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Jakarta Post

Who is responsible for ‘Bersiap’?

  • Calvin Michel Sidjaja

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, October 22 2011   /  12:11 pm

In a surprising turn of events, a court in The Hague in September ordered the Dutch government to pay compensation for victims of Rawagede — an area in Karawang, West Java, where men were killed by Dutch brutality during Indonesia’s battle for independence. The court’s verdict was remarkable as it showed that justice could still be sought even after decades had passed.

The revival of this case brings hope to shedding light on atrocities suffered by Indos (Dutch-Indonesians) during Bersiap, a critical period during Indonesia’s revolution which has been erased from history books and thus diminished the role of Indos in Indonesian history.

Most Indonesian history textbooks include the short-lived Indische Party that was initiated by Ernest Douwes Dekker as part of the national awakening movement. However, the books rarely mentioned the Indo-
Europeesch Verbond (IEV)...