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Digoel during the reign of the Dutch East Indies

HISTORY OF CULTUREDigoel during the reign of the Dutch East Indies | In the reign of the Dutch East Indies, Boven Digul, formerly known as Upper and is Digul exile figures Indonesian freedom fighters. Digul Top, located on the banks of the River Downstream Digul, southern Papua.
According to the Indonesian National Encyclopedia, Volume 4, mentioned Digoel prepared in haste by the Dutch East Indies government to hold prisoners of the PKI rebellion in 1926. Next Boven Digul used as a dumping ground of national movement with the number of prisoners was recorded 1308 people. Among the figures of the movement who had thrown in there among others Sayuti Melik (1927-1938), Mohammad Hatta (1935-1936), Muchtar Lutffi, Ilyas Yacub (figure Permi and PSII Minangkabau) and Sutan Syahrir.

Area of 10,000 hectares was marshy, heavily wooded and is completely isolated, except by sea. Along the banks of the river dwell many tribes (Papua) is still primitive. Because there are no health facilities, often contagious infectious diseases as well as malaria that took many victims.

Landfills are divided into several sections, namely Tanah Merah, Mount Charcoal (coal storage area), which is also a military area where government officials and Land Appeal. When the group first arrived, Digul absolutely not a residential area. The first group of 1,300 people, mostly from Java, departed in January 1927. In late March 1927 following the hundreds of others from Sumatra. At first they were placed in Tanah Merah. Two years later, through rigorous selection, some moved to Highland.

In the first years, hundreds of people died of starvation and illness. Suffering caused many exiles tried to escape to Australia. They use small boats homemade, but few are successful. Some were forced to return, others drowned.

At the time of the Pacific War erupted and the Japanese occupied Indonesia, Digoel prisoners were evacuated by the Netherlands to Australia. The transfer was based on fears of prisoners will revolt if fixed at Digoel. Hopefully, the people who brought Indonesia to Australia would help the Dutch. Apparently, the political prisoners it affects Australian trade unions to boycott the Dutch ships which landed on the Continent Kangaroo. Later after the Allies managed to gain victory, the captives were returned to their places of origin in Indonesia.

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