Indonesian woman, raped by Dutch soldiers, compensated after 67 years

This video about music from the Netherlands says about itself:

This newsreel report was aired on October 25, 1996, at the occasion of the première of Peter Schat‘s ‘Indisch Requiem’ (‘Indic Requiem’) for tenor, choir, and orchestra.

Direct inspiration was the last colonial war of the Netherlands (still euphemistically called ‘police action’) in 1947 and 1948, a last attempt to keep Indonesia in Dutch possession.

The report contains an interview with the composer and impressions of the rehearsals.


In Holland the word ‘Indian’ [Indisch] is used when describing anything involving former Dutch East India, (Indonesia). To avoid misunderstanding I used the word ‘Indic’ instead, more commonly used to identify the entire group of Indo Aryan languages..

The poem Schat mentions is the poem ‘Love letter to our tortured bride Indonesia‘ which the poet/painter Lucebert (1924-1994) wrote in 1947 as a protest against the Dutch war in Indonesia

The ‘police action’ referred to in the clip is a set of military operations in 1947 and 1948 carried out by the Dutch army against the nationalist groups. However, the entire military presence aimed at crushing the uprising against Dutch rule of Indonesia spanned the time period between 1945 and 1949 (the year of Indonesian independence [as recognized by the Dutch government; the Indonesian declaration of independence had been in 1945]) and involved an army well over 100.000 troops and was in fact a full-scale colonial war.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Dutch government must pay for rape in Indonesia

Today, 11:07

The court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to pay damages to a woman who was raped by Dutch soldiers in 1949 in the then Dutch East Indies.

The Indonesian woman, who was then 18 years old, will receive 7500 euros. It is the first time that a Dutch court has ordered the government liable for war crimes other than executions.

Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld had demanded compensation for the woman.

The court considered it proven that the woman under threat of a firearm was raped by several soldiers. That happened during an attack on Java, in the village Peniwen. The government can not invoke the statute of limitations, the court ruled.


In the case of a man who says he was tortured by the military in 1947 the government did not have to pay damages. The government in this case disputes the facts.

The Indonesian man says he has been tortured with electric shocks. The court wants to know what research has been done in that case. Here, too, the time bar does not apply.

Widows and children of executed men in South Sulawesi have filed a claim against the government. The court will have the Australian historian Robert Cribb investigate these cases.

9 thoughts on “Indonesian woman, raped by Dutch soldiers, compensated after 67 years

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