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Jakarta Post

Kerkhoff Poucut Cemetery, testifying to the Aceh War

  • Hotli Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Banda Aceh   /   Tue, March 20 2012   /  09:00 am

A semicircular gate welcomes everybody visiting Kerkhoff Poucut Cemetery, with a short corridor leading one’s view to old gravestones bearing Dutch names. The white marble walls of the gate are also adorned with the names of Dutch soldiers buried in the graveyard.

Kerkhoff Poucut is a Dutch military burial ground located in the hub of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh. The cemetery name is a combination of the Dutch word kerkhof, meaning a churchyard or graveyard, and the Acehnese word poucut or poteu cut, meaning a prince.

Taking care: Muhammad Riza, the son of the cemetery’s caretaker, helps his father’s maintenance work by repainting gravestones and cleaning grass fields.Today Kerkhoff Poucut is recorded as the largest Dutch military cemetery outside the Netherlands. There are around 2,200 graves of white Dutch soldiers as well as recruits from the ethnic groups of ...