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Talk: Andrew West – Pekanbaru Death Railway


Sat 4 Apr 2020, 2:00pm–3:30pm

Where: City of Canada Bay Museum, 1 Bent Street, Concord, New South Wales

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: heritage

Pekanbaru Death Railway

The term “death railway” brings to mind the notorious Thai-Burma railway built by the Japanese during the Second World War using prisoners of war and slave labour.

Few Australians know that there was another Japanese death railway in Sumatra, where 5,000 Allied prisoners of war, including 200 Australians and over 100,000 slave labourers were forced to build a railway through the mountains and jungle of Central and West Sumatra.

The railway was obscured by years of neglect, its very existence covered up by Indonesian and other governments, before its remnants were “souvenired” by locals or reclaimed by the jungle.

The question remains...why weren’t we told?