the weight of memories
On Monday 19 January 1942 a Japanese warplane bombs the merchant ship ss Van Imhoff off the west coast of Sumatra. On board are 478 internees with a German background, Dutch servicemen and crew members. It is the third shipment to expel 3,000 civilians from the Netherlands East Indies, a colony in collapse.

The guards and crew save themselves and leave the German prisoners struggling at open sea. Rescue actions aim to save the Dutch crew and servicemen only. These events reverberate through history up to the present day.

This site is an attempt to respectfully present the profiles of all victims and survivors of the Van Imhoff disaster. It also offers a detailed timeline of the people and events in the Van Imhoff affair. Read more

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