Republican Camps

Between 11 and 19 October 1945 the Indonesian authorities rounded up all Dutch and Indo-European men on the islands of Java and Madura and interned them in camps. The majority of the women and children were arrested in November and December. The order for these arrests probably originated with President Sukarno himself, and was partially intended to protect the internees against fanatical Indonesian nationalists as well as to isolate pro-Dutch elements. The presence of British troops in Batavia and Bandung prevented the Indonesian Republicans from interning people there.
In the last three months of 1945, a total of some 46,000 men, women and children were interned in Republican camps. The Republicans operated a total of 398 camps in Java and Madura for shorter or longer periods of time. Among the 46,000 were approximately 4,500 Dutch internees who had ignored the Allied order to remain in the Japanese internment camps after the surrender on 15 August and who had made their way to their old homes in Republican-held territory.
In late November the British commanders asked the Indonesian authorities for assistance in evacuating the Japanese forces and the European internees from Republican areas. The Dutch authorities were excluded from these negotiations. In April 1946 the Indonesian authorities agreed to a formal accord with the British regarding the evacuation of all internees from Republican-held territory to the cities. The Indonesian organisation POPDA (Panitia Oerusan Pengangkutan Djepang dan APWI - Organisation for the Evacuation of the Japanese and APWI) was formed to handle the evacuations. From January 1946 to May 1947, POPDA managed to evacuate 36,746 internees from Republican-held territories and turned them over to the British. An estimated 8,000 to 9,000 people elected to remain in Republican territory and become Indonesian citizens (warga negara). From 29 April to 21 June, POPDA also managed to transport 40,000 Japanese soldiers from the interior of Java to cities on the coast.


H.Th. Bussemaker, Bersiap! Opstand in het paradijs. De Bersiap-periode op Java en Sumatra 1945-1946 (Zutphen, 2005).
Mary C. van Delden, De republikeinse kampen in Nederlands-Indië oktober 1945-mei 1947. Orde in de chaos? (Kockengen, 2007).

Information a.o. in:

Access Number 2.22.21, 833 to 854 (Collection Archives du Comité International de la Croix-Rouge, Genève)
Access Number 2.10.62,, 1941, 2258 and 2281,
Access Number 2.13.72, 355, 1985, 1990, 1991 and 1992,
Access Number 2.13.132, 1447

Available in the reading room:

Access Number 2.10.62, 3414 (Evacuation list Guntur Camp, Malang 1946)

See also:

- Republic of Indonesia

- Negotiations between the Netherlands and Indonesia