Walter Karl Wilhelm (Willem) Sauerland

Victim | 1890 | Auctioneer

Walter Karl Wilhelm (Willem)  SauerlandWalter Sauerland was born in the city of Oldendorf (Braunschweig). Son of Karl Sauerland and Jahanna Karmumwho were both deceased at the time of the disaster.

In 1912 Walter travelled to Tsingtau in China and joined the militia to defend the German enclave against the Japanese. He was captured and shipped to Japan where he was imprisoned in several camps.

After the war he was given the choice to return to Germany or seek employment in Asia. Germany was no option considering the chaotic and political situation there. He opted for work in NEI and ended up in Java.

In Semarang he married Adrienne Eugenie Suzanna Mehlbaum (Jenny), a Dutch national. Their address in Semarang was Mritjan no.2. On 21 August 21, 1924 their first and only child was born: Mathilde Sauerland.

Walter owned and managed an auction and administration company.

Walter followed the developments in Germany with growing disappointment. As German national, he wanted to completely distance himself from the Nazi movement and applied for full Dutch citizenship in the NEI. This was in principle approved also because his wife was Dutch. However the application had to be endorsed in person by queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands. This was practically impossible to arrange in 1943. Walter was arrested despite his protests. Even the application document he could show did not save him.

He sent several pictures and postcards from the internment camps Onrust and Kota Tjané. Several of these documents ended up in Bremen and are currently being traced for publication on this site.

Inge Delissen, great granddaughter of Walter Sauerland, who shared information, photos and documents from the family archive.

Together with family in 1925

Postcard from the Kutacane internment camp (1st side of 2)

(cont'd) front side of the same postcard

Confirmation and condolances from the Swiss consulate in Batavia, February 1942

Official death certificate, Jakarta 1949

Death certificate. Source: Burgerlijke Stand Batavia, bijzondere overlijdensregisters 1948-1950, Arsip Nasional, Jakarta

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