Bernardus Wilhelmus Hubertus Fermin 1897-1945
De volgende bijdragen zijn door bezoekers toegevoegd:
Levensverhaal van Landwacht Sergeant 1ste klasse Inf. KNIL,
Bernardus (Ben) Wilhelmus FERMIN, Commandant van het
Landwachtdet. “Djasinga Estate” ( ten Zuiden van Buitenzorg, West-Java).
- naam en voornamen : FERMIN, Bernardus (Ben) Wilhelmus Hubertus;
- plaats en datum van geb. : den Haag; 17 december 1895;
- rang : Landwacht Sgt 1ste klas Inf. KNIL;
- functie/onderdeel : Commandant Landwacht det. “Djasinga
Estate” en ingedeeld bij het XIV Bat. Inf. KNIL;
- gehuwd : met Hélène de Eerens dd 24 juni 1925 te Batavia
- burger beroep : Landbouwkundige, Hfd- Administrateur van de
- plaats en datum overlijden : Strengseng/Soekatani, Bekasi, residentie
Batavia; dd 2 november 1945 vermoord
tijdens de z.g. “Bersiap periode”, door Indon.
Gebeurtenissen na WOII in Indië
Na de capitulatie van Japan besloot Sgt. Ben Fermin, die samen met zijn oudste zoon Eric geïnterneerd was in een krijgsgevangenenkamp in Tjimahi
om naar Batavia te reizen - om samen met zijn zoon Eric - zich bij zijn Echtgenote, Hélène Fermin- de Eerens aldaar te voegen; mw. Fermin was tijdens de bezetting namelijk met de overige kinderen in een vrouwenkamp geïnterneerd geweest.
Eind oktober 1945 stapte Sgt. Fermin met zijn oudste zoon in de trein (Tjimahi- Bandoeng) om de treinreis naar Batavia te maken.
Bij Tjikarang - Krawang (omgeving Bekasi) werden zij met vele andere Nederlanders die in dezelfde trein zaten, door fanatieke gewapende Extremistische Indonesische bendes uit de trein gesleept en gevangen gezet (de z.g. Bersiap- periode).
Op 2 november 1945 werden zij allen, waaronder Sgt. Ben FERMIN en zijn
zoon Eric - geboren op 11 dec. 1926 te Pekalongan - in het dorp Strengseng/Soekatani,door de Extremisten vermoord.
Hélène Fermin - de Eerens werd naderhand in Batavia eveneens door Extremisten aangevallen en kreeg een steek met een mes in de nabijheid van de hartstreek; zij herstelde echter van deze zware verwonding. Samen met haar zoons Henri en Robert (hun dochter Zusje overleed op vierjarige leeftijd aan dysenterie in 1933), vertrok zij naar Nederland. Tot haar dood in 1989 woonde zij in Wassenaar.
Zoon Henri (1927-1999) verhuisde in de jaren vijftig naar Zweden. Daar trouwde hij met Britt-Marie en zij kregen twee kinderen en zes kleinkinderen. Zoon Robert verhuisde naar Californië in de Verenigde Staten en trouwde daar met Mary. Zij kregen twee kinderen en vier kleinkinderen.
Op 8 april 2015 werd door de Minister van Defensie mw. Jeannine Hennis-
Plasschaert aan Sgt.1ste klas Landwacht Inf. KNIL, B.W.H. FERMIN postuum alsnog, het Mobilisatie- Oorlogskruis toegekend en vervolgens door de
Nederlandse Consul in California uitgereikt aan zijn zoon Robert FERMIN,
wonende 950 N Refugio Road, Santa Ynez, Ca. 93460/ USA.
Bron: Luitenant- Kolonel Jacq. Z. BrijlGeplaatst door mike van venrooij op 21 juli 2016
I was born in Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia formerly Dutch East Indies. My recollection goes back to my 3rd or 4th year on the earth. My father Ben (B.W.H.) Fermin was the head administrator of Djasinga now spelled Jasinga Estates on West Java above the city of Bogor in the more mountainous area. Jasinga was a rubber plantation, meaning, groves of rubber trees where, on a daily basis diagonal cuts are made to extract sap (milky) from the trunks. A small spout is placed into the trunk and sap drips into a cup where twice a day these cups are manually emptied into large containers and taken to the factory where collected, it's made into rolled sheet rubber for a myriad on uses.
My father in that period invented a way to create rubber road surfacing material for roadways around hospitals to
eliminate the noise and rumbling effect on to the buildings. As he could not afford to develop it for the market he sold his invention and bought his first
personal automobile a 1936 Dodge, with the covered spare tires on the side and luggage rack on the back. Jasinga Estates was like a "Tara" in "Gone with the Wind" with a large main house, guest wing and office quarters, 20 feet high ceilings with electric fans, large bedrooms, swimming pool, animal park for deer and royal palm trees lined main driveway with views of rice paddies and majestic volcanic mountains as a backdrop. There were functions for
foreign dignitaries and others alike.
At the stroke of a pen in 1942 lives were changed forever with the invading Japanese army. I vividly remember the signs of war with sirens blaring hunkered in a massive wood shelter to protect us from air raids. As my mother chillingly had predicted after seeing the movie
"Gone with the Wind" in 1939 an era of splendor was forever shattered. We were forced to leave the plantation and live in Bogor, a days drive through lush jungle to never come back, bright days turning into dark nights. My dad had to stay to show the Japanese all procedures of operation.
As the year of invasion rolled by we were eventually put in separate camps, Mother, Hans (13yrs.), Zusje (little
sister), or Helene Margeurit44 yrs.), and I (6yrs.) in a women's camp and Dad and Erik (16yrs.) in a men's camp far away. "Zusje" contracted diptheria and passed for lack of medical facilities. At age 15 boys were transferred out to the adult men's camp to perform hard labor. As a young boy observing man's indignity to men is as painful as being tortured personally often for the slightest infractions.
Three years of sleeping on a thin mattress on a stone floor in a room of 6' x 10' feet with your mother is a sobering change of a "Tara" like environment. It stays as an indelible mark in your subconscious mind, truly in sound as the "Winds of War". As I would try to sleep I would see the faint image of my mother in the dim moonlight praying on her knees and whisper, " Oh, Ben. my dear Ben". Feeling her immense pain I would eventually fall asleep.
As 1945 slowly came around and the Japanese Imperial army capitulated we were faced with a Muslim population (how history repeats itself) that saw an opening to rid themselves of a Dutch leadership that gave them, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, stability for 300 years. Under the infectious rhetoric of their to be president for life Sukarno they created a chaotic vacuum and killed thousands of adult men and boys as ruthless as their former occupiers with whom they often collaborated.
As I close this first chapter of others to follow I am mindful that it is page 7 which was and always will be our son Eric's good luck number prior to his death at age 20 in 1995.
As I eluded to the fact of page #7 being special to us I will attempt to make each chapter consist of 7 pages in honor of our son Eric Fermin. To continue my saga, I left off in the year 1945. As I said the native Indonesian islanders under the then unproclaimed leadership of "Sukarno" (last name as is traditional in that part of the world) attempted to finish off what the Japanese army did not, that is rid themselves of any adult Dutchman.
As my father Ben and brother Erik after whom we named our son Eric survived Japanese internment were intercepted in the train they had boarded to reunite with my mother Helene, brother Hans (Henri) and myself Robert after the Japanese surrender, was apprehended in the jungles of Western Java by said extremists at which300 men, young and old, were beheaded (taught Japanese style) in a period of three days. As we waited for their return we were searched by these extremist (as we call them terrorists now) to extract information of any hidden adult men. As my mother pointed at me as to be the only male present the lead man arrogantly threatened my mother as he perceived her as a liar.
Annoyed by our little dog's barking he slashed the dog's nose. As my mother addressed him in her impeccable Malay language as a "coward" he returned to stab mother in the heart. God gave mother that supernatural strength often described by people in survival mode, by grabbing his wrist where he aborted his downward motion and slashing her right index finger. He promised to return to burn down the house. Knowing that this would not be an idle threat we fled with one suitcase to find refuge in a nun's convent.
Mother entrusted our dog "Pluisje" or "little flake" to our Chinese neighbor's as well as her remaining priced memoir of hand written documents of her grandfather's
service as a general in Napoleon's army in his ill fated attempt to conquer Moscow, Russia in winter time. This grandfather in the early 1800 hundreds was also a governor general of the old "Dutch Indies". As we later found out these documents were burned out of fear that it would implicate the Chinese family with their helpfulness
toward Dutch citizens. As we learned the house burning was no idle threat.
Ultimately remaining Dutch families were housed, 5 families to a house, in protective custody to prevent further atrocities. Our protectors were soldiers from India then still a colony of England. God intervened again to protect us from incursions by native men as they often found Muslim sympathizers among our Indian protectors.
As two years languished by we never knew father and Erik's ultimate fate other than hearsay by a few escapees of the horrific train slaughter. God gives us all that ultimate strength to climb any mountain no matter how steep. My next chapter will describe a "movie" like reunion with "Pluisje" (our dog). Sorry only 6 pages for this chapter.
The person that prompted me to share this story vanished in thin air so I am continuing on my own accord, fancy word, huh? As I shared earlier, my mother, brother and I, were in protective custody by Indian soldiers until Dutch soldiers could arrive by boat which took 9 months since Holland had no standing army as they were occupied by Germany until 1945.
As promised, here comes Pluisje's reunion with us. One evening my brother Hans walked down the street
only to be tearfully reunited with our dog "Pluisje" (little flake) with black and white markings, therefore "Flake" and not the other meaning of "flake". That said, we were not allowed pets, so Pluisje had to go in hiding in the day time and get his exercise at night
(physical that is) "Dutch humor". Keep in mind that Pluisje, traversed 20 mile and used a "God given" G.P.S. to find his loved ones.
One night mother took her turn to take a bath. A bath in those early years consisted of a large tiled in water (cold) container of approximately 20 gallons which you would ladle over your head and body with a tin and handle pan like (gajung) object holding plus or minus half a gallon of water. A man's figure's reflection appeared in the water causing mother to scream causing the native man to run. Remember I stated earlier these early time terrorists would slip into the camp at night.
As two years past mother would inquire about dad and Erik to no avail. Ultimately we were given transportation in an open weapons carrier from Bogor to the now capitol of Jakarta, (Batavia in early times). When I said "We" that was, mother, my brother Hans, Pluisje and myself. As native anti-Dutchmen lurked along main highways we had to travel in a convoy, praying no stray bullets would come our way.
In Jakarta we were housed in a converted hotel (Schutteraef) while awaiting transportation to Holland as that was my fathers home land and only family we had. In April 1947 I vividly see my mother stand on deck of a medium sized freighter with 200 people on board sleeping in the hold like cattle, and watch her gaze at the disappearing coast of Java, the island she was born and raised to ultimately reach her pinnacle in life only to be robbed of life, family and possessions to never return.
As life is an unending circle we can only hope for that ultimate reunion in heaven and say "I was there once".
Bron: Biografie geschreven door Robert Fermin, California, 31 oktober 2014Geplaatst door Coördinator Archief Oorlogsgravenstichting op 12 maart 2015