Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Van Imhoff & Portrait for my Opa and Oma

Additional information has been found, including the names and short biography of those who died:

Former Tsingtaukämpfer in the Dutch East Indies (1920 - 1942) and the
Sinking of the "Van Imhoff on 19 1. 1942
Of the so-called Tsingtaukämpfern who had participated in the defense of Tsingtao in 1914 and had therefore spent the period from November 1914 to December 1919 in the Japanese war captivity, around 345 men are not immediately returned home, but found in 1920 in what was then Dutch East Indies for a position. The personnel there by the Germans in Batavia journal published "German guard" returned in the output of 1922, Issue 5 (May), p. 30-32 lists the names of these "immigrant" Tsingtao fighters, with an indication of their current place of residence and ( in most cases) the institution in which they were employed. Many of them have remained there permanently, got married, live in the wild but only until 10 May 1940, since when the German army invaded on that day in the Netherlands, the Germans in the Dutch East India immediately detained, the men (16 years) separated from the women and children. The latter were confined to some extent. Several hundred German women and children could leave the country but in July 1941. The Japanese ship took part in China, the other to Japan, for a return to Germany by rail through Russia - as originally planned - was no longer possible. The war between Germany and the Soviet Union began on 6/22/1941.
When Japan on 12/08/1941 including the U.S., Britain and the Netherlands declared war, there was a rapid occupation of the Dutch East Indies by the Japanese. The Dutch authorities there would obviously not allow them the interned German men, about 2,500 people, would be freed by the Japanese.They invited those on several ships and brought them to India. The last ship left the port of Sibolga on 01/18/1942 on the southern coast of Sumatra en route to Colombo. It was the SS Van Imhoff, a 2980 gross tons large ship, the Amsterdam Koninklijke Maatschappij package Vaart. On the ship there were 48 crew members, 62 soldiers of the Dutch Colonial army and 483 German civilians. 372 of them huddled in groups of some 30 men in the intermediate-deck in less than a meter high barbed wire cages, which were locked. For another 111 internees on the aft deck a barbed wire crate was cobbled together. attacked by Japanese bombers - A day later, on 19.01.1942, the ship - 110 miles away from Sumatra. The Red Cross in Batavia was not notified that it was an intern transport. The Japanese plane was thus the special status of this transport does not know or recognize. It threw five bombs, which made no direct, but the 5th Bomb exploded in the water close to the port side of the foredeck and tore a large hole in the fuselage. 6 hours later the ship sank. It had been overcrowded. For the 593 people it was only 6 large boats with a capacity of a maximum of 50 people, a work boat for more than 14 men, 6 life rafts of bamboo and 650 west swimming. The Dutch left the sinking ship in 5 large boats which they had launched. One was a boat that pulled the other 4 boats. The 5 boats could accommodate 250 people, but were only occupied by 111 people. Thus, all the Dutch arrived the next day unharmed, the island Pulu simulation. The Germans were left to their fate. The Officer who had left the last of the Dutch ship, had at least presented are the key, so could that the encircled Germans open their cages. Whether that was all? Six hours after the bombing sank the ship away suddenly and sank with 281 Germans. On the water, 201 had initially can save. From this it was still managed a group, before the sixth boat to float, which the Dutch had been unable to bring water because it had jammed somewhere. On the boat were 53, 14 and in the work boat to six bamboo rafts 134th But in a painful journey of 3 days (without food and water!) Reached only the large boat and work boat with its occupants, the island of Nias. Of the rafts had only one person escape into the big boat, can the other 133 men were lost. Of the 483 Germans are so drowned 415, only 68 managed to escape on land. Of the survivors died soon after arriving for another 2 or 3, apparently from exhaustion and overwork.
Of the 483 Germans of the "Van Imhoff" transport were at least 37 people Tsingtaukämpfer former. Maybe it was a total of 42, but at 5 with the assignment is not unique, since no first name or just the first letter of your first name specified.
Among the 68 rescued were 5 Tsingtaukämpfer, maybe sixth Of the 415 dead were 32 Tsingtaukämpfer, possibly 36th The following are the names and brief biographical information.
The following alphabetical list is constructed:
a) name, first name, place of origin and position in July 1914 from the printed list of Tsingtao-Germans who were from November 1914 to December 1919 in a Japanese prisoner of war.
b) the name list (with initial of first name) of the former Dutch East Indies in Tsingtaukämpfer published in May 1922 in the journal "German guard" Batavia 1922, Heft 5, p. 30-32
c) List of Germans in the Dutch East Indies in: German Yearbook of Dutch East Indies in 1935, S. 353 - 408th This list contains some further biographical information on each person, possibly name of spouse, children, etc. On the other hand, this list does not all Germans, who then stayed in the Netherland East Indies.
d) transport list of the interned Germans on the SS "Van Imhoff" from 01.18.1942
(Maschinenschriftlich. The first name is given only with the first letter, the profession as to the state on May 10, 1940th)
Not specified, were housed in what the Japanese POW camps Tsingtaukämpfer 1914-20. This can be looked up in detail in the website of Hans-Joachim Schmidt: in which one section of the brief biographies of "clicks".
The place names are rendered almost entirely in the then Dutch orthography, ie oe than u and ij as egg, speaking generally as a yes.
The first rescued, former Tsingtaukämpfer
Banthien, F. Christian from Rheydt. 1914: Matrosenartillerist. 1922: Telephone Exchange in Weltevreden (Padang). 1935: in Lebong Tandai, Benkoelen. Married to Amelia Preck. 1940: Steiger machines in Sumatra.
Gleichmann, F. Hermann. * Coburg 1885th - 1914: Matrosenartillerist. 1922: Employee at the Netherland-Ind. Steam Navigation Company. 1935 and 1940, planters in Bodja / Semarang. He still dies on the arrival in Nias on 22/01/1942.
Kempf, E. Conrad from Berlin. 1914: on the Hapag steamer Frisia "deals. - 1914: Matrosenartillerist as a volunteer. - Before 1922: at the sugar factory in Bodjong. 1940: Officials in the Rubberrestrictie in Pontianak on Borneo. Is 1942 to Beijing, there is also his daughter Maud (* 10.6.1925), who marries in 1944 in Qingdao Ottokar Peterhaensel
(* 28.09.1917), co-owner of a clothing business. Conrad Kempf married his second wife in Qingdao Erik Seidel (* 25.4.1922), which is thus only 3 years older than her step-daughter Maud. The widow Erika Kempf later lived in Wiesbaden.
Ressing, J. Heinrich from Bocholt. 1914 marines. 1922: main policeman from the police box in Poerwodadi. Married to Emilie NN Children: Anita (* 09.05.1930) and Karl (* 20.08.1933). 1940: Police Officer in Oerangan / Semarang. - Ressing woman and the children left with the transportation group in July 1941 Netherland-India and selected as the venue Qingdao from 1941 to 1946 because Heinrich Ressing 1914 there have been as marines. Unfortunately died there in March 1946, the daughter of Anita from a brain tumor. Ressing woman and son Charles were repatriated in June 1946 on the "Marine Robin" to Germany, where they again met with Henry Ressing and the Ruhr lived. Ressing woman died in 1977, shortly before Henry was Ressing died. The son of Charles, school teacher died, 1983.
Sack, Hans from Hamburg. 1914: marines in OMD 1922: nurse in a psychiatric hospital, Batavia. 1940: Nurse in Sabang. Died.
Zacher, George A. 1922: Employed in the sugar factory in Bodjong. 1935 Soerabaia.
1940: mechanic in Malang / Java. Zacher was apparently not in 1914-1919 Japanese captivity, but maybe in British (Hong Kong or Australia)?
The former Tsingtaukämpfer, the Van Imhoff "are set with the.
19. until 22.01.1942
Bergau, Albert from Nakel / networks, Prov. Poses. - 1914: Corporal. 1922: Municipal Public Works, Bandjermasin. - 1940: Employee MEB, Makassar / Celebes
Böhmer, Alwin from Harburg adElbe. - 1914: worked for the Rickmers Line. - 1914: Chief Engineer candidates dR - 1922: Sugar Factory Ranoepakis, Klakah. - 1940: engineer in the sugar factory Trangkil, Koedoes / Java
Clausing, Adolf. * In Berlin. - 1914: Guest of the upper signal province. 1922: Kaufmann Weltevreden, post. - 1935: Kaufmann, Wiechert lives Laan 14, Batavia-C. Married to Elizabeth Arnstein. - 1940: Agents, Batavia
Dalles, George from Sulzbach / Oberpfalz. 1914: Obermatrosenartillerist.1922: Bataviasche Petroleum Company in Balik Papan. - 1935: Laan Trivelli lives 9, Batavia-C. - 1940: Engineer, Batavia
Donat, Walter of Weimar. 1914: marines in OMD 1922: Holl. Concrete Society, Weltevreden. - 1935 in Lembang, Bandoeng. - 1940: Holl. Concrete Society in Batavia
Engel, Reinhold, * Borstel near Hanover 1894th - 1914 marines. 1922: Tjikopo tea plantation, south of Buitenzorg. - 1935: planters, ibid. Married, 3-4 children. - 1940: planters, Straits Soenda Syndicate (Full biography in H.-J. Schmidt)
Grossmann, Johannes from across mountain / Württ. 1914 marines. 1922: Vibem Simaloer, Sina Bang (Aceh). - 1940: Auto-entrepreneur, Langsat / Aceh
Hansen, Wilhelm of Schleswig. 1914: sailor in the navy Company. - 1922: Semarang-Cherobon Steam Navigation Company, Tegal. - 1940: Java (children are placed in Cheribon)
Heckenbücker, Jacob from Krefeld. 1914 marines. - 1922: main police officer in Indramajoe. - 1940: Police officer in Bandoeng
Always Heiser, Frederick of Bingen. 1914: corporal in the militia. - 1922: Bekassiweg 4, Meester Cornelis (= suburb of Batavia). - 1935: t / o. Station Kramat, Batavia-C. - 1940: pens. Warehouse managers, Batavia
Jahn, Josef. * In Brno. - 1914: Control of Guest SMS "Empress Elisabeth. -1922: Overseer of the military police in KEDO. - 1935: Main police guards, Post: Bandoeng, Gg.Langasarie 24, f. 98 - 1940: Police Officer-in Tebing Tinggi
Janssen, Johannes from Eschershausen, district of Holzminden. - 1914: Sergeant. - 1922: Overseer of the military police in Randoeblatoeng (Rembang). - 1940: Police officer in Soerabaia
Kale, Richard of Hamburg. 1914: wireless telegraphy-mate on SMS "Jaguar". - 1922: Nied.-Ind. Gas Company, Meester Cornelis. - 1935: p / a my gas. Lahat, South Soematra. - 1940: Nied.-Ind. Gas Company, in Batavia
Kessler, Henry, * in Aden 1884th - Appears in the list of 1922 only: H. Kessler, nothing more. - 1935: Planters, Post: planting Poeloekan, Negara, Bali. Banjoewangi. - 1940: Growers in Kintamani / Bali
Klein, Franz of St. Wendel. 1914: commissioned officer in the Far East.Marinedetachement. - 1922: Overseer of the military police in Kepandjen Pasoeroean. - 1940: Police officer in Celebes
Klesper, J. 1914: Upper heater to torpedo boat S 90 - 1922: Semarang-Cherobon steam ship company in Tegal. - 1935: planting Soengei Langka, Td. Karang. - 1940: Employee of the Straits Soenda Syndicate
King, Paul Hermann * 1887 in Klein Dittmannsdorf Pulsnitz. - 1914 marines.- 1922: Heiman & Co. in Soerabaia. - 1935: watchmaking and factory manager at NVWolf, Toendjoengan 32, PO Soerabaia. Married to Kate Jobson. - 1940: Clocks and watches there
Lepp, John from Bruchsal. - 1914: Chief Petty Officer dR at the sailors artillery. - 1922: Technical office in Unicum Soekaboemi .- 1935: Logeweg 16, Bandoeng. - 1940: mechanic in Bandoeng
Löffler, Hermann from Erfurt. - 1914: mechanical engineer in the engineering department of Qingdao shipyard since 1908. Is married. Living Small Hafenweg. 1914: participated in the defense of the militia. Was only on 16.9.1915 brought to Japan. - 1922: Carl Schlieper tool in Batavia. - 1935: Magelang. - 1940: only the name of HEJ Löffler
Magener, Louis from Hamburg. 1914: Matrosenartillerist. - 1922: Megalithic monuments in RL Benkoelen / Soematra. - 1935: Kaufmann, Semarang. - 1940: Small traders in Batavia
Meckel, Heinrich from Aull / Hesse-Nassau. - 1914: marines. - 1922: Wichers & Co. in Sepandjang at Soerabaia. - 1935: Dinojo 59, Soerabaia. - 1940: Building Materials Factory in Soerabaia. (Biography in H.
Oestreicher, Matthias from Level castle. 1914: marines dR - 1922: Tandjoeng Moeara Enim, Palembang .- 1940: engineer on a tin mine in Muntok, Banka Island
Paproth, Fritz, * Forest iL 1892nd - 1914: Artilleristenmaat. - 1922: Overseer of the military police in Djati Rogo (Rembang). - 1935: Police guard firstClass Post: Poerworedjo-KEDO, Java. Married to Frieda Lina Roessler.Children: Margaret, Frieda, Marie. - 1940: Police officer in Siantar / Soematra
Quest, Henry, * Food 1890th - 1914: Corporal. - 1922: Police guard at Wates Djokja. - 1935: Police guard first Class Post: Soerabaia. He was married to Hendrika Lenzen, has become widowed. Children: Jan and Johanna Margaretha. - 1940: Police officials in Ambon
Rasch, Charles of Frankenstein, Silesia. - 1914: Office assistant, lived in the Thetis Street - 1914: Higher Administrative writer guest of Seewehr. - 1922: Faktorei the Netherl trading company in Batavia. - 1935: Accountant in this company. Post: Weltevreden, Djaga Monjet 52nd - 1940: accountant in the same society Soerabaia
Saefkow, Emil, * Mechow / Mecklenburg 1891st - 1914: Corporal. - 1922: Carl Schlieper tool in Batavia. - 1935: Kaufmann, post Soerabaia, Kroes Park 10 - 1940: Employed in the company Vraag & Aabod, Soerabaia.(Photo and biography in H.-J. Schmidt)
Scharlemann, Gerhard from Shanghai. - 1914: Artilleristenmaat the Seewehr. - 1922: in Padang. - 1935: owner of export and transport company Scharlemann. - 1940: Boat Dealers in Soematra
Snow Wolf, Walther from Berlin. - 1914: marines. - 1922: Police guard at Buitenzorg. - 1940: in the Carl Schlieper tool in Batavia
Scholz sen., Rudolf, * London 25.1.1876. - 1914: Architect in the Technical Bureau of the Shantung Railway Company in Qingdao, where he was 1912/13. He was already married to Adele Genenger (* Viersen 05.05.1878) and had 3 children: Rudolf (* 1908), Karla (* 02.11.1910) and George (* Tsingtao 11/03/1914). - 1914: participated in the defense of the militia. Was first brought to Japan on 9/16/1915. Adele Scholz and three children remained until 1920 in Qingdao. - 1922: in Djokjakarta. - 1935: Engineering, a specialist in reinforced concrete, at the moment Beheerder the drinking water supply Tangerang. -1940: Retired employee of the city public works in Lembang / Java.
The son of Georg Scholz (1940: buying at the firm Lindeteves in Batavia) is down along with his father on the "Van Imhoff. - Adele Scholz and her daughter Karla Nied.-left India in July 1941 and chose August 1941 to June 1946 as Tsingtao residence, where they had lived 1912-20. Repatriation to Germany at the "Marine Adventures".
Schwitzki, William, Altglienicke in Berlin. - 1914: marines. - 1922: Police guard at the police academy, Buitenzorg. - 1935. Batavia-C, Oude Tamarindelaan 91st - 1940: Employee at Niemij. in Semarang. (Photo and biography in H.-J. Schmidt)
Steinemann, Friedrich from Möllendorf in Prov. Saxony. - 1914: Pioneer. -1922: Dutch Concrete Society, Soerabaia. - 1935: Malang, Tjilaket Gg. No. II.25. - 1940: Dutch. Concrete Society in Semarang
Steinlein, Jacob, * Saarbrücken 1892nd - 1914: marines. - 1922: main police officer in the field Koedoes. - 1935: Police inspector in Semarang, Gemelaan 16th - 1940: Police Officer in Madoein / Java. (Biography in H.
Sticks, Rudolf from Kiel. - 1914: Sergeant. - 1922: Overseer of the military police in Solo. - 1935: Police Inspector Bojolali / Java. - 1940: Police Officer in Soerabaia
Vind, Emil from the west field in Westphalia. - 1914 marines. - 1922: main police officer in the field Pakekasan / Madoera. - 1940: Police Officer
Weber, Friedrich from Linx, district of Offenburg. - 1914: Matrosenartillerist. -1922: Dutch. Concrete Society, Makassar. - 1935: 61 in Semarang, Pieter Sijthoflaan - 1940: Dutch. Concrete company in Semarang
Zeidler, Karl from Leipzig. - 1914: marines. - 1922: under G. Hoppenstedt, Batavia. - 1940: Agent Aniem, djembe / Java

Two weekends ago was my Opa & Oma's 55th anniversary. The family threw them a really nice surprise party. It's always fun to have the whole (well, most of them) family together, and it seems like that doesn't happen often anymore. When all of us "kids" were young it seems like we were all together all the time.

For their anniversary present I painted a portrait of my Opa's father, Jacob Steinlein:
I think this was the hardest project I've ever worked on, because I really wanted it to be right. I researched about uniforms and this is what I came up with, since I was working with a black and white photo. What was also difficult for me were the emotions that staring at the old photo brought up, because there's always a story. Jacob Steinlein was German, but a Dutch citizen. Well, during WWII the Dutch imprisoned all of the Germans and shipped them from the location. Jacob was on the Van Imhoff. I've researched this a lot, because it was kind of a big cover up, since the Van Imhoff was bombed and sunk, and somehow everyone on the ship survived except for the majority of German prisoners, including my great grandfather. When I was painting this portrait I couldn't help but think about his horrible death.

Some information I found. Most of it was translated into English, so it may be hard to read:
MV van Imhoff
Van Imhoff (2,980 tons) - Passenger Ship
Date of loss - January 19th, 1942
Reason for loss - Sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean west of Sumatra.
The infamous, unsavoury incident which was to give rise to a strange International aftermath, that dragged on for ten years and involved the 2980 ton "van Imhoff"
After the invasion of Norway, Holland, Belgium and France the most hair raising stories of Fifth Column activities in those countries circulated world wide.
There were a surprising number of Germans in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) augmented by the crews of 20 German ships seized by the Dutch in NEI ports, totalling about 3'000.
When Japan entered the war bringing hostilities to our area of conflict, fears were this group would break out and operate as a Fifth Column for their Allies the Japanese. India was prepared to accept them, so they were shipped out in 3 groups.
The first 2 in the KPM ships "Plancius" and "Ophir"about 2,500, the last in "van Imhoff
Orders from the British and Dutch Authorities were becoming scary and in retrospect, not as rational and explicit as might have been.
On 15th January 1942. Captain Hoeksema received orders in Padang to proceed to Sibolga to embark evacuees. On arrival the next day, he discovered they were almost 500 German and NSB internees. He also had to embark a 62 military guard detachment and 100 tons of barbed wire to secure them.
"van Imhoff" an old ship and fitted with limited life saving equipment and unarmed all of which Hoeksema radioed C-in-C.
The reply short and to the point "Embark them anyway." So he scrounged a few bamboo rafts ashore and took off.
The internees were locked, securely in a couple of holds.
Many of this group were middle aged business men who had lived in the Indies for years, running camera shops or import export business and a few aggressive German seamen off the impounded ships.
The next morning out into the Indian Ocean they were bombed by Japanese planes and the ship began to sink.
Hoeksema panicked. He immediately ordered the lifeboats launched and the crew and military guards into them. One lifeboat which could not be launched was left hanging in the davits.The sergeant of the guard released the prisoners and requested as many as possible be picked up by the lifeboats. Hoeksema refused .
in his opinion the prisoners were the "enemy' there were ample lifejackets and bamboo rafts and they would have to take their chances and ordered the lifeboats to row away from the ship. They made it to shore, but many of the Germans drowned.
Many months later, news of it trickled through to Germany, the authorities in occupied Holland arrested KPM staff and transported them to German Labour
Camps. They also forced KPM to pay 4 millon guilders compensation to relatives of the drowned men.
For another ten years a group of relatives and survivors of the tragedy attempted criminal proceedings.
In the momentous year 1933, when German scholarship was Nazified, when Asia Major was shut down in the middle of a volume, and when Deutsche Wacht, halfway around the world, also ceased to exist, von Zach's only remaining outlet was his own Sinologische Beiträge. Three more volumes of Beiträge appeared, the last of them in 1939. In May 1940, Germany invaded and occupied the Netherlands, but the Netherlands East Indies continued on the Allied side of the war, against Germany. Accordingly, that government interned all German or former Austrian residents as dangerous aliens (the argument that many of them were Jews, or otherwise refugees from Naziism, was rejected by the government), and imprisoned them at Padang, on West Sumatra. A year and a half passed.
In January 1942, with the Japanese invasion of Sumatra imminent, the 477 German internees were put aboard the Dutch merchant ship van Imhoff for transfer to British custody in Ceylon. On 19 January 1942, the ship was attacked by a Japanese torpedo plane west of the island of Nias, about 100 km west of Sumatra. The Dutch crew escaped in lifeboats, leaving the Germans to their fate. 53 Germans, in a lifeboat left behind by the crew, managed to make their way to the coast of Nias. The rest drowned as the ship quickly sank.
25 years after the van Imhoff disaster, Brother Aloysius, the only missionary among the 53 internee survivors, put on record his memories of the occasion, in the Steyler Mission's Taschenkalender 1968. We transcribe them here, from a copy for which we express our gratitude to Geff Green.
They had taken us all of our belongings. We no longer possessed as a towel, a bar of soap, and the clothes we wore. The ship offered little space for 200 people, therefore, 111 internees were sent back to shore. We remaining 366 were in the bottom of the storage vessel, such as herring in a barrel. All entrances and hatches were secured with heavy barbed wire, behind which stood the sentry. We could see nothing, because we were deep under the water line, and had the feeling of sitting in a rat trap. An unbearable heat and a terrible stench filled the room. We did not know where we were going. We hoped to Australia, where we expected the most humanity. By late afternoon, the ship stuck at sea. Some of us were accommodated on the deck in a kind of kennel. They called us after the night journey in the early morning that we were once again reversed, and deliver the harbor. From the guard post, we heard that the captain had received a radio message that he had taken away all the internees. Thus, even the remaining 111 inmates were on land tucked into the boat, without that another room was available. Now, we could not even stretch your legs out and almost touch us no more. Towards evening the ship sailed again. We got almost nothing to eat, and what was worse, drink only inadequately. So we rocked the boat to an unknown destination for us two days by the ocean. On the third day, the 19th January 1942, woke us at around noon, an explosion that shook the ship. We did not know what it was. Before we could inquire the reason, followed by a second explosion even worse, according to our calling to their comrades out of their kennels for the after that a Japanese aircraft attacked us with bombs. For a moment we heard his Motorengedrohn and felt, without being able to see it, as befitted the low level and on us. Then again dropped a bombshell, and she had taken the ship so that it reared like a waidwundes animal. After dis machines stopped, and among the internees came a wild cry of fear. We were tossed and heard hissing steam and felt like the ship tilted to one side. About the Dutchmen came into visible nervousness and anxiety. Since they may have feared that we could make an escape attempt, they doubled the guards, who hinabschreien to us: prejudice, "Who the Stacheldreht is erchossen without warning!" At the same time, however, we realized that the deck was great confusion. A couple of sailors with rifles fired again at the approaching aircraft. When the plane was gone, Holland guard commander came to the door and tried to reassure us. He praised us that we should have kept quiet and told us the ship had done nothing serious, it would be reviewed only the machines, then the journey could be continued. We should not worry: would care for us as well as for the guards and the crew. If a disaster actually happens, the captain would be the last to leave the ship. His words were lies, but only to ensure that we began to mutiny. In Wifklichkeit they had already abandoned the ship.
For Holland, the case seemed closed. The Parliament had never dealt with him, the prosecutor had closed the file, the people did not want to be reminded.
But as Der Spiegel late last year about the fate of German civilians in the sinking of the Dutch steamer Far East, "van Imhoff (told SPIEGEL 52/1965), has been alive for the Dutchmen a dark chapter of history: They learned that fellow in January 1942 with intention and without compelling reason, more than 400 German civilians in the Indian Ocean had spoiled.
"Der Spiegel accused Dutch Navy," reported the Catholic journal "De Volkskrant in Amsterdam. "Der Spiegel swirls case 'van Imhoff on'," said de Rotterdam. "Dozens of other newspapers seized on a report from the SPIEGEL. And denied by the authorities.
Best riding was not that - but as the Germans had perished. There were planters, missionaries, traders or seamen, should - be placed interned during the war in the former Dutch East Indies - on the "van Imhoff" from Sumatra to Ceylon. When the ship was wrackgeschlagen by Japanese bombs and killed himself with his Holland team captain Hoeksema in safety, leaving the Germans - backed by a higher command staff - on board the sinking liner.
Under cover of the same order, denied the next day, another holländischer captain over 100 German "van Imhoff" castaways any help: Berveling captain of the "Boelongan, summoned by a Catalina flying boat of the Dutch Navy, steaming off with his cargo, after the castaways, who were in two boats and rafts to be able to save as German had been identified.
While immediately after the publication of the "van Imhoff" report in SPIEGEL reported survivor of the disaster with additional messages (see box page 62) and Holland newspaper headlines and the public with quotations from the SPIEGEL mobilized report, found himself the Marine Department the Dutch Ministry of Defense the first time an official statement about the events of 19 and 20 January 1942 prompted. Before this year, she had informed the correspondent of the Netherlands-MIRROR, the Ministry does not wish to respond "to your questions. She came in a statement reprinted by several newspapers to the conclusion that they had tried to save the German survivors of the "van Imhoff," although, but they can not save ".
For the proof offered the Navy authority at two main allegations:
- The rescue of "van Imhoff" castaways sent out "Catalina" flying boat Y-63 (it did on the morning of January 20, 1942, the German survivors of the two boats and on rafts made) have because of "high swells," not on able to land the sea and therefore provide no help.
- The captain of the Boelongan "which are the castaways had been approached on megaphone shouting distance, had not the Germans be able to save because his ship was "suddenly attacked by a Japanese plane had been.

Both claims are untrue, but for "van Imhoff" survivors. Vehring naval architect Albert, now a merchant in Bielefeld, to Holland flying boat version: "The sea was smooth as glass, when the plane landed ... High waves, we have never had." And today the insured lives in Stuttgart missionary Gottlob Weiler: "On the day the water was very calm ... The flying boat has twice beckoned one and are then flown away"
Vehring to Holland "Boelongan" version: "This is a very tough lie." Only when the "Boelongan" had long since disappeared from their field of vision, hearing, the castaways left behind explosions, which could suggest a bomb attack.
And also: The "Boelongan had" on the morning of 20 January 1942 twice - first stopped at the first of the two shipwrecked boats, then in the second, which drifted along with the bamboo rafts about a kilometer farther away. At least the time of the encounter with the first boat was therefore the danger of air attack still not have been so great that "would have been obliged Boelongan" Captain Berveling - as reported by the Hague Ministry - "Increase the speed again, and continue to zigzag ' .
Equally valid as the argument of Defense is the opinion of the Director of the Dutch Kingdom Institute for War Documentation, Dr. Lou de Jong.
In an interview with the renowned liberal Algemeen Handelsblad "Listen, he doubted the message, the masters of the" van Imhoff, "and" Boelongan "had Dutch-Indian Naval Staff, according to Order German castaways do not need to save. De Jong: "This seems to me highly unlikely ... If Der Spiegel would have such a document, the paper would publish it."
But this is neither likely nor anyone else Listen, and de Jong said in his interview yourself why, "has been lost Virtually the entire Navy documentation from Surabaya (naval base in the Dutch East Indies)." That the Navy orders to the captains, but actually existed, the SPIEGEL has been confirmed by several pages:
- A board member of the association of retired people from the tax "package Vaart Koninklijke Maatschappij (KPM), under whose flag the office," van Imhoff and Boelongan "went and explained to the MIRROR, masters of the evacuation ships had received in 1942 by the Navy in the Dutch East India, a statement she did not need to save shipwrecked Germans.
- Cornelis Tjebbe, third mate the "Boelongan," reported the SPIEGEL about a conversation he had led after the encounter with the "van Imhoff-survivors with his captain:" Berveling told me later that it had a command of the naval commander in Sibolga (in Sumatra ) submitted to salvage any Germans. "
- The "van Imhoff" survivor Gottlob Weiler informed the SPIEGEL:
"The fact that an order existed, save only Dutchman and German does not make the rescue, confirmed my 1946 during his return from Indonesia on the passenger ship Oranje 'a master of the Dutch-Indian Army Kuehne ... He said that Admiral Conrad Helfrich (then Navy chief in the Dutch East India) itself had given the order. "
-        De Jong's department manager for the Dutch East Indies, captain, retired Abraham Vromans, motivated Listen to the last year, the adoption of the statement with the "hatred" of the colonial Dutchmen to the motherland against the invading Germans.
-        Another denial Listen to report on the "van Imhoff" affair is from the socialist radio and television station in Hilversum Vara. Vara-Chief Rengelink January, it had told Der Spiegel, had to be dropped last year after the intervention of the Dutch Ministry of Defense an already finished television documentary about the sinking of the van Imhoff, "again by the program. Vara now: "We have fully decided on its own initiative to cancel the mission."
So lonely was not the decision. Salzl Vromans the Reich Institute for War Documentation already last year to the SPIEGEL: "I had to do with this decision itself so much that I can tell you anything about it, unfortunately."
A week after breaking the denials about the case in Holland, "van Imhoff" again - as in the Flemish Antwerp published satirical political weekly newspaper 't Pallieterke "wrote -" the big silence out. " The files were closed, and for Holland's judiciary, was what had been established in 1956 in an investigation: "No reason for a criminal complaint."
Holländischer freighter "van Imhoff": Was there a command ...
... German let drown?: Headlines for "van Imhoff" report in SPIEGEL

 I think Opa really appreciated it, and he said it was just how he remembered his dad, and the rest of the night I found him staring at the painting.


  1. HellO

    My Opa was on the Mv Van Imhoff. I understand now how he must have felt during the last moments of his life.

  2. I'm sorry that your Opa went through such a tragic experience, as did my great grandpa. I'm glad, though, that my research gave you some additional knowledge.

  3. Hello again,

    Your project is without a doubt one of the most complete I have ever found on this subject and it gave me the answers to several questions.
    Thank you for all the efforts, it's a GREAT JOB for a 'kid' !!!

  4. Anonymous,

    Als programmamaker ben ik mij momenteel aan het voorbereiden op een docu over de Imhoff affaire. Ik zou graag in contact met je willen komen, benieuwd naar de verhalen over deze affaire in je familie. Bereikbaar via fdekoe@yahoo,com

  5. Thank you, Jackie, for your excellent research. I'm feeling such a great sadness knowing what my Opa went through. It was always just a story that I told my friends. It never took me more than ten seconds to tell: "I never knew my grandfather because he died on a ship during the war."

    Since my Oma died when Dad was six years old, Opa's tragic death orphaned him and his brothers. My Dad was only nine at the time.

    How did Captain Hoeksema ever sleep at night after knowing that his heartless decision created literally hundreds of unnecessary widows and orphans? Well, I guess I'll never know the answer to that one.

  6. I know, it is a pretty crazy story! :(

  7. I lived for many years in Nias Island I never new about the story of the incident off the Van Imhoff until, It was 1981 I was camping on the point of Sorake south Nias a old guy originally from Hilnawalau, who spoke very limited Indonesian (Ama Ganafe) told a story about when he was a kid and from the hills saw Japanese planes bomb a ship well offshore (there was apparently a airbase in the south of Nias)? he said that the boat did not immediately sink but there was smoke or fire on board and drifting,the survivors came ashore in the bay "Fohilli" next to Teluk Lagundri Nias Island

  8. Thank you very much for relaying this eye witness account.

  9. Two articles on the internment and Van Imhoff tragedy:


  10. Does your Opa speak German? I wrote a book about my grandparents who lived in Sumatra from 1920 to begin of 2. Worldwar. My Oma went to Shanghai after 6 months of prison camp. My Opa had been on the first ship that brought the german prisoners to India. So he had good luck.....
    The title of my book is: "Mein geteiltes Herz" from Claire Hake and Nicoline Hake (that's me). Rowohlt Verlag/Reinbek 2010 and 2011. It will be very interesting for your grandparents I presume.
    Many greetings from Nicoline Hake.

    1. To Nicoline Hake,
      Glad I came across your story. Am now waiting for your book to arrive which I already ordered yesterday. My parents also lived in Java and Sumatra since the 1920's My father was on the 'Ophir' and thus survived the war in Dhera Dun. No doubt he knew your grandfather. My mother was Dutch and also was interned in Taroetung with her four children (of which I was the third eldest). We all were then subsequently transported to Japan (in the Asama Maru) and later Shanghai, where we stayed till 1947 before being shipped to Europe. My mother suffered greatly during the war, as she was despised by the Dutch (her countrymen), and later did also not feel at home with the Germans in Taroetung and Shanghai, although us children were there very well looked after by foster parents. My father had started writing a book about our time in Sumatra and Shanghai titled "Between two nations", but the publisher told him to rewrite it at a later time when my father would be less bitter (about my mother's treatment during the war). Earlier in the 1950's he wrote a book about his life. In it he describes his time in the Dutch East Indies, and also about Dhera Dun. It is a very readable book and was very popular at the time. It is titled "Weiss Gibt Auf".
      (By the way one of the most earlier detailed books about the 'van Imhoff' was written by C. van Hekeren in 1967 and is only slightly biased. It is in Dutch and I don't know if it was ever translated into English.
      Looking forward to reading your book.

    2. Dear Fried Thieme,
      I guess you speak German, because your father must have been German? Your father and my grandfather and your mother and my grandmother must have known each other, because Claire, my grandmother had been in Taroetung as well.
      I tried to find out about the book of your father, but didn't success. "Weiss gibt auf" is just a criminal-film in Germany.....
      If you would like to mail to me, please tell me....
      Greetings from Nicoline Hake

  11. Thank you for this
    My Opa was Alwin Bohmer, my father spoke very little about the sinking of the Van Imhoff. I happen to stumble upon you blogg and being able to read the eye witness account about this has touched me.

  12. To Nicole Hake: My Opa doesn't speak German, but your book sounds very interesting. They went through such trials back then.

    To Paul Boehmer: My Opa didn't speak much of what happened to his father but more of his own horrible experiences in the orphanages. All I knew of this history was the name of the ship, van Imhoff. I'm so glad this research was able to bring things to light for you. I just wish I had more access to publications and not be limited to the Web.

  13. The Sergeant at Arms on this ship argued with Captain Hoeksema to allow as many German internees onto the lifeboats with the Dutch as possible. Captain Hoeksema refused and ordered him off the ship. He opened the cages and gave the keys to the internees. He was then captured by the Japanese and spent 3 years building the Thai/Burma railway and was one of only 9 men to survive the camp he was in.
    I had the great pleasure of attending this great man's funeral yesterday.

  14. The story of the ship Inhoff very important to read the position of Indonesia towards the end of World War 2. This year, is commemorating 70 years of the ship was sunk at sea Sibolga, North Sumatra, Indonesia ... There is a memorial on the island of Nias, located across the harbor Sibolga.