‘Dutch government knows names of Indonesians murdered during war of independence’


This video says about itself:

Court to rule on Dutch massacre in Indonesia

14 September 2011

A Dutch court is expected to rule if survivors of a massacre carried out more than 60 years ago will get compensation.

According to Indonesian researchers, Dutch troops wiped out almost the entire male population of a village in West Java, two years before the former colony declared independence in 1949.

Indonesia declared independence in 1945. The Dutch government recognized that only after four years of war later.

Most Indonesians do not know about the massacre that took place in Rawagede.

Only recently has a monument been built to remind residents that Dutch soldiers killed all the men of the village.

The only living witnesses are now in their 80s, and illiterate, after having to fend for themselves following the deaths of their husbands.

“There were dead bodies everywhere, many of which we found in the river after the shooting stopped,” said Cawi, a survivor.

Of the nine widows and survivors who have filed the case, three have died while waiting for the verdict.

The Dutch government has admitted that war crimes were committed in Rawagede but it says the survivors filed their claims for compensation too late.

They should have done this within 30 years after the atrocities were committed, says the Dutch government.

It is now up to the judge to decide whether it is justified to have a time limit on war crimes.

The massacre in Rawagede is not the only village where the Netherlands has an unresolved dark history.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vassen reports from Rawagede.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The Dutch government has a list of names of Indonesians who were executed in 1947 on the island of Sulawesi by Dutch soldiers, says online journalism platform De Correspondent. Those names are important in a lawsuit which relatives of the victims have filed against the government.

Five children of men who were shot claim damages. The government refused because these cases supposedly had been barred. On March 11 the court decided in favour of the children, but some of them must still prove that their father was actually among those executed.

Archive

Now De Correspondent writes that the government itself ever since the nineteen seventies has lists of some 180 names of men who were summarily executed in 1947. These lists, along with about sixty testimonies by both Dutch and Indonesian witnessses are in the National Archives.

‘Shot like dogs’

A letter to one ‘Paul’ is one of the hundreds of documents in the National Archives that focus on the mass executions. An excerpt:

“Dear Paul, (…) have witnessed this morning the confirmation of the power of Dutch bayonets in the Supa region. (…) Yesterday there was a large-scale action (…) to put an end to the evil of bandits and terrorists. Burned some villages, people gathered and based on denunciations by a bunch of spies then over two hundred people (…) shot like dogs, with revolvers.”

Sulawesi, which was called in colonial times Celebes, was regarded as a bulwark of resistance against Dutch rule. To prevent villagers from providing food and shelter to the insurgent nationalists, Dutch soldiers burned villages and male residents were summarily executed.

Illegal

From documents in the National Archives it can be deduced that alone between January 14 and February 14 1947 at least 1200 people in South Sulawesi were killed illegally, says De Correspondent. This refers only to men who were not killed during battles with the Dutch armed forces.

The judge has already ordered the Dutch State twice before to give financial compensation to relatives of victims from Indonesia. In 2011 the surviving widows from the Javanese village Rawagade were vindicated, and the Netherlands in 2013 settled with widows from South Sulawesi. They each received a compensation of 20,000 euros.

9 thoughts on “‘Dutch government knows names of Indonesians murdered during war of independence’

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