Archives for April 2015

Griselda Molemans

Displaced, Disgraced and Dispossessed.
Priscilla Kluge McMullen, editor
Finally….a review of Griselda Moleman’s book “Opgevangen in Andijvielucht” in English!! Inez Hollander of The Indo Project provides an in-depth review of the inequitable treatment of the Indos detailed in the book.

How War Debts Still Haven’t Been Repaid to the Indo Dutch population – Inez Hollander, Ph.D.

There is a pirate state, bordering the sea, between the Scheldt and Eastern Friesland ~ Multatuli, Max Havelaar

Book Review
Opgevangen in andijvielucht van Griselda Molemans
(Amsterdam: Quasar Books, 2014)
Griselda Molemans’s book Opgevangen in andijvielucht is the most important, comprehensive and groundbreaking book that has ever been written about the Dutch relief efforts in the Netherlands to house and assist about 380,000 displaced persons from the former Dutch East Indies in so-called contract pensions (state-contracted boarding houses) in the period 1950-1970, after the Indonesian independence and a very messy decolonization.
The Netherlands had been fighting a war on two fronts, one in Europe against Germany, and one in Asia, against Japan. As the country was crawling out from underneath its bombed-out cities and realized that more than 70% of Dutch Jews were not returning to the Netherlands, the first war widows and camp survivors from the Dutch East Indies arrived in Holland by the end of 1945, telling similar tales of hardship, camps, starvation and death. The Dutch government paid for the costs of repatriation and temporary housing, convinced that this operation would be terminated by 1948. They were proved wrong.
When the transfer of sovereignty happened in 1949, turning the Dutch East Indies into the independent Republic of Indonesia, thousands of mixed-blood Dutch citizens, Indo-European by birth and other ethnicity, refused to become Indonesian citizens and were forced to leave the country of their birth. Arriving in waves, these large groups were perceived as competing with the Dutch for housing, and despised for living off of Dutch tax money to rebuild their lives in The Netherlands (this was not true— they paid for the relief themselves, sometimes taking years to pay off this debt).
The so-called “Indies silence”, which has become a well-known phenomenon among the first generation because of the atrocities they had experienced at the hands of the Japanese during the war and Indonesian revolutionaries right after the war, became even more profound under the pressure of native (Dutch) resentment and prejudice. Years later, the Dutch government misperceived the silence as contentment and used it as propaganda to sell this particular migration of displaced persons (the largest of any population group in Dutch immigration history) as a successful integration and assimilation of the Indo Dutch population.
This book tells a very different story and with it, Griselda Molemans breaks through the wall of silence with compelling stories, interviews and facts. The key tenet of the book is Minister Klompé’s (Secretary of Social Affairs) blatant admission at the time that “The Indo Dutch population had been sacrificed for greater interests.” These turned out to be, as Molemans concludes in the end and epilogue of the book, financial interests, confirming an ugly stereotype about the Dutch government that is as old as the famous anti-colonial Dutch novel, Max Havelaar.
As the first Indo Dutch prepared for their new lives in the Netherlands right after Indonesia’s independence, they were given warm clothes (often second-hand) on board en route to the Netherlands, for which, as they found out later, they had to pay. Likewise, even though the Dutch were well organized and came into action with several organizations offering relief, the relief was not charitable in nature. As soon as the newcomers found work, 75% and then 60% of their paycheck was withheld to pay the so-called “contract pensions” (housing, providing room and board, contracted by the Dutch State) and other services, like clothes, furniture and social work allowances.
The “contract pensions” profited greatly from this model and were generally exploitative: many times, large families had to share one room, and the food quality was often sub par. The former colonials were a lucrative option for the owners of the contract pensions: “They could count on a high occupancy rate and the payments by the government were always made on time.” (p. 46). Clothing manufacturers (like the large department store V&D) profited, too: “The government couldn’t monitor the fact that many refugee families were forced to pay full price for what were essentially sharply discounted clothes.” (p. 156).
Also, even though 60% of salaries were withheld to pay the contract pensions and other allowances, when the rates went down for the pensions, the refugees still paid at the 60% rate. In the contract pensions themselves, food, heat and water were often rationed. Most meals consisted of cheap produce like potatoes and endives (hence the title of the book) while meager amounts of meat or fish were served once a week. The refugees weren’t allowed to cook themselves although many did so secretively, on gas burners in their rooms.
Molemans interviewed a great many families, and while she outlines positive experiences with some contract pensions as well, the majority of the experiences was negative, exploitative and alienating in nature. Few complained as that was considered taboo and not done: “The mistake we, Indo-Europeans, made was that we always kept our mouth shut. No one at the time filed a complaint against the owner [of the contract pension].” (Wilhelmina van Hout, p. 52). Priscilla McMullen remembers,“My father was broken. We were not like the Jews as in ‘you’re one of us’. Indo-Europeans keep their emotions to themselves and don’t support one another. They sometimes look down upon each other which goes back to the colonial system: you had to behave as Dutch as you could.” (p. 204).
What exacerbated the silent suffering was the general opinion of the Dutch population: “The native Dutch population was convinced that the repatriation occurred at the expense of the Dutch taxpayer. The term ‘repatriation’ may seem to have implied this, but ‘repatriation’ was a misnomer, for thousands of Indo Dutch families never returned to their ‘patria’. They were forced to leave the country of their birth (Indonesia), yet they had to pay for their clothing, food and temporary housing. Because of the strict rules and financial burdens, they just kept their mouth shut.” (p. 77).
Aside from the financial burdens, the forced move to the Netherlands also tended to be a career demotion. Highly schooled white-collar workers were forced to take on blue collar and inferior jobs because their diplomas from the Dutch East Indies were not recognized and the color of the newcomers’ skin triggered prejudice. The children of the families were discriminated in school (pinda, pinda— peanut, peanut) and Laura Echter-Ruchtie remembers: “Indies people were considered dirty but you ask yourself, who was the dirty one here? When my parents lived in a pension in Scheveningen in 1948, the owner put newspapers in the bathrooms for toilet paper.” (p. 147).
In the meantime, the situation for people who had stayed behind in Indonesia became more dire after 1955. The Sukarno climate and general discrimination made one thing very clear: you were a second-rate citizen if you stayed behind in Indonesia and the same status applied when you tried to rebuild your life in the Netherlands. Yet, this didn’t stop people from leaving Indonesia in a continued mass exodus that essentially lasted for more than twenty years.
As international relations between Sukarno and the Netherlands continued to sour, not in the least because the Netherlands tried to hold on to Dutch New Guinea which Sukarno considered Indonesian territory, the situation for those who stayed behind became impossible: on December 5th, 1957, Sukarno declared that all Dutch nationals and former Dutch nationals were practically considered an enemy of the state and they were summoned to leave Indonesia. This also triggered the influx of the so-called “spijtoptanten”: former Dutch citizens who had opted for Indonesian citizenship but because of increasing animosity of the Indonesian population, they wanted to leave Indonesia, despite the fact that the new influxes of people led to stricter intake, regulations and forms of relief.
For some, this led to a double diaspora. For example, thanks to the American Pastore-Walter Act, which increased the quota from the Netherlands between 1958-1962 to help families who had been forced out by Sukarno, 17,776 Indo-European, Moluccan, Indo-African and Chinese Dutch nationals left the Netherlands for good to embrace the American Dream. As if emigrating to yet another country wasn’t hard enough, they still had to pay back what they owed the Dutch government. For the second and third generation in these families resettling once again would lead to issues of cultural dissonance and identity problems: expelled from Indonesia, rejected by the Netherlands and landing in America, it became difficult to feel a sense of home, belonging and configure a national identity.
Although the Indo Dutch population in the Netherlands now forms a vibrant subculture that has managed to hold onto parts of its cultural identity and heritage, their integration and assimilation were anything but smooth. In light of recent assimilation and integration problems of some Moroccan newcomers, the Dutch government has argued that the Indo Dutch population had been a model minority, yet their welcome and integration was rocky, an experience which remained shrouded in silence for years. Jeanne Ham was quoted as saying: “For that big group of Dutch people with a Dutch East Indies background who experienced the tempo dulu (the good old days) of the colony and then ended up in some studio apartment in the Netherlands, the transition had been huge. But not one of them would talk about the real story of how they were received in the Netherlands. They would rather congregate together in an atmosphere that reminded them of the old days with Indo rock and spekkoek (p.371).
But the book doesn’t end there.
After this deep sociological analysis of the post-colonial circumstances and (shabby) treatment of what were essentially Dutch citizens and subjects and not immigrants, Molemans argues that the Dutch government, Dutch banks and Dutch insurance companies owe the former colonials more than meets the eye.
The epilogue is the real bombshell of the book, countering the misinformation that Minister Lieftinck (Secretary of Finances) articulated in the spring of 1950, namely, that relief efforts on behalf of the government had to be stopped as the Treasury had been exhausted.
This was a lie, and Molemans tells us why in the epilogue of the book, which is the most incendiary part and should have been a book, or books in themselves.
The most important question to be asked is whether the Indo Dutch population had any advocacy groups to right some of the wrongs of the past. There is such a group by the name of the Indisch Platform, which, curiously, started a dialogue with the Dutch government while also being subsidized by the Dutch government.
Nonetheless, in part because of the efforts of the Indisch Platform and in part because there may have been more time for reflection in the 1960s and 1970s about what happened during the war and after the war, there was a substantial change in Dutch government policy in the 1970s with a series of laws and provisions to pay victims of the German and Japanese occupations and the Bersiap. Since Jewish efforts with regard to stolen art, property and goods during the German occupation proved successful, the Indisch Platform continued to do battle for reparations for material and immaterial damages (including lost property etc. during and after the war). Thus the Indisch Platform ended up asking for 1.4 billion guilders in 2000 for the Indo Dutch population who had arrived after the war, and the Dutch government made available 385 million guilders, as part of ‘Het Gebaar’ (The Gesture) in the year 2000. According to Stichting Het Gebaar 93,363 received a one-time amount of 1822 euro, but according to Molemans’ calculations, the number of people who received this was more like 87,169.
Prior to the 1970s, the Dutch government had doled out money paid by Japan through the Stikker-Yoshida Agreement (38 million guilders) for people who had been interned by the Japanese. Many never claimed this money because they weren’t aware of the settlement that had been announced in only a few newspapers, and even if they had, 38 million guilders wouldn’t have covered the 200,000+ internees.
Members of the colonial army (or KNIL) filed a claim for back-pay and pensions. However, in a decision by the Hoge Raad (the Dutch Supreme Court), the (bizarre) argument was made in 1956 and 1958 that the Dutch government could no longer be responsible for this because the judicial obligation for this no longer applied due to the transfer of sovereignty: “in other words, Sukarno should have been responsible for the back pay of the soldiers of the former colonizer of Indonesia” (p. 377). Importantly, the Netherlands is the exception to the rule here: countries like the US, the UK, Portugal, Italy and Spain have always paid their back-pay and pensions to their military personnel, regardless of where the conflict took place.
As far as the KNIL is concerned, there is also a mysterious disappearance of colonial army files: the dossiers of the Ministry of Colonial Affairs were transferred to Foreign Affairs and then to State Affairs. Historian Bert van der Zwan of the Foreign Office stated for the record that there has been no transparency as to where these dossiers are: “All these files can’t have disappeared, but we haven’t been able to find them”. Molemans adds, “It’s remarkable that the papers of the colonial army and pension lists from the 18th and 19th centuries can be consulted in the National Archives, but that the pension papers of the 20th century seem to have been destroyed.” (p. 378).
In 2000, the Dutch government insisted that the Gebaar-payments were the final payments and that the state could no longer be suspected of holding onto any residual Dutch East Indies-related money (for which they might have received interest over the years). Among these funds, were payments from countries like Thailand (for the Burma Railway Line), Japan (above mentioned reparations for POWs and civilian internees) and Indonesia (reparations for lost business and properties owned by Dutch nationals whose companies were nationalized or whose companies had to be abandoned or sold for next to nothing when forced to leave Indonesia in 1957) who had paid the Dutch government, to pay the victims. While payments were made to victims, many of the claimants had died and many others never stepped forward to claim the money they were owed, often because they didn’t know about it or had moved abroad. An interesting side-note is that as far as the Burma Railway Line fund goes, even though we know that the Allied Command paid 6,802,000 guilders to Malaysia, Burma and the Dutch East Indies at the time, there was no transparency as to whether this money ended up with the Indonesian or Dutch government. Molemans has since succeeded in tracking down all payments involved, to be published in the near future.
In addition, there is the claim of the comfort women: as of today the Japanese government has refused to listen to claims with regard to the use of the so-called comfort women (forced prostitution by the Japanese army). “Due to shame and humiliation, the first testimonies of these women didn’t occur until 1991.” (p. 384). Because the Stikker-Yoshida Agreement, “The Japanese government has managed to deny its responsibility for these crimes and has maintained that ‘the matter has already been taken care of on the basis of postwar agreements’.” The Dutch government has done little thus far, to contest this or fight for these women.
Until 1991, Japan denied forced prostitution took place. However, when history professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi found archival papers offering evidence to the contrary, an investigation was started which led to the Kono declaration of 1993, acknowledging forced prostitution (p. 384). Significantly, the war tribunal in Batavia had already investigated the matter of forced prostitution and collected testimonies from the victims, which probably amounts to many more than the testimonies of the women who have survived today. These papers can be found in the NIOD (War) archives but this material cannot be accessed until 2025, a date at which currently surviving comfort women may all be dead.
Finally, there are the claims of insurance policies and the bank deposits citizens of the Dutch East Indies made before the war. In a secret capital flight in February of 1942, money and gold, along with the complete bank and insurance administrations, were moved offshore (to the vaults of the Federal Reserve in New York). Because many victims lost their homes and private papers when going to the camps, there was a burden of proof— even though they knew they had bought life insurance and had money in the bank, they didn’t have the paperwork to prove it after the war.
Molemans writes that at the end of 1938, seventeen of the largest life insurance companies in the Dutch East Indies had sold life insurance policies for the total amount of 252 million guilders (a total of 105,000 policies). In 1942, this was supplemented with 350 million guilders when Dutch insurance companies moved their business to the Dutch East Indies because of the German occupation. As of yet, there is no public access to the insurance companies’ archives.
However, in the US, the American Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act was created to enable Holocaust survivors and their descendants to sue never-paid life insurance policies based on access to the archives of the insurance companies (interestingly, this was an Act that Dutch companies Aegon, ING and the Verbond van Verzekeraars repeatedly lobbied against). It deserves mentioning that Molemans found a NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) report from 1944, which showed, contrary to what had been claimed by insurers, that there was a total of 3,256 billion guilders in invested capital in 1942, managed by the insurance companies. When the Jewish organization Centraal Joods Overleg negotiated with the government in 1999, it wasn’t aware of these numbers.
The independent Sjoa foundation (www.stichting-sjoa.nl) was called into life to handle claims. A total of 19,285 claims were filed but 17,076 were rejected. The rejections stemmed from the fact that the policy administrations of the Dutch insurers are still a closed book. Claims can still be submitted, but once the submission date lapses, 2/3rds of the available 6.6 million euro will flow to Centraal Joods Overleg and 1/3rd to the Verbond of Verzekeraars. Why the Verbond of Verzekeraars would be rewarded with this money when they, as it seems, have been conspiring with other insurers to block the insured families from getting their money (as was mentioned above) seems crass, and one wonders whether some of that the money wouldn’t be spent better on building a memorial or museum at one of the former camp sites on Java, as there are no such memorials or museums commemorating the Japanese internment in all of Indonesia.
Whether the Dutch government, banks and insurance companies have been sitting on money that wasn’t theirs (and which they have been receiving interest on) seems more than likely when reading the epilogue to Molemans’s book. The new book Indisch verdriet (Indies Sorrow) by H. Th. Bussemaker seems to have a similar thrust, i.e. of all the Allied nations, the Netherlands has been the only one to drag its feet when it comes to paying material and immaterial damages to the survivors of the Japanese camps and the bloody Bersiap. In contrast, the UK paid claimants of FEPOW (Far East Prisoners of War) 10,000 British pounds (about 12,000 euro) in 2000 for their suffering in the Japanese camps, although this gesture, too, came far too late.
So where do we go from here?
As of January 15th, 2015, the Task Force Indisch Rechtsherstel (TFIR) has been officially instated as a non-profit foundation. This means that after almost 70 years, the claims of the Indo Dutch community will be laid before a court, the first one being the so called Burma-Thailand payment to former Dutch POWs. Many of them never knew they were entitled to this compensation. So far, 182 survivors and heirs have registered with the TFIR.
Potential claimants can go to this e-mail address for further inquiries and/or registration: info@tfir.nl
Check our The Indo Project (www.theindoproject.org) website for updates on this important development.
The Indo Project will follow up this book review with an interview with Griselda Molemans. If you have questions you want to ask her in that interview, send them to info@theindoproject.org

Petition Update

Inez Hollander
United States
Apr 29, 2015 — In case you missed it, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed US Congress this morning on Hirohito’s birthday. Early in the speech, he reminisced about his time as a student in California, and his rise in politics in Japan—when he was first elected, a colleague said to him “You are so cheeky, Abe.” And well, cheeky he was.

Critics of the Prime Minister (with China and South Korea taking the lead) were waiting for a broad wartime apology and, in particular, a gesture made to the comfort women, whose existence Mr. Abe has denied and whose presence in Japan’s textbooks were taken out altogether in recent government-sanctioned textbook reforms.

But let’s focus first on what he did say: of his visit to the Washington WWII Memorial, he expressed being moved by the “lost dreams” and “lost futures of young Americans”. He also said that history was “harsh” and that a lot that was done “cannot be undone”. He mentioned he felt “deep repentance in his heart” and offered, with “profound respect”, his “eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during WWII.” He typified the post-war feelings of Japan as one of “deep remorse” over the suffering of people in Asian countries during the war from which Japan “should not avert its eyes” (which echoed earlier sentiments expressed by the Japanese Imperial family). Plus, he added that he upheld previous Japanese apologies that were made, including a 1995 landmark statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama.

And the comfort women?

Out of the blue, this comment came: “Armed conflicts have always made women suffer the most”, followed by a statement of how the world should be free of human rights abuses, especially when it comes to women. Generic statements are fine and dandy but if they are used to draw attention away from Japan’s responsibility in the recruiting and abuse of these women, a comment like this only reinforces the impression that Abe doesn’t want to take responsibility for this part of the suffering in WWII.

Abe essentially stopped short of an apology: offering condolences, repentance and remorse as well as upholding OTHER apologies rather than his own, makes one wonder why he has to use these veiled terms, especially in the context of the government’s recent textbook reforms and the conservatives’ continued whitewashing and pooh-poohing of the war. Also, if he believes, as he mentioned in the speech, that the spirit of the new Japan is a “spirit of reform” in which it wants to keep its “eye on the road ahead”, one has to question if this means that Japan is indeed tired of looking back, and just wants to move on and away from what hasn’t been fully acknowledged in the first place: 4 million war dead in the Dutch East Indies, internment camps, forced labor, forced prostitution, starvation, medical experiments on internees, torture and executions.

When German Prime Minister Willy Brandt visited the Monument of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1970, he made a sudden knee fall to show his respect. Abe’s speech was far from a knee fall. It was a very concealed show of contrition at best.

With all due respect, Mr. Abe, wars are indeed harsh and a lot cannot be undone, but what CAN be done was not shared by you on the floor of the US Congress. We are sorry about this lost opportunity but will continue to ask for full acknowledgment of the truth before we can join hands in reconciliation.

Keep signing our UNBROKEN petition, support our cause, and donate to The Indo Project (www.theindoproject.org). Also, if you live in Los Angeles, come look us up at the Holland Festival in May, and join us for our movie, and first TIP Talk on May 26th, at UC Irvine. Here is the link for the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/screening-the-railway-man-tickets-16639721856

Zeemansjaren

Scheepswerktuigkundige van 1958 tot 1968 na een opleiding aan de Hogere Zeevaartschool Michel de Ruyter in Vlissingen en geslaagd voor het diploma BM. Gedurende bijna 10 jaar gevaren op de “drecht” schepen van Phs. van Ommeren te Rotterdam. Varen als koopvaardij officier was de enige methode om de toen nog heersende dienstplicht te ontlopen. Men was namelijk vrijgesteld van militaire dienstplicht wanneer men tot de leeftijd van 30 jaar in dienst heeft gezeten van een koopvaardij maatschappij.

Buitensporige martelingen in Padang, Sumatra

Japanse monsters veroorzaken een hel in het Maria Huis te Padang, Sumatra!
Drie operationele veldeenheden Kempeitai met eigen staf werden onder leiding van een ervaren commandant, de kolonel Hirano Toyoji, die op jeugdige leeftijd al zijn bloedsporen had verdient, op Sumatra gestationeerd.
De chef van de Kempei-staf was de chef algemene zaken en zijn staf bestond uit de chef militaire politie (Kempeitai), de chef speciale hogere politie (Tokko) en de chef van de inlichtingendienst (Johokikan).
Op 18 september 1942 werden 317 vrouwen en kinderen uit het MV-huis (Maria-Vereniging) verwijderd en afgevoerd naar de overzijde van de straat, waar het Missiecomplex was gelokeerd. De volgende dag werd het gebouw direct door de Tokko in gebruik genomen.

Het Maria huis waar de meest gruwelijke Japanse martelingen plaatsvonden

Op de 20ste werden o.a. alle “vrije” Indo-Europeanen, Molukkers en Menadonese inwoners uit Padangpandjang en Sawahlunto opgepakt en naar het MV-huis (Maria- Vereniging) vervoerd.
Op de 3de oktober kwamen de twaalf Indische Europeanen uit de gevangenis van Sawahlunto ook in het MV-huis terecht.
Op de 4de en de 7de oktober werden 30 mannen uit de boei, die daar sinds 3 september 1942 gevangen hadden gezeten, ook opgeroepen om zich bij de wacht te melden. Deze groep bestond uit personeel van de Ombilin Steenkool Maatschappij, aangevuld met 5 uit Padang, schier willekeurige Europese en Molukse jonge mannen. Ze werden verlijd met werk, maar in plaats daarvan werden ze gedwongen op een vrachtauto te gaan en kregen een jute zak over hun hoofd waarna ze ook naar het MV-huis werden vervoerd, het verzamelpunt van de Tokko waar uiteindelijk een bezetting van ongeveer 300 gevangen bijeen was, allen geboeid. Vervolgens moesten ze in de toneelzaal op de grond met gekruiste benen doodstil gaan zitten met de ogen naar de grond gericht. Iedere communicatie werd met buitensporige pak slaag afgestraft. Vervolgens werden ze per beurt door de Tokko officieren, die weer door tolken werden vertegenwoordigd, “verhoord”. Zo’n verhoor bestond hoofdzakelijk uit het martelen met de vuist, zweep, bullypees, een eind stuk hout, elektriciteit kabels of met een slaginstrument (spiked rattan) inslaan op de gevangene, die toch was geboeid. Deze rotan is in 4 delen gespleten en aan het einde voorzien van van binnenuit aangebrachte metalen nagels, waarmee het slachtoffer van kleding en huid ontdaan kon worden. Ook werd op de gevoelige delen flink in geschopt. Een zeer geliefd kunstje was ook de gevangene tijdens de ondervraging te laten knielen met een stuk hout in de knieholte. Bij het terug zakken pijnigt de persoon zich zelf. Ook werd het pijn gehalte op de proef gesteld door brandletsel van brandende sigaretten, kaarsen, olielantaarns, of roodgloeiend metaal. Ook het hangen met de benen omhoog was een geliefde sport van de Tokko. De andere gevangen, die nog niet aan de beurt waren, mochten alleen naar de grond kijken, maar de reuk en gehoor buiten werking zetten, ging niet. De “verhoren” duurden soms zonder ophouden voor perioden van 24 tot 48 uren.
Afhankelijk van de situatie werden ze dan teruggebracht naar het MV-huis, waar ze door de huisbeulen onder handen werden genomen. Vervolgens werden ze weer naar de toneel zaal gehaald, waarbij hun reeds opengereten en geïnfecteerde huid een nieuwe hardhandige behandeling kregen. Gemiddeld duurde deze manier van beulen ongeveer 10 dagen.
De marteldeskundigen moesten allerlei middelen toepassen om aan de gewenste informatie te komen, maar ze mochten hun slachtoffers niet doden.
Pembatu’s waren helpers zoals gevangenisbewaarders of medegevangenen, die voor het leveren van hand en spandiensten en het verklikken of vals beschuldigen van mede gevangenen, werden voorzien van speciale kleding en een insigne en die mild werden behandeld en soms zelf op waardering konden rekenen. Hun belangrijkste taak was het rondbrengen van schaars voedsel, het verwijderen van vuil en ook van ontzielde lichamen. Ook werd hun ander werk opgedragen en daarbij waren alle soorten handelingen van pijn en vernedering ten aanzien van derden niet uitgesloten.
Ondanks alle denkbare methoden van martelen werd, zoals later blijkt, door niemand prijsgegeven wat de Kempeitai wilde weten. Er werd niets over de veronderstelde wapens, munitie en dynamiet, waar men naar zocht, gevonden en prijsgegeven.

Oud Padang met links beneden de Boei en rechts boven het Maria Huis

Oud Padang met links beneden de Boei en rechts boven het Maria Huis

De volgende personen, in alfabetische orde, werden ook in het MV-huis door de Jappen gemarteld:
W. van Ameyden van Duyn, L.P. Apitule, P.B. Apitule, C.R. Brouwer von Gonzenbach, E.J.A. Cosijn, H.C. van Don, B. Filet, C.J. Foss, E. Geenen (mijn vader), W.C. Goldman, O. Hisgen, J.H.G. Keim, G. Keller, F. Kretzer, F.J. Keuskamp, J.F.E. Keuskamp, W.J.R. Lanzing, J.A. van Ommen, C.H. van Raalten, A. Schlameisen, J.J. Thenu, F. Urban, A. Uyleman Anthonijs en nog twee andere personen.
Viertien van de dertig mannen kwamen op 1 september 1945 nog levend uit de diverse gevangenissen, twee stierven binnen 2 maanden, terwijl de anderen nog op tijd konden worden opgevangen.

De twaalf Indo-Europese mannen, die in Juni 1943 in Sawahlunto waren opgepakt en op 4 oktober van dat jaar naar het MV-huis werden vervoerd, waren:
C.F.W. Borst, H.E. Brouwer von Gonzenbach, C.H. Camplaire, E.R. Davies, M.R. Davies, G.A. Duyshart, W.A. van der Hoeven-Wijshardt, F. Klots, A. Scheffer, K. Simon, I.R. de Vries.
Hiervan hebben 5 personen het gevangenschap overleefd.

Helaas waren er een paar Indo medegevangenen, die ook als pembantu optraden en/of lotgenoten verlinkten ter verlichting van hun eigen ellende, waar ze van de bewakers de gelegenheid toe kregen.
In de maand maart 1945 zijn de bovenvermelde nog in leven zijnde Indo’s per truck van uit de gevangenis te Pajakoembo naar Bangkinang gereden en vrij direct na aankomst in het mannenkamp door het Kamp Bestuur verhoord, waarbij ook de bovenstaande gegevens en gedrag van de pembantu’s met de kampbewoners werd gedeeld. Na een rechtsspraak werd de dood vonnis voltrokken.
Na de Japanse capitulatie werd de bewaking van kamp Bangkinang door ex-Indiase krijgsgevangenen overgenomen. De heer v.d. Enk en enkele mede lotgenoten besloten het recht in eigen handen te nemen en gingen naar het Politie hoofdkwartier te Bangkinang om de nu ex-bewakers met daarvoor speciaal bewaarde rottam zwepen af te rossen.
Na terugkomst in het kamp Bangkinang kregen de heren huisarrest.

Mijn vader Eddie Geenen is vervolgens naar Batavia met de ms. Sibajak vervoerd geworden waar hij in het CBZ ziekenhuis werd opgenomen en verpleegd.
Echter zijn verwondingen waren dusdanig ernstig waarbij hij bovendien ook nog is gecastreerd geworden. Uiteindelijk is hij op 36 jarige leeftijd aan pleuritisch en gangreen (bloedvergiftiging) op 18 augustus 1948 overleden.

Geraadpleegde literatuur: KURA! De Noorderzon Boven de Gordel van Sumatra – Lou Lanzing
Geraadpleegde personen: G.W. Keller, woonachtig in Nederland en Daniel en Meity Ungerer, woonachtig in California

Japan during World War Two!

Japanese grew up with the firm belief that they were descendants of gods and their emperor as their Supreme God. They had not only a different culture, but also a completely different mentality, a very different diet and thereby even also a different smell. The Japanese State religion and the Imperial Mores determined their lives and that fully depend by the grace of their god the emperor. They have been educated to find it an honor to unconditionally sacrifice everything, including their lives. Despite their international trading experience the Japanese morals still belongs in another time dimension. They will never try to convert other peoples because non-Japanese were a subclass human being. From their point of view this was true, especially the barbarians of Europe and the half-breeds, the Indo-Europeans. After all they were and are the only people of divine origin. They have ignored the Geneva Conventions to indicate a clear mark of the Red Cross symbol on the deck of ships when transporting prisoners of war. As a result, many of their ships with prisoners had been torpedoed by the allies and an estimated 20,000 people/prisoners of all nationalities drowned.

 

Indische cultuur kenmerken

Tegenwoordig zijn de typische culturele elementen van de huidige Indo’s in Nederland, Amerika en waar ook in de wereld nog steeds te onderscheiden.
Deze elementen zijn zeer uniek, al komen ze ook bij andere culturen voor, maar ze zijn wel anders of nadrukkelijker aanwezig dan elementen uit de Europese cultuur. Niet elke Indo zal zich in al deze elementen herkennen. Ook worden sommigen meer opgevoed naar het land waar ze tegenwoordig in leven, of kiezen ze er voor om meer te assimileren. Over het algemeen is de Indo-cultuur een mengeling van het Nederlands Indie van voor 27 december 1949, van Zuid Aziatische en Europese cultuur.
Een voorbeeld is de min of meer verplichte gastvrijheid waarbij niet afgepast wordt gekookt, maar altijd rekening wordt gehouden met onverwachte gasten.
Binnenshuis worden vaak geen schoenen maar slippers gedragen.
Het is gewoonte iedereen een hand te geven bij aankomst of vertrek als men op bezoek is.
Ouderen worden niet getutoyeerd.
Het is een morele plicht anderen te behoeden voor gezichtsverlies; mensen worden niet publiekelijk bekritiseerd, andersom wordt daar ook op gerekend.
Rijst wordt gegeten met een lepel of, soms, met de rechterhand. Voedsel wordt op tafel gezet zodat ieder er naar behoefte van kan pakken.
Bij speciale gelegenheden wordt met een bord op schoot of in de hand gegeten.
Bij speciale gelegenheden zit men niet in een kring maar door het gehele huis.
Ook niet familieleden worden vaak oom en tante genoemd.
Typisch voor de oudere generatie in Nederland en in mindere mate voor de volgende is het ‘wapperen’ met de hand om iemand naar zich toe te roepen.
Bij het schillen van bijvoorbeeld een appel, wordt altijd van zich af gesneden.
Er wordt niet met de wijsvinger naar iemand of iets gewezen.
Eten gebeurt nooit staand of lopend.
Allemaal algemene gebruiken uit het voormalig Indie.
Al het bovenstaande valt onder de unieke Indische cultuur.

Heritage

Dutch-American Flags

Dutch-American Flags

Dutch American Heritage Day is on Novmber 16

Only a few people know that the Dutch already settled in New Jersey and New York and called it New Netherlands before the English took over the Dutch province in 1664.
During the American War of Independence the Dutch were active allies of the American revolutionaries. Via the island of Sint Eustatius the Dutch gave the thirteen colony states one of the rare opportunities to acquire arms. In 1778, in the British parliament Lord Stormont said:” If Sint Eustatius had sunk into the sea three years before, the United Kingdom would already deal with George Washington”.

Only four months before the United States had declared, penned and signed its independence from the United Kingdom, an American warship, the Andrew Doria, sailed into the harbor of the Dutch Cariban island of Sint Eustatius. On November 16th 1776 the Dutch governor ordered that his fort’s cannons be fire in a friendly salute. This salute was the first ever given by a foreign country to the flag of the United States. This is known as The First Salute, and November 16th is Dutch American Heritage Day instituted by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

• The Netherlands was the first nation to recognize the United States of America!

The Dutch influence on America also far outlasted the period of the colony and can be seen in the many Dutch places, architectural styles and street names in New York, New Jersey, and so on. They also brought their most famously Sinterklaas folklore, which became the foundation of the modern day Santa Claus.

Many American presidents had Dutch ancestry:

Martin van Buren, was the eighth President of the United States. He was a key organizer of the Democratic Party and the first president who was not of English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh descent. He is also the only president not to have spoken English as his first language, but rather grew up speaking Dutch.
Theodore Roosevelt, was the 26th President of the United States. Roosevelt is most famous for his personality; his energy, his vast range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his “cowboy” persona. In 1901, he became President after the assassination of President William McKinley. Roosevelt was a Progressive reformer who sought to move the Republican Party into the Progressive camp.
Warren G. Harding was the 29th President of the United States (1921–1923). His mother’s ancestors were Dutch, including the well-known Van Kirk family.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the 32nd President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. A central figure of the twentieth century, he has consistently been ranked as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents in scholarly surveys.
George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, were the 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States respectively. They count members of the Schuyler family and the related Beekman family among their ancestors.

And April 19 is Dutch-American Friendship Day, which remembers the day in 1782 when John Adams, who later became the second President of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. At that day he also purchased the house at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague that became the first American Embassy in the world.

Other Americans who had Dutch ancestry:
Walter Cronkite, Humphrey Bogart, Thomas Edison, Dick van Dyke, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Nina Foch, Bruce Springsteen, Jane Fonda, Audry Hepburn, Eddie van Halen.