Rantau Prabat is a region on the north east coast of Sumatra, to the east of the coastal city of Medan, the administrative center for the entire island. A number of Japanese World war II internment camps for European civilians were located in Rantau Prabat, including Aek Pamienke women’s and children’s camp Labelled 14 on the map to the north , and Si Rengorengo (or Si Ringo Ringo) men’s and boys camp labeled 12 on the map to the south.
All told 2417 men and boys were liberated from camps in this area as well as 4700 women and children.
Choice of location
The strategic reason for choosing these remote sites is unknown. One can only speculate that the Japanese Imperial Army sought to isolate completely the European presence from among the Asian population. With time, and assuming no Japanese defeat, the European population would have died out . Should the Allies have invaded Sumatra, as might well be considered a possibility by the Imperial Japanese aAmy, a massacre in this area would have passed unnoticed by the Indonesian population. There is absolutely no evidence that these camps were located for humanitarian reasons.