In Japanese Captivity: Story of a Teenager in Wartime Java – part 5

Vera Radó:

The most distressing part of our jail existence was the witnessing of the torture of political prisoners, sometimes by sight, but mostly by sound. Opposite our enclosure was a row of small cells. Men were taken daily from there to another part of the jail back of our compound. We could clearly hear the bellowing of the Japanese and the men’s terrible screams. One man kept shouting for his mother. After the interrogation, having been beaten unconscious, the men were taken away on a stretcher and thrown back into their cells. We could not escape this horror. It went on incessantly and relentlessly.

Once, we saw above the top of our wall, a man being tortured on the upper gallery of the administration building opposite. This poor unfortunate had his wrists tied behind his back, and had been hoisted up by his hands until he stood on tiptoe. A Japanese soldier was barking at him, stabbing him repeatedly with a burning cigarette. I quickly turned away my eyes, but the picture will always remain with me. At another time, a woman, who had been locked up in a dark cell in solitary confinement for some weeks, was released into our section and promptly committed suicide by hanging herself in her cell. It was left to her young son to cut her loose. These events unnerved us all.

© 1995


To be continued…

I welcome your comments or additions; please let me know your thoughts.

Until next time,


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