Sunday, July 7, 2013

World War trail in Papua

WEST PAPUA     7:07 PM  



No one denies that Papua has a beautiful nature. Mountains, valleys, rivers, and sea that stretches across the island of 400,000 kilometers it blends beautifully. Not excessive anyway if the words of a song says Papua is like a small paradise that fell to earth.Behind the exotic natural charm, it also stores Papua memories of a dark events that happened decades ago. No one expected, farthest island in Indonesia was once a silent witness of the greatest war that occurred over 1939-1945.Steel piles and a small building to welcome two my eyelids and a number of other colleagues from Jakarta and Jayapura, the moment we set foot in the stretch of land in the village Sumberker not far from the lips of Paray Beach, Noemfoor Biak Papua, early March.Approximately 30 minutes by road vehicle use is required from the airport Frans Kaisiepo to reach this place. When it arrived, what is visible from the side of the road in front of us there was nothing special at first glance. However, after looking closely, we see that it was not just any old iron already looks outdated.My mind then bounced away back when I saw a pile of iron that turns piles of wreckage, Jeep, and machine guns were never used U.S. troops during World War II, mortars, grenades, bullets, and a helmet made of steel. "Ah, this is all I've ever seen in war movies!" Murmured the amazed look and I could hardly touch it.Nearly 70 years ago, I stepped on the land once the bastion of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.Biak is one of the islands in the Asia Pacific region that serve as headquarters for the Imperial Japanese place and mobilize its forces. U.S. military, which is the main enemy of the Japanese during World War II was tempted to put troops in Biak.Geographically, Biak is quite strategic for both countries. The island is not only deemed worthy of a place to locate and mobilize the troops, but also to build an airstrip for the Air Force of the two countries to attack enemy naval fleet scattered in the Pacific region."Fortress Japan"Although called a fortress, do you ever imagine this place was once surrounded by big walls such as in mainland Europe. When World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army to build more defenses in the caves on the island under their control.Japanese military had built a number of fortifications in Biak and other small islands in the vicinity. One of them in Sumberker village, west of Biak City. To be able to reach the cave mouth Binsari (as the locals call it) we have to walk down the shady trees which formerly forest.Arriving at the mouth of the cave, we still had to descend hundreds of steps to get up in the cave. Binsari cave is very wide. The weather in the cave is quite humid. Like the cave in general, the ceiling caves filled with stalactites Binsari was still dripping water.Basically, Cave Binsari not just a hole in the basement. Long ago, the Japanese also make this cave military tunnels. If diselusuri, this cave can penetrate the cave is near the beach. That said, Cave Binsari also connected with other caves scattered in Biak.Under the command of Colonel Kuzume Naoyuki, Japan has about 11,000 troops in Biak. Most soldiers make Binsari Cave as a place to store weapons and shelter from attack U.S. troops when it tried to control the Biak.Throughout June and July 1944, U.S. Army soldiers from the 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Division, which landed at Biak on May 27, 1944 to demolish all bastions Japan, including Cave Binsari. U.S. soldiers showered caves used as a bomb shelter with."Thousands of Japanese soldiers were killed. Roughly, there are still about 3,000 Japanese soldiers still buried in the cave, "said Mathilda who served as the manager of this historic site. On the orders of the Local Government, Mathilda family has been maintaining and managing this area for generations.U.S. troops attack can still be seen here. Bombs dropped from the air has destroyed the roof of the cave, giving rise to a very large hole. Several drums of fuel, whether owned by whom, are still sitting in a cave.Mathilda said, most Japanese came to visit this region. Among them are the families of Japanese soldiers who died in this place, he said. Japanese visitors usually come to pray for their families.In this place, visitors will not only see the caves and the remains of military equipment that was used during the war occurred. In the past, the time of excavation, many found objects owned by the Japanese army and the United States are now stored in the museum, including watches, shaving beards, and coins.This place would make a great alternative destinations when you go to Papua, especially Biak. Not far from this place, you can go see the memorial built Japanese government that is located on the beach. When evening comes, you can enjoy the sunset.Only one obvious lack of historical sites Binsari Cave, which generally also occurs in historical places in Indonesia. Security guarantees against historic objects that should get strict supervision and protection, it is very low. "Well, this hand grenade can take home to Jakarta, here. No one who saw it, "says a friend.Luckily, a friend was only joking when he said wanted to steal a grenade left over from World War II. However, what if there are other people who seriously want to steal?

Oleh:Beni Gobai

WEST PAPUA


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