Map of Tjihapit Camp in Bandoeng

by Boudewyn van Oort

This prewar map shows the surroundings of Bandoeng (Bandung). It is dated around 1937.

The Tjihapit district lay along the north eastern edge of town.
Included in the book, Tjideng Reunion, is this detailed map of the camp itself.

To clarify the position of the camp, comparison of the two images makes the location obvious because of the curious road layout.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Neumann-Cowan 01.20.14 at 12:46 am

I would like to find someone that can verify that my mother, Mrs. K.A. Cowan-van der Goes, myself Anna W. Cowan, and my than baby brother Henry O. Cowan where held at Camp Tjihapit (Riouwstraat). According to the statistics in the Netherlands there are NO records of this, but I know and remember being imprisoned at Tjihapit………Thanks in advance for any help…………

Boudewyn van Oort 02.19.14 at 9:59 pm

Hello Anna,
I have only a partial record of Tjihapit inmates. These are the folk who remained behind after Christmas 1944. The camp was finally completely cleared out in May 1945 with the exception of thirty or so office staff. Your family was among the thousands who left between September and December 1944. If you have any memory of the camp you then went to, I can figure out roughly when you left.

It is very distressing that almost no record remains of this enormous womens and children’s camp, the largest in South East Asia. I cna only speculate why a partial record survived. The office in Tjihapit had been ordered early on to compiel an index card record of inhabitants in quadruplicate or something like that:one copy for Tokyo and one copy for her Red cross etc. When the Japanese army descided to liquidate the camp each trainload of 600 or so women and children were accompanied by a paper bag with the index cards. Around Christmas someone in the office must have realised that all records of Tjihapit inhabitants would eventually disappear, and compiled yet another list of those remaining, and that list remained with the office and eventually found its way to the Dutch Archives. I obtained a copy and captured the information on a database for easy searches. The termm “liquidation was alarming , adn evoked thoguths of an “ultimate solution” a la Auschwitz. That was not quite the intent, but the results were horrid and traumatic enough.
When I wrote my book (which in spite of the name has far more to say about Tjihapit than Tjideng), I was fortunate enough to be able to consult one of the office ladies, who happened to be living nearby and whom I encountered by sheer good luck. She could thus explain to me a lot about the administration of the camp and the steps taken to identify those going on transport, but she had forgotten how it was that the partial name list, with my name and a falsified birthdate, survived. She was in her late eighties when I did this research, around 2005-2006.

In my book I tried to follow the fortunes of a number of acquaintances and where on Java they finally ended up. I managed to track them down durign the writing process and got their story into the book as well in a very abbreviated form of course, so the book touches on Ambarawa, Banjoebiroe, Semarang etc. Boudewyn

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