Aek Pamienke

Aek Pamienke

Aek Paminke Japanese Prison camps
Aek Pamienke Women’s and children’s camp locations (from Geillustreerde Atlas van de Japanse Kampen in Nederlands Indie , Asia Maior)

Aek Pamienke is the collective name for  three  Japanese Civilian  Prisoner of War Camps established on a former, eponymous rubber plantation in the Rantau Prabat  area along the north coast of Sumatra  and east of Medan, the island’s capital.  When the camps were liberated in August 1945 they contained 4700 women and children.

The three camps were established  between  April and July 1945, and populated with women and children  mostly rounded up from the Medan area  and the numerous surrounding  rubber plantations.  During this process boys older than eight years were separated and housed in a men’s camp.

Camp Populations

End of war women and children’s populations are as follows:

Aek Pamienke I- 1400  (Location B on the map)

Aek Pamienke II- 2000 (Locations A,C on the map)

Aek Pamienke III- 1300 ( Location D on the map)

The only list of internees that survived was for Aek Pamienke III.  This is  a list for “Hong 1” ( or barrack 1 out of 6 ) of the camp. Noteworthy is the composition of this group of people: 225 all told of whom   78 were adults, 64 were children under the age of 6 and 78 were older children.

Housing consisted of bamboo barracks with palm leaf roofs, and was fenced of with barbed wire .  The conditions  were utterly  primitive, and after the Allies discovered the location  on 4 September, 1945,  food provisions were air dropped. The camps were evacuated in October to Medan.


The anthology,  Four Years til Tomorrow, includes a haunting story ( Search for memory) written by Miriam Zwaan van Veen about her internment as a child on Sumatra.  This includes a description of her journey via other camps to Aek Pamienke, possibly , Pamienke III.

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