TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Nov. 10: One's heroes are others' villains

PREMIUM
Amsterdam   /   Wed, November 15, 2017   /  08:50 am
Nov. 10: One's heroes are others' villains Nov. 10 is Heroes’ Day and will remain so. For some, however, the days surrounding that date in 1945 are a nightmare. (Shutterstock/File)

Nov. 10 is Heroes’ Day and will remain so. For some, however, the days surrounding that date in 1945 are a nightmare. What made them such a horror was the Bersiap — the violent attacks of Indonesian independent guerilla fighters killing hundreds of allegedly pro-Dutch Indo-Europeans, Chinese, Ambonese and Manadonese. Bersiap was the word used by the Japanese-trained militia, the PETA, to order its members to be “ready” for action. During the event, it presumably became a code word for the pemoeda, the youth, to call their fellow countrymen to fight the “colonialists.” Decades later, for many in the Netherlands that simple word has become a vivid reminder of the brutality of that time. The atrocities in Surabaya began late October as the young militia acquired Japanese weapons amid the confusion when Dutch officers joined the Allied forces assigne...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.