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Kees Maaswinkel conducted the interviews on behalf of four documentaries about hellships: Hellships to Flores and the Moluccas, Hellships to Sumatra, Hellships to Burma, Helltrains to Thailand and Hellships to Japan. The aim was to tell the story of those who experienced Japanese POWs.


The interviews were also used for the exhibition: Japanese Hellships. Trapped at Sea at Museum Sophiahof. During the interviews, copies were made of some of the interviewees’ ego documents. It is not yet clear whether these
will be included with the interview material.


Mostly about Indonesia, the Moluccas, Flores, Java and Sumatra, Thailand, Burma, the Netherlands and Japan. Themes include World War II, passenger hellships, helltrains, ship transports prisoners of war, war strategy Americans, repercussions, arrival on location, US torpedoing, Japanese navy, Burma railway.


The collection is managed by Kees Maaswinkel. In the near future, the collection will be housed at the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH).
The collection is not accessible (yet). If interested, please contact Programme Indisch Erfgoed Digitaal.
The collection has been digitised.

Documentary Hellships to Flores and the Moluccas:


Documentary Hellships to Sumatra:

Documentary Hellships to Burma, helltrains to Thailand:


Documentary Hellships to Japan: