Power vacuum-Bersiap-Sukarno after Japanese surrender

Sukarno meets Hirohito
Sukarno meets Hirohito

On November 8 1944, there was a large demonstration in Batavia. Sukarno held a fiery speech and said: “Our guys should if necessary be prepared to spray the Indonesian soil with their blood and tears to make the land fertile and prosperous.” On August 11, 1945 Sukarno spoke at the headquarters of the Japanese commander-in-Chief of South East Asia with the words: “Undoubtedly, this gift, this granting of independence, a favor from the most sacred Majesty, the Tenno Heiko, derived from his infinite wisdom and we wish to express our eternal thanks for that”. Japan capitulated on August 15, 1945 and on August 17, 1945, Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed the Republic of Indonesia.

Because at that time no Allied forces were present who could take over the authority of the Japanese soldiers the New Republic gains time and influence to use their power and opportunity. On September 29, 1945 a detachment British troops in strength of less than a thousand men came to Batavia. Long before the capitulation of Japan their war propaganda transmitter echoed everywhere in the cities and the kampongs by loudspeakers at the request of Sukarno. On August 8 Sukarno spoke: “America, Netherlands and England fighting now to extremes to return here. Fight to the death to destroy them “. Due to a lack of the presence of the protective troops after the capitulation of Japan the imminent and horrible massacres could occur.

In mid-1945 the Japanese started a PETA volunteer army consisting of Indonesians. This new youth Army consisted of 38,000 men and was divided into battalions of 500 people. There were also the Indonesian auxiliary troops, called heiho’s. All those young people learn of the Netherlands, England and America were their enemies and Japan their friend. General Soetomo, nicknamed Boeng Tomo, made sure that it was dangerous for women and children to leave the internment camps. In fact, one was nowhere safe. The first bersiap period led by Sukarno and General Soetomo had begun and the killing of Dutch, Chinese, Menadonese, Ambonese, Timorese and Indonesians had begun on gruesome manner and on a large scale.
After the first Bersiap period a second period followed in July-August 1947, when, partly as a result of the activities by the Dutch first police action, a wave of new massacres of the Indo-Dutch and Indonesians, who remained loyal to the Netherlands.