.” Quote from the book ‘De Overkant’ by Ernst Jansz. Photo also from Ernst
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