Dutch War Crimes

Sep 9th, 2008, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

Lairedion on the Dutch state being sued over war crimes at Rawagede, West Java.

Dutch State sued by Indonesians

On Monday 8 September 2008 10 Indonesian survivors of Dutch post WWII violence have sued the Dutch State for the assassination of their family members during the First Police Action (Agresi Militer Belanda I) after WW II. They want financial compensation, explanations and recognition for their suffering, as announced by their lawyer Mr. Gerrit Jan Pulles.

According to Pulles it is for the first time Indonesian victims of the fighting of 1945-1949 hold the Dutch State responsible. Mr. Pulles acts on behalf of ten villagers from Rawagede, West Java. They survived the bloody attack of the Dutch Army on 9 December 1947. According to the Dutch Honorary Debts Foundation, 431 (almost all the male) villagers were slaughtered. According to the Dutch Indulgence Note from 1969 150 people were killed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced they will study the matter.

Well into 2008, 63 years after Indonesian independence, the Dutch, due to their stubbornness, ignorance and patronizing behaviour, are being haunted again by their crimes in the aftermath of Soekarno's declaration of 17-8-45 and they rightfully should. Only just being liberated themselves from the Germans the Dutch wanted to continue the situation as it was before WWII and re-occupy their former territories now being declared independent and bearing the name Republik Indonesia.

Rawagede is one of the most notorious events in the history of Indonesian struggle for independence against the Dutch. On 9 December 1947 Dutch forces raided the West Javanese village to look for weapons and Indonesian freedom fighter Lukas Kustario who often spent time in Rawagede. They didn't find any weapons neither did they find Lukas.


Survivors of Rawagede remember (full version of documentary linked in footnotes).

Apparently dissatisfied by their lack of success the Dutch commander directed all males to be separated from the rest in order to execute all of them, despite the fact there were some young males of 11-12 years old among them. Indonesian leaders reported the mass killing to local UN officials. The UN made an inquiry and concluded the killings were "deliberate" and "ruthless" but failed to prosecute and to have the Dutch punished and sentenced for these obvious crimes against humanity and this is still the situation today!

Last month Pulles (of mixed Indo-Dutch blood like yours truly) visited Rawagede together with people from the "Yayasan Komite Utang Kehormatan Belanda (KUKB)", including its chairman Jeffry Pondaag, to collect witness accounts and endorsements from survivors in order to hold the Dutch State responsible.


A protest outside Dutch embassy in Jakarta.

While financial compensation is sought after it must be noted that most survivors only want the Dutch State to take moral responsibility and offer official apologies to the Indonesian people. Furthermore they do not seek punishments for the people directly involved in the killings. One survivor just wants the Dutch not to forget what has happened.

At the same time more and more Dutch veterans, haunted by the crimes and horror they experienced, are supportive of the Rawagede survivors' claim. It is very disappointing to see that of all the Dutch political parties only the left-wing Socialist Party support the claim while the conservative-liberal VVD on behalf of MP spokesman Hans van Baalen even denied Dutch crimes against humanity in Indonesia! 63 years of ignorance and subtle racism have been persistent obviously, a disease many Western nations still suffer from.

It is because of this the KUKB has been founded by Netherlands-based Indonesian Jeffy Pondaag in 2005. They demand the Dutch government:

  1. to recognize 17 August 1945 as the day Indonesia became independent.
  2. to offer apologies to the Indonesian people for its colonialism, slavery, gross violations of human rights and crimes against humanity.

The foundation is a non-subsidized independent foundation with branches in the Netherlands and Indonesia and would be happy to accept any donations. They look after the interests of civilian victims who suffered from violence and war crimes committed by Dutch military. Their website have more information on the Rawagede story and on the infamous Raymond Westerling who murdered thousands of innocent people in South Sulawesi.

Back in 2005 Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda, obviously speaking on behalf of the Indonesian people, made it clear Indonesia is not seeking apologies or compensation from the Dutch. This reaction came after then Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot (who is Jakarta-born) expressed regrets and morally accepted the de-facto independence of Indonesia on 17-8-45 while he was representing the Dutch government during the festivities of Independence Day on 17-8-2005. Bot's remarks were widely criticized in the Dutch media for being insufficient and way too short of a full apology and recognition of 17-8-45.

Of course it is irrelevant if Indonesia is demanding apologies or compensation or not. It should come from the Dutch themselves but their stubbornness and ignorance are still hindering them anno 2008. The Netherlands have constantly refused to express a full apology and recognition but were always quick to raise their finger and lecture its former colony on alleged human rights violations during the Soeharto reign.

I'm fully supportive of the Rawagede villagers and any future similar cases, seeking for Dutch responsibility, recognition and financial compensation. Evidence is clear, witnesses and next of kin are still alive, we're dealing with war crimes, gross violation of human rights and crimes against humanity and here lies an opportunity for the Dutch to finally deal with its own past by recognizing and helping those poor villagers.

Sources and links:

News article from Dutch daily "Parool" (Dutch) : Indonesiërs klagen Nederlandse staat aan

Website of KUKB (Dutch and Indonesian): Yayasan Komite Utang Kehormatan Belanda

1948 (English) Word document approx. 7.8 MB: Report of the Rawahgedeh observation team

Broadcast of Dutch news show Netwerk with topic on this story: Netwerk 8 September 2008 (witness accounts from survivors (Dutch-Indonesian-Sundanese). Streaming media, requires broadband internet access.


826 Comments on “Dutch War Crimes”

  1. avatar Andy says:

    Oh really? Well you started it!! How many Aussies, poms and yanks have been killed at the hands of these Islamo fascist terrorists. Cukurungan, come on mate you know our lives are worth at least 1,000 of yours and a mere 600,000 is only collateral damage. If your people didn’t kill 88 of ours in Bali we wouldn’t have been so keen to join this war but alas they went ahead and did it. So now your pathetic muslims must pay the ultimate price. 9/11 was the start of the Armegeddon and it won’t end until Islam is destroyed. Take that as a lesson in the future. Or you can now join me and others in the conversion stage.

  2. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Oh really? Well you started it!! How many Aussies, poms and yanks have been killed at the hands of these Islamo fascist terrorists.

    Dude please calm down and let us use our cool head to see the matter clearly, the islamo fascist terrorist is only tiny part of the whole real Islamic power remember we have not yet flexing our full muscle, we are still using our tiny part to learn the infidels strength and weakness. Please do not exaggerate the matter because the total of Aussies, poms and yanks have been killed by their own genital and their food is far bigger than killed by terrorist

    Cukurungan, come on mate you know our lives are worth at least 1,000 of yours and a mere 600,000 is only collateral damage. If your people didn’t kill 88 of ours in Bali we wouldn’t have been so keen to join this war but alas they went ahead and did it. So now your pathetic muslims must pay the ultimate price.

    I am laughing lot and almost falling from my chair, friend your weighing on us are too good to be true, because for us one muslim live is far more worth than all of your kind in this world.

    9/11 was the start of the Armegeddon and it won’t end until Islam is destroyed. Take that as a lesson in the future. Or you can now join me and others in the conversion stage.

    Ha ha ha ha ha…I am so terrified….my friend ……Islam will always survive even all the force in universe join to destroy Islam ….however Islam will be vanished only when the sun goes down to east and nothing can change that because God has decided so 50 thousand years before he created the universe.

  3. avatar berlian biru says:

    The 600,000 dead Iraqi civilians cones from a ludicrously biased article in the once respected medical magazine “The Lancet” and has since been thoroughly debunked elsewhere.

    Just to put this death toll in perspective; during the First World War in four years of hellish slaughter in which the British Army on one day alone suffered 60,000 casualties, the final British death toll was 750,000 dead. In the Second World War during a period of six years which saw British soldiers, sailors and airmen fight and die in their tens of thousands on land and sea and air, in France, over Germany, in the North African Desert, in the jungles of Burma and in the seas around the world while nightly the British civilian population was subjected to massive aerial bombardment the total British death toll was approximately 600,000.

    Now if anyone says that in a low-level guerilla insurgency which lasted about two years in three Iraqi provinces over six hundred thousand civilians were killed they are either a fool or a liar.

  4. avatar timdog says:

    Berlian Biru – you have some slightly strange attitudes: on the one hand dismissing the idea that Irish immigrants in the UK ever had a hard time, then on the other crediting the very, very famously falsified story of the incubator babies from Kuwait (and I have noted your careful avoidance of responding to my detailing the very well-known source – namely the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, via a US PR company engaged by the US government – of this myth).

    The simply fact is that no one knows how many people are killed in times of conflict anywhere, especially where the conflict is characterised by irregular warfare, communal violence and “terrorism”.
    Figures for the total deaths in the communal bloodshed of the “population exchange” during the partition of the Indian Subcontinent range from a few tens of thousands (absurdly low) to 2 million (almost certainly way too high).
    No one has any idea how many people died in Bali and Java in 65-66 during anti communist purges – the same applies: a few tens of thousands at one end of the scale, to a million at the other…

    And Iraq, in years to come, will very much fall into that pattern.
    We can probably say with some degree of confidence that about 100,000 people have died there (the figure tallied by Iraq Body Count, whose methods are conservative and as scientific as possible in the circumstances – despite what many right-wing US commentators claim, is approaching that number). We can be absolutely certain that the real figure is higher than this, but how much higher we simply don’t know, and never will know.

    But ultimately, in all three cases I’ve mentioned here, and hundreds of others around the world in all of history, the actual numbers are irellevant. The fact remains that in Iraq, as in Indonesia, as in India and Pakistan, many thousands of people, many thousands of human beings, individuals LIKE YOU, have been killed.

    People who attempt to downplay the numbers as if they are as detached from reality as stock market indexes, are guilty of dismissing that…

  5. avatar Andy says:

    Yes around 100,000 sounds about right to me. I’ve heard also 80,000 from other credible sources. The 600,000 was pulled out of someone’s ass and I made my comment in jest guys. Cukurungan, I love seeing you foam at the mouth so it was worth it. The reason I said what I did is because I get rather tired of Indos trying to dismiss their human rights atrocities as lies while painting a picture of us as evil conquerors. I don’t support Iraq but can say that at least when the US goes to war they try to limit civilian casualties as best they can. Not so Indonesia. Timor was an absolute bloodbath and they set out to kill civilians or anyone they thought would find out. Like the Balibo 5.

  6. avatar janma says:

    come on mate you know our lives are worth at least 1,000 of yours and a mere 600,000 is only collateral damage.

    crikey andy!

    The 600,000 was pulled out of someone’s ass and I made my comment in jest guys.

    JEST -n.

    1. A playful or amusing act; a prank or joke.
    2. A frolicsome or frivolous mood: spoken in jest.
    3. An object of ridicule; a laughingstock.
    4. A witty remark.

    Just thought you might want a refresher on the meaning of Jest Andy…

  7. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    Timdog because someone does not necessarily agree with your viewpoint it doesn’t make them “strange”. I never said that no Irish immigrants had a hard time in Britain, you are putting words into my mouth, I said that a lot of myths and nonsense surrounds an issue which for many was in fact a very rewarding experience, again I didn’t say the baby incubator story was true I merely pointed out that it wasn’t beyond the possibilities of a man who had no problem butchering thousands of children in his own country and with regard to the mythical death toll of 600,000 in Iraq it turns out you agree with me, the figure is ludicrous.

    I’m glad you caught up.

  8. avatar timdog says:

    BB – it just struck me as perhaps a little ironic that you were so eager to downplay possible suffering in one location, dismissing a “myth”, and then to play up suffering, and to credit as “possible” a myth in another direction.

    And my point on the Iraqi death toll is that no one knows. I just checked Iraq Body Count – their tally is 88 000 – 96 000. We can safely consider their figure to be the absolute lower limit for the number of people killed in Iraq – that means, essentially, that we can assume with confidence that the real figure is far higher – though how much higher, we will never know.

    But as I said before, whether it is 96 000 or 960 000, that is a huge number of dead human beings, and my point, as I stated before, was this:

    People who attempt to downplay the numbers as if they are as detached from reality as stock market indexes, are guilty of dismissing that…

  9. avatar Mets says:

    @ Timdog – good argument….

    I think we are not taking into account that some of the countries identified have a very large population that do not record birth dates etc…

    with no coordinated centralised system in place to have a clear picture of the total number or the whole demographic picture, to be in a realistic position to quantify the number of deaths etc…..

  10. avatar Lairedion says:

    According to this article some Dutch MP’s have spoken with surviving victims from Rawagede. Harry van Bommel (Socialist Party) and Joël Voordewind (Christian Union) invited two widows Wanti and Wisah and a survivor, Saih to meet in the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta.

    Financial compensation is still a difficult matter, as the writer of the article states, the MP’s have nothing to offer but are regarded as representatives of the Dutch State while the two widows traveled to Jakarta in the assumption to ask money for a new house. We cannot blame the poor villagers for having such demands while some people in Holland will highlight this as proof that they only want money. Those villagers are so poor that money is the single most important thing on their mind.

    The MP’s did talk about reconciliation and the villagers also value the importance of this. One outcome of this meeting is that perhaps some Dutch war veterans will travel to Rawagede to hold a memorial service because, as Saih stated, Dutch veterans need not to be afraid to come to his village. Everything has been forgiven. They are more than welcome.

    Patung, IM is being linked in this article in a blogroll. Good for you!

  11. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Janma-
    such lies. Have you considered writing children;s books with such gentile mind for fairy tales?

    And of course- we oppressed Colonials have no right to be angry for centuries of oppression and exploitation and the importation of a host non-assimilating, non-invited, foreign colonial parasite?

  12. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    The Dutch killed Obama’s step-grandfather.

    Lolo Soetoro, Ann Dunham’s second husband, had his father and eldest brother killed in 1946 by the Dutch army burning down their residential house.

    Obama, Dreams from my Father, 2004: 42.

    More evidence of Dutch War Crimes- even the Germans thought they made much better Nazis than the Austrians.

  13. avatar Janma says:

    Janma-
    such lies. Have you considered writing children;s books with such gentile mind for fairy tales?

    Yeah…. it goes like this…
    once upon a time there was a huge and complicated world populated by many varieties of complicated people. All the people spent time fighting and arguing, loving and singing, making war and peace and trying to get more of what was to be had. only one of these types of people was free from the strife and hate and violence…. this type was was the Victim….They never did anything bad to anyone else, but for unknown reasons hate, unfairness, violence and exploitation was their lot… all the other people picked on them…. through absolutely no fault of their own.
    Seeing their distress The Great Mojo in the sky sent them a saviour. From the sky a big brown thing fell….. and they saw it was a brown man, and the brown man was good. He said that he was an ancient king returned from the glorious heaven like past of the Victim people to vanquish their enemies and champion their cause….

    wait till you hear what happens…..! very exciting… next installment after I get some work done…..

  14. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Why does it say gentile?
    I wrote fertile!

    Is my computer internet Pocong a Jew? Is it Larry David? Lol…

    Here is the start of the best part of your fiction: “through absolutely no fault of their own”

    But shouldn’t the brown man already be there and the greedy beady eyed yellow gnome be the one who drops in?

    Such vivid imagination and brilliant detachment from reality… keep going.

  15. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Cukurungan, come on mate you know our lives are worth at least 1,000 of yours and a mere 600,000 is only collateral damage.

    Andy- I think you should apologise or clarify. This is kind of comment is unacceptable for anyone to make- straight from Goebbel’s mouth

    Some may take it as white Australian racial supremacism.

  16. avatar Oigal says:

    we oppressed Colonials have no right to be angry for centuries of oppression and exploitation and the importation of a host non-assimilating, non-invited, foreign colonial parasite

    Too Right PB!!!… Although I think you a being a bit hard hard on the Javanese, they may not have been invited but some of them had no choice in being relocated.

  17. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Oigal
    where are the aborigines- assuming it was not very sparsely if at all uninhabited?

    We are already here- we have interbred, genius.

    Try again.

  18. avatar Andy says:

    PN-Andy- I think you should apologise or clarify.

    Already did. If you go down the page and read my next post I said it was written in jest. Why I said that was because I am fed up with ridiculous, emotive nonsense like your post (and cukurungan’s) quoting 600,000 lives etc when your own human rights record is absolutely deplorable. In fact the garbage you write about us having no proof of atrocities committed by your people is on par with the neo nazis who deny the holocaust. Many other posters (even old enemies like timdog) have disputed those figures and we all agree that it is more like 80,000. Having said that in times of war unfortunately innocent people will die. The difference is in the west we try our best to keep it to a bare minimum unlike the Indonesians (particularly under Suharto) who seem to enjoy bayonetting innocent women and children as if for fun.

  19. avatar Cukurungan says:

    In fact the garbage you write about us having no proof of atrocities committed by your people is on par with the neo nazis who deny the holocaust.

    What is better evidence that once upon time Australia land is place for the peaceful aboriginal people and right now most dweller of Australia land is the White Obese Predator.

    The difference is in the west we try our best to keep it to a bare minimum unlike the Indonesians (particularly under Suharto) who seem to enjoy bayonetting innocent women and children as if for fun.

    Oh ya ….Amrosi CS was also saying the same thing, they try their best not to kill the innocent balinese

  20. avatar Janma says:

    Cuk, Aboriginals were not all peaceful and Balinese are not all innocent.

  21. avatar Andy says:

    cuk-Oh ya ….Amrosi CS was also saying the same thing, they try their best not to kill the innocent balinese

    Amrozi is a civilian and therefore wasn’t at war. If he really wants to kill people maybe he should join the TNI like some of our friends here. The west has been officially at war with militant islam since 9/11/2001. Everyone in Bali was innocent. There are many enemies throughout the muslim world which we need to eliminate. Like the Taliban who butcher innocent women and children. Got that dick?

  22. avatar Janma says:

    Got that dick?

    why andy? do you need one?

  23. avatar Andy says:

    Janma Says:

    November 7th, 2008 at 12:12 pm
    Got that dick?

    why andy? do you need one?

    No but I bet cuk wouldn’t mind a couple of inches of mine.

  24. avatar dragonwall says:

    Andy..Andy..

    Do you have to do that? I guess so huh..

    Write a sentence and going away…

  25. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Andy..Andy..

    Do you have to do that? I guess so huh..

    Write a sentence and going away…

    Koh dragon please do not compare the white obese predator with the high moral people like Asianese, Mister Andy said so because he wanted to satisfy his own delusion you know the fact how come the white obese predator have a dick longer than 0.5 inch…and this is the reason why the pedophile rampant and wide spread among their community because the white obese predator has no stomach to deal with their women

  26. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Oh dear. Here we go again.

    Andy- thank-you for your clarification.
    Much “evidence” of alleged Suharto-era “genocide” is totally unsubstantianted by physical evidence- but is based on hearsay, dubious witness testimony, and rumour.

    Secondly- the motive never existed- and the crime would be counterprodcuctive.
    If ever there was to be a genocide- it would have been, like the Germans, against the perceived foreign parasite- the Chinese and any remant Dutch.

    During the near civil war of 1965- majority Javanese, Batak and Balinese were killed by the lunatic blood-lust of the Islamics- but you did not, assuming you were born, witness the born bodies and parts littering rural Central Java.
    Nor were you one who must kill some of your own people to keep the peace for the greater good.

    The issue of Dutch war crimes is inarguable. All are more than welcome to arrange inspection of Indoensian archives- but I doubt many Western academics will dare as their own poorly researched books- especially of Vickers will be disproven as apologist lies.

    The guess is 100,000- we have no idea how many blown to pieces by 1000 pound bomb, or incinerated by Dutch napalm of villages.

    Vickers- if Dutch such gentleman- why was my father’s brother shot twice point blank in a residential house, dragged by a ex war British Universal Carrier through Malang and hung from a lamp pole as warning for no one to gather medicine for the nationalists?
    Why did my father’s father lose his foot and leg to half of his shin if Dutch did not ever mine civilian road?

    Why my wife’s family lose so many from Dutch burning out her parents’ village? Why her own mother raped by the Dutch (she commit suicide later) ?

    Mai Lai and the worst US abuses in Vietnam are nothing compared to the Dutch. In time, once Royal Dutch has been cast away- we will revisit these wounds you apologise away.

  27. avatar Lairedion says:

    UPDATE: On Tuesday 9 December the 47th anniversary of the Rawagede massacre was commemorated with the attendance of Dutch Ambassador Nikolaos van Dam. Apparently he apologized on behalf of the Dutch government.

    Although the apologies were very much appreciated the ambassador made it clear financial compensation is not on the agenda. He stated all issues between Holland and Indonesia have been settled. The small private Dutch foundation “Eerlijk Delen” (fair sharing) disagrees. They donated € 5000,- to 10 survivors.

    Unfortunately this gift went unnoticed with the survivors. After all the speeches the survivors were left alone by local officials who wanted to take pictures together with the popular ambassador, who is fluent in Indonesian and Arabic. Eventually the survivors had to hear from Dutch journalists they were to receive the gift.

  28. avatar ET says:

    I feel sorry for Patung who is obliged to read all this racist bullshit. I don’t know how he manages but one gets depressed for less.
    Before I joined IM I never realized that the color of one’s skin, especially Caucasian, could cause so much paranoia.

    Lairedion,

    you naughty boy. By starting this discussion you threw, just like with the Fitna thread, once more a club in the henhouse.

    Repent.

  29. avatar Lairedion says:

    ET,

    Lairedion,

    you naughty boy. By starting this discussion you threw, just like with the Fitna thread, once more a club in the henhouse.

    Repent.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s all my fault. :-)

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