Prisoners were evacuated to Singapore from mid September on, however some, mainly Dutch, were left remaining several months later, and some remained to try and locate their families in other parts of Indonesia.
The local Indonesian romushas were largely forgotten about after the allies left, and with no money of their own few returned to Java, and never saw their families again. There are a few romushas still living in the areas surrounding the railway today.
After the end of the war, war crimes trials were held in Medan to punish those responsible for the atrocities which were carried out while the railway was built.
Click here to see a list of the Japanese and Korean guards and their punishments.
In 1949 graves which could be found were relocated to the National Cametary in Jakarta. 41 graves were never found.
When the survivors returned home after seeing the atrocities that had occurred they had mental scars which they tried to blocked out, and many never spoke of their ordeals, with family members only finding out the truth after the survivor had passed away.
Some however, were able to bring themselves to meet their captors and make peace that way, and others wrote books of their ordeals so that no one could ever forget what happened. You can find a list of some of these books here.