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 German internees, 62 military guards and 48 regular crew members. It is the third shipment in an effort to expel 3,000 civilians with a German background from the Netherlands East Indies, a colony in collapse.

Guards and crew save themselves and leave the prisoners struggling at open sea. Rescue actions aim to exclusively save the Dutch crew and servicemen. These war crimes reverberate through history up to the present day.

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

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