Oskar Wilhelm Heinrich (Henri) Rohde

Survivor | 1883 | Retired KNIL soldier

Oskar Wilhelm Heinrich (Henri)  RohdeBorn 23 February 1883 in Hannover. Oskar retired as sergeant (-mayor) of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) in Magelang (Java). His son Hermann Wilhelm Rohde was 13 - 15 years at the time of the arrests and was probably under custody of his mother or family.

Father Oskar managed, at the age of 58, to survive the ordeal at sea after the sinking of the ss Van Imhoff and reach the island of Nias, completely exhausted. The traumas of internment and the disaster at sea were too much for him. In despair, Oskar hanged himself from a tree on the beach during his first night at Nias on 23 January 1942.

1) Gräbner, Dieter - "Die Van Imhoff - das Totenschiff. Geschichte und Mythos einer Weltkriegstragödie". Conte-Verlag, 2012. (page 69)

2) Picture source: https://oorlogsgravenstichting.nl/personen/128422/oskar-wilhelm-henri-rohde

3) On 27 February 2021 grandson Oscar M D Rohde confirmed by email to vanimhoff.info that Oskar Rohde was his grandpa and victim of the Van Imhoff disaster. Grandson Oscar participated in a forum discussion on the same subject at https://javapost.nl/2020/07/26/het-noodlot-van-de-duitse-indos/.

He explained that Oskar's son Hermann was just 13 years old during the Berlijn operation and escaped internment.
Hermann's mother smuggled him in the protective environment of one of the "Father van de Steur" orphanages in the NEI colony. After the war, Hermann joined the Korps Speciale Troepen / School Opleiding Parachutisten.

Grandson Oscar is still exploring the life of his opa Oskar. Not to seek compensation of any kind but recognition for his dutyful military services. He wants the State to waive the suspicion that his opa could have been a spy for Nazi Germany or Japan.

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