Translated May 15, 2011


During 1942, all white Dutch men, and towards the end of 1942, all white Dutch women and children, were taken into custody by the Japanese and detained in internment camps.  Later – throughout 1943 and 1944 – Indo-Europeans (Dutch nationals with multi-racial ancestry) were also interned. At first the camps were scattered throughout Java. Later on, internees were concentrated into camps in and around certain major cities: the men and older boys in the Bandoeng/Tjimahi region; women and children, partly in Batavia (now Jakarta) and partly in Semarang/Ambarawa. All remained on Java however (there were no overseas transports).

The order in which the camps are presented on this website is determined first by the geographic location of the cities to which the camps were nearest, starting with western Java and progressing eastward (along the lines of the layout in the “Atlas van de Japanse Kampen”), and then by alphabetical order (per name of the camps clustered in and around a particular city).


Originally the internment camps were run by Japanese civil authorities. Around April 1, 1944, management of the camps on Java was transferred to the Japanese military authorities (16th Army). Shortly thereafter, the number of internment camps was reduced to 28.  The camps were divided into three regions (Batavia/Buitenzorg, Bandoeng/Tjimahi and Semarang). Each region had a separate Japanese commander, all of whom came under the central authority of Colonel Nakata, Commander-in-Chief over all the camps in Java (not just civilian internment camps, but prisoner-of-war and labor camps as well).


In April, 1944, all internees on Java were issued individual registration numbers. If transferred to another camp within the same region, an internee kept that number.  If transported to a different region, then a new number was issued. These numbers provide the data used to ascertain the transfer/transport movement of internees. An overview of the camp and POW numbers issued by each region is presented on a separate webpage.


On orders from Japanese authorities in Tokyo, camp administrators destroyed official records immediately after the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. Rosters were preserved in some camps however, and often provided internee camp numbers, as well as housing or barracks numbers. Where available, links to these rosters are provided on the individual camp webpages.