The Sumatra Railroad
Final Destination Pakan Baroe, 1943-1945
This is the gripping historical tragedy of the 220 km railroad that bored its way through the hot, humid Sumatran jungle during World War II. The railway was commissioned by Japan and built with the blood and tears of Allied prisoners of war and press-ganged Javanese romushas.
Henk Hovinga interviewed nearly one hundred former railroad workers and did painstaking archival research. The result is a moving book, richly illustrated with numerous authentic drawings of life in the internment camps, charts and photographs.
The original Dutch version of The Sumatra Railroad has become the standard work on the crime of the Japanese railroad construction in Indonesia. Unfortunately this indescribable human catastrophe has always been overshadowed by the drama of the notorious Birma Railroad.
This work is first and foremost a posthumous tribute to the thousands of slave workers who lost their lives for the Pakan Baroe Railroad. At the same time, it is a homage to the survivors, for whom the war traumas would never end.
|Henk Hovinga |