Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
“Extreme violence in the Dutch East Indies was structural”
In the former Dutch East Indies structural mass violence was used and Dutch soldiers committed war crimes, with the political and military leadership in The Hague and Batavia [now: Jakarta] knowing that.
Limpach consulted official archives for his research, as well as diaries, letters and memoirs. “I encountered in them thousands of cases of extreme violence. All forms of violence that you can imagine. Torture, rape, the killing of prisoners and the burning of villages.”
The governments in Batavia and The Hague, the main culprits, did not intervene. “They had started the war and approved the policy. They also had made available little resources and manpower, and that stimulated the occurrence of extreme violence.”
According to Limpach the government demanded the impossible from soldiers. “There was not enough material. Soldiers had to monitor huge areas with too few troops. That meant that the soldiers were exhausted and weary. Through grueling long patrols they got a short fuse.”
More than 200,000 Dutch soldiers fought between 1945 and 1950 against Indonesian independence. In 1969 Parliament had asked for a so-called Excesses Memorandum. Historian Cees Fasseur was commissioned by the government to investigate the violence in Indonesia. In the report were listed 110 cases of exceptional violence. Fasseur spoke then of “excesses” and not of war crimes.
How many soldiers were involved in extreme violence, Limpach can not say. …
The government does not rule out a new investigation into the war which the Netherlands waged in the Dutch East Indies, said Ministers Koenders (Foreign Affairs) and Hennis (Defense) after the publication of the book by Limpach.
Also from Dutch NOS TV today (translated):
“It’s been a lot dirtier war than we had assumed for a long time or wanted to face,” said Peter Romijn at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He talks about a new publication by historian Remy Limpach.