Verslag Jakarta- Depok-Bandung- Surabaya- Malang en Mojokerto reis

Francine met hulp van MAX-TV helpt de door Nederland in de steek gelaten Indische Nederlanders in Indonesie.

Zoon Ricky was er ook

Anto

Op donderdag 25 januari zijn Joris en ik vertrokken om de  achtergebleven Indische Nederlanders te gaan helpen. Op zondagmiddag 11 februari kwamen we weer thuis. Bijna onafgebroken mensen bezocht.
De eerste dag meteen door naar Depok, naar oma Helling. Zij kreeg een doos etenswaren, cadeautjes uit Nederland en geld van haar sponsor fam. Helling in Nederland. Haar BPJS heeft onze hulp Anto ook geregeld

 

 

Daarna meteen door naar de andere kant van Jakarta. Naar oma Jane Hardy. Wij wisten dat zij eind feb uit huis moest omdat het zou worden afgebroken. Oma was helaas niet thuis. Zij was een ander huis aan het zoeken. Dat is inmiddels gevonden, en terwijl ik dit verslag schrijf is oma Hardy aan het verhuizen. Eddy Sudiarto heeft de jaarhuur namens ons betaald.

De volgende dag meteen naar Bandung. Doe je zo’n 3 uur over, en toen meteen naar Margaretha van Vonno in Banjaran. Ze was heel blij met al de lappen stof uit Nederland en het naaigaren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

De volgende dag naar Rina Wattimena
Zij voelt zich erg alleen en maakt zich zorgen om haar broer Pieter. Toen we aankwamen zat ze voor haar huisje rijst uit te zoeken. Zat boordevol steentjes en zand. Maar geld om betere rijst te kopen heeft ze niet.

 

 

 

 

Naar Stella Smith. We hebben weer een jaar huur betaald , ze heeft een doos etenswaren gekregen en voor ruim een maand luiers. Ze huilt steeds, maar dat is ook van blijdschap hoor. Om dit te zien en mee te maken is beslist niet prettig.

 

 

 

 

Toen zijn we even naar Lenny Nobels geweest, de vertegenwoordiger van het ANMF. We hebben haar geld gegeven voor Marcella van Vonno, die zou zij aan haar geven.

 

 

 

 

 

Toen naar Winny Wilten- De Fretes. We hebben de elektra betaald voor feb en Maart en verder kreeg ze weer verschillende cadeautjes uit Nederland. En niet te vergeten een blik speculaasjes. Daar is ze gek op.  Zo dankbaar is zij altijd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toen naar Tempelhof van het Leger des Heils waar mw. Irene Wever woont en Majoor Rika de Fretes.

Irene Wever vertelde dat ze al 3 jaar een schuld had bij een bank, omdat ze toendertijd haar BPJS had afgesloten. Helaas was de bank al gesloten dus zouden we die schuld de volgende dag gaan betalen.

 

 

 

Omdat we zagen dat de bewoners van Tempelhof onder een dun dekentje moesten slapen en omdat we dit zo sneu vonden voor al die oudere en veelal zieke mensen hebben we 100 dikke dekens gekocht.

 

 

 


De dankbaarheid was overweldigend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

De volgende dag wederom naar Tempelhof om Irene Wever op te halen om naar de bank te gaan. Schuld hebben we voldaan en zij kreeg haar gouden kettinkje en oorbelletjes terug

 

 

 

 

Toen nog naar Lembang waar we een vriendin van oma Josephina Zandgrond hebben opgezocht
De laatste dag naar mw. Lis Wonnink. Ook zij kreeg een voedselpakket en kaarten uit Nederland.

Toen naar Cimahi naar de dames Gevelhof. Hebben de elektra betaald en ze kreeg cadeautjes uit Nederland.

 

Als laatste naar Pieter Wattimena. Behoorlijk opgeknapt na de laatste keer, maar nog niet helemaal.

 

Voor Pieter Wattimena moet een ander huis worden gezocht. Hij voelt zich daar helemaal niet thuis. Buren negeren hem, zijn jaloers omdat hij zo’n mooi huis heeft gekregen van Max Maakt Mogelijk. Dat is de reden dat Pieter steeds weer maagproblemen krijgt. Er wordt nu naar een ander huis gezocht.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We gingen naar Surabaya.

Kennisgemaakt met het gezin van Charles van Roest. Dit was zo verschrikkelijk hoe dit gezin woont.

Charles was altijd een harde werker, kreeg een hersenbloeding en raakte half verlamd en kan amper praten. Zijn vrouw werkt zich een slag in de rondte om het gezin draaiende te houden. Verkoopt pisang goreng op de straten. Het is hier echt armoe troef. Maar zo lief en hartelijk. Kinderen zijn heel goed opgevoed. De omstandigheden waarin dit gezin leeft heeft ons diep geraakt. Mensonterend gewoon. Hier moet geholpen worden!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naar Herman de Pauw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mw. Tonny Spiecker

74 jaar. Weduwe. Wel eigen huis, geen inkomen .Woont samen met kleindochter. Heeft een schuld van 10 miljoen rp.

 

 

 

Ferry Versteeg 71 jaar

 

Woont in piepklein donker huis. Ex buschauffeur. Huur van 500.000 rp per maand. Zijn partner verkoopt krupuk. Moeilijk rondkomen. Heeft nog nooit van iemand hulp ontvangen. Wij hebben toegezegd het komende jaar de huur te zullen voldoen.

 

Mw. Hetty Pfaff.Geen inkomen. Hebben de huur voor een jaar betaald. Echtgenoot is ziekelijk

 

Veronica Hermanus. geb 1934 Krijgt al BPJS via Max Maakt Mogelijk. Eigen woning maar veel kapot. Zo’n lieve vrouw, die al behoorlijk de weg kwijt is want ze vroeg me om een brief af te geven in Dongen aan haar moeder. Ze was er vast van overtuigd dat die nog leefde. Hartverscheurend. Kleinzoon woont in de buurt en zorgt een beetje voor haar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mw. Letizia Woudhuyzen. 74 jaar. Geen inkomen. Woont samen met dochter en kleinzoon. Kleine gift gegeven. Mw. Carolien Slemes. 73 jaar. Erg aktief voor de kerk. BPJS van Max Maakt Mogelijk. Huurwoning, maar de kerk springt bij. Gift gegeven.

Winny Albinus 84 jaar. Heeft tantes in Deventer. Familie van zangeres Marlies Liefveld. Krijgt BPJS van Max Maakt Mogelijk en steun van HALIN.

 

 

 

 

 

Jacobus Grengan en dochter Monica. Krijgen nu maandelijks financiële steun

 

 

 

 

 

Malang: Elly Wolters  Zo fijn om haar weer te ontmoeten.

 

Waren nog 2 inwoners van Malang die onze hulp wilden hebben. Een ervan was de zoon van Dhr. Bouman, die nog nooit heeft gewerkt en Mw. Eugenie Coert 1938, maar zij krijgt pensioen van haar man. Deze twee leggen we maar terzijde.

 

Mojokerto naar de Dames Reny en Mary Kolmus. Daar kon ik een gift geven van de familie Kolmus uit Nederland.En een doos etenswaren overhandigd

 

 

 

 

 

Naar Frans Noya. Niet aanwezig, wel zijn zus. Frans Noya 71 jaar was beveiliger bij oa de AK band. erg bekende groep in Indonesia. Ook hier een doos etenswaren afgegeven.

Mw. Erna Schuurman vraagt hulp om haar eigen huis op te knappen. Ze heeft pensioen. Lopen 6 katten rond en het stinkt er als de hel en we zijn besprongen door de kattenvlooien. Mw. vraagt of we het huis willen renoveren zodat zij het daarna voor een goede prijs kan verkopen. Daar beginnen we dus ook niet aan.

 

De laatste mw Linda Nieraeth. 69 jaar. Geen inkomen. Moet bedelen.

 

 

 

 

 

Natuurlijk hebben we veel meer foto’s en filmpjes. Helaas kunnen we niet alles toezenden. We zijn nu weer thuis. Danig onder de indruk van wat we hebben meegemaakt. Wij bedanken u allen voor uw donaties. Want dankzij uw steun en van Max Maakt Mogelijk kunnen we dit werk blijven doen.

Hulp is nog steeds heel hard nodig, helaas.
Warme groet,

Francine Tammeling/ Joris Kuizenga

1% Hulp is meer dan 100% medelijden

 

 

Indonesian politics prevails over the headstone of my Dutch father

Eddie Geenen

Eddie Geenen was born on 19-8-1912 in the town Sawahlunto of West Sumatra. His parents were Augustus Josephus Carolus and Helena Francina Wilhelmina Maitimo. On 12-6-1935 Eddie married Clara Elisabeth Chevalier, which took place in Sawahlunto, Sumatra. Clara Elisabeth Chevalier was born on 3-22-1915 and her parents were Henri Antoine Joseph Chevalier and Jacqueline Beljaars (Balliard)
On October 4 and 7, 1943, 30 men including my father Eddie Geenen, who were in the Padang prison the Boei-Muara for more than a month, were taken out by some of the Japanese Tokko (special higher police known of their brutality), who were accompanied by Japanese soldiers in a truck. The Japs shouting commands and beat the prisoners into the trucks. In the truck each Dutch prisoner got a bag over their head and taken to the MV-House in Padang, a collection of buildings with the central location of the Tokko. These 30 men were all personnel from the OSM (Ombilin Coal Mining Company in Sawahlunto)
Upon arrival they were rid of their baggage and handcuffed. Then they were ordered to sit on the ground with legs crossed, dead silent and with the eyes facing to the ground. Any form of communication was prohibited or honored with disproportionate painful beating. In this position they had to wait their turn. That means that each one will be interrogated by the Japanese Tokko-lieutenants Sugibayashi and Miyauchi, the Tokko-Watari Tsurukichi and gunzo’s Yamashita and the Indonesian interpreters Bakri, Sjafei, Hartin and many others. These Indonesian torturers did their utmost best to please their Japanese bosses. But soon was the war over and all the Indonesian criminals were gone.
Such a trial consisted mainly with the use of the hand, fist, whip, a bullwhip, chair or a part of it, a piece of wood, rope or electrical cable, or a special constructed instrument to beat the political prisoner, who was enthralled as a precaution. This special constructed instrument could be a whip made from steel wire or spiked rattan, split at the top into quarters with nails on the inside to help stripped of the victim his cloth and skin from his back.
Intentionally or not, but when the victim during the beating accidentally fell to the ground, the Japanese interrogators and/or their Indonesian aides  started kicking or jumping, preferable at vulnerable spots of the body to increase the pain and intentionally made him aware of his injuries.
Many were forced to kneel during the interrogations with a piece of wood in the bend of the knees. After a while the person are not able to withstand it and started lowering his body. This weight of his body cause an abnormal force of pain to his own knees. The high pain level of injuries created by fire was obviously not left untapped.
Mostly were done in combination with the kicking through burning cigarettes, candles, oil lanterns, or red hot metal to create sear- or fire- wounds.
Also the excruciating operation by the application of electricity was not unknown; the vulnerable hanging position was almost perfunctory applied, often with preference for legs first and body up site down.
The fantasies of these Japanese and Indonesian torturers were infinite. These tortures lasted at least 10 days to prejudice the trial and sometimes they added more time as a favor.
Of the condemned group of 30 men, my father Eddie Geenen was one of them, were almost one year later 14 more dead than alive prisoners transferred to the men’s Japanese concentration camp in Bangkinang, a place located inland in a jungle of rubber trees.
After the war they received their first medical treatment, but 2 more died within 2 months.

Grafsteen Pappa Eddie Geenen

My father Eddie Geenen, a very sick men in bad condition, and his family were transferred with the passenger ship, the Sibajak, to Batavia (today Jakarta) to be nursed in CBZ-hospital. Much later my mother told me, that my dad has also been castrated during the Japanese torture. Dad died in that hospital to pleurisy and blood poisoning on August 18, 1948. My mother gave him the best funeral that was possible for her. Eddie Geenen was buried at the Tanah Abang Cemetery.

The manager of the Dutch Oorlogsgravenstichting in charge of Menteng Pulo, Jakarta, visited the location of the former cemetery Tanah Abang. He found out that the graves were cleared in 1976. All the physical remains were then transferred to a collection grave at the Menteng Pulo public cemetery. In 1990 that part of the cemetery Menteng Pulo has also been cleared and all the collection of the physical remains were transferred to an unknown location on the outskirts of Jakarta.
Meanwhile a museum has been built on the former Tanah Abang and is called Taman Prasati Tanah Abang.

In 1996 Peggy Geenen and her friend decided to make a memory trip through Sumatra and Java. Peggy was born on 8 oktober 1943 during the world war two of the Japanese occupation of the former Dutch-Indisch in a Japanese concentration camp in Padang, Sumatra. It was a wonder that she survived the war time because of the lack of food and nutrition. During the last week of her 2 month trip she found the cemetery Tanah Abang and in a wall she found a tile with inscription, about 30cm by 18cm with all the information of our father Eddie Geenen, which had been created by his wife and our mother Claire Elisabeth Geenen-Chevalier. Our mother died on 10-12-2005 in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands.
Many years later, I live in California, I was told by a friend, that a museum with the name Taman Prasati had control over all the graveyards on the Tanah Abang location. I told that to my sister Peggy in the Netherlands. She asked me to try to get Papa Ed’s tile to the Netherlands to give it a place at our mother’s graveyard.
I did and my actions started on 7 of June 2016 with a letter to the Oorlogsgravenstichting in the Netherlands and one to the address in Jakarta. The people of the OGS in both offices were very helpful. I let them also know that I will carry any cost, locally and the transfer to the Netherlands.
On the first of december 2016 a meeting took place between Mr. Robert van de Rijdt, director OGS, Jakarta and Mr. Fajar, director of the museum Taman Prasati. Mr. Fajar told that all the statues and stones of the graveyards on Tanah Abang belongs to the museum. There is only one option to claim a graveyard stone or tile. The family member, filing the claim, must live at least for 2 years in Jakarta.
Base on above information I called one of my family members, who has lived their whole life in Indonesia. I explain the situation and email them all the information.
My family contacted Mr. Rudy da Costa of OGS, who is also fluent in the Indonesian language. Mr. da Costa promised to contact the director of Taman Prasati to set up a meeting. It turned out that he is no longer in charge of the museum Taman Prasati and has been replaced by Mrs. Sri Kusumawati (Mrs. Atik) and all the museums fall under an Indonesian governmental entity. An appointment was made for Friday, June 9, 2017 at museum Fatahillah in the old town Jakarta (Kota) at 2PM. My family member was accompanied by Mr. Eliza Barka, who is a staff member of OGS from Menteng Pulo. Also at the meeting was Mr. Andri, who is now the head of operation at the museum Taman Prasasti.

To make the story short Mrs. Atik told Mr. Eliza Barka of OGS and my family, that she understands what the family Geenen wants, but since all the property at the museum Taman Prasati is owned by the Jakarta Provence, all the property at Museum Taman Prasati belongs also to the Jakarta Provence and are therefore the property of the Indonesian Government. This makes it impossible to take the inscription tile from Eddie Geenen back to the family.

Conclusion: Thanks to the Indonesian politics Eddie Geenen remains a prisoner and sentence for life with no parool.      

 

The Indo Cowboy with a Dream

Norman De Buck

Southern California and especially Hollywood and Los Angeles are places where dreams come true. During his childhood, he was born on west Java in the town Cibadak (meaning: the river of the Rhino), Norman De Buck has always dreamed of playing a cowboy in a movie. Roy Rogers was one of his favorites. The family De Buck has moved around and Norman has lived in Bandung, Bogor and then Jakarta.

After world war two the bersiap period was the start for Indonesia to fight for independence and around 1957/1958 all the Dutch-Indo’s were forced by the new regime to leave the Dutch East-Indies and leave for the Netherlands. In 1959 De Buck family, father, mother and 4 sons, left everything behind and were shipped (ms Castle Felice) to The Netherlands, who were in the middle of rebuilding their country after the war in Europe and there were less opportunities for the Indo family. They arrived in Rotterdam and started living in Vlaardingen. But the cold there was enough to move De Buck family to Southern California and started a new life in El Monte, just east of LA, in the early 1960.

But like most emigrants, they first arrived in New York. Norman always expected to see skyscrapers and cowboys. New York had plenty of skyscrapers, but the move out west, El Monte, there were also no cowboys, no horses, no cattle and no six guns. Norm his father was an architect and draftsman in the old country, but switched to a machinist once in the United States. When he came first to the United States, he did not know how to speak English. He was able to learn quickly through an American friend that he met here. He taught him a lot of this country and took him everywhere. Norm finished his education at El Monte High School and then went to Mount San Antonio College for two years. He became fascinated with photography and hoped to become a freelance or commercial photographer.
But his future went in a different direction. Norman met and married Carol Williams of Pasadena and Temple City became their residence. Carol was working in a local stationary store, while Norm was employed by a supermarket in El Monte.

For Norman an ideal situation, because the movie studios and his longtime ambition and dreams were both within his reach.
There he learn the hard way of Hollywood. Being a Dutch-Indonesian, a mixed race, Norman most often cast in small roles as a Mexican and especially the stereotypes of the bandito-vaquero-cowboy. But Norman has accepted his roles with pleasure and he calls himself “The last of the Indohicans” and his Indo friends call him the “Mexican”.

“Now that I am living in my DREAMS I cannot believe that I have med and played with…Sam Eliott, Duane Johnson  …”The Rock”,Selma Hayek, Tom Cruize, John Voigt,..Etc, etc. and did many Commercials”

Then both Eline Jongsma and Kel O’ Neill started the project Empire. The Unintended consequences of Dutch Colonialism.
Empire is a documentary that explores the Dutch colonial and how the conditions of the past define our lives in the present. It left behind a legacy that can still be seen today in the cultures and in the bloodlines of the people and communities around the world. In 2016 this documentary was nominated for an Oscar.
In Southern California Norman got a small acting roll in the cast of this documentary.

Norm with Carol (wife), son Mark and daughter Dina

While living his Indohicans dream, in realty Norm, his wife Carol, son Mark and daughter Dina are living in Rosemead/San Gabriel and owns a well-established printing business for about 30 years.
Norman De Buck is an actor, known for Border Patrol (2007), Happy Hunting (2017) and Cutthroat Alley (2003).

2016 VIF the Movie (documentary)
The Vampire Saviors (TV Series) (pre-production)
Sorin (as Norman DeBuck)
2017 Happy Hunting
Jim (as Norman DeBuck)
2017 The Hero
Bounty Hunter (uncredited)
2017 Borderland
Mexican Fruit Truck Driver
2014 Battle B-Boy
High Roller Norm (as Norman DeBuck)
2012 Agent Steele (Short)
Restaurant Guest (as Norman DeBuck)
2011 That’s So Awesome (TV Series)
Creepy Customer 2
Beginnings End (2011) … Creepy Customer 2 (as Norman DeBuck)
Conversations with the Creepy Duo (2011) … Creepy Customer 2 (as Norman DeBuck)
Return of the Creepy Duo (2011) … Creepy Customer 2 (as Norman DeBuck)
The Creepy Duo (2011) … (as Norman DeBuck)
2011 Joe and MJ (TV Series)
Hector (as Norman DeBuck)
2011 Dinner with Fred (Short)
Mexican Farmer (as Norman DeBuck)
2007 Border Patrol (Short)
Illegal (as Norman DeBuck)
2003 Cutthroat Alley
Store Owner (as Norman DeBuck)

 

We are Indische Nederlanders, not Indonesians

Daan van Lent of the Dutch newspaper NRC.nl wrote on April 13, 2017 the following article:

“It must be right first time ‘
Wendelien of Oldenborgh represents the Netherlands next month at the Venice Biennale with the project “Cinema Olanda”. She made a new film.
“One of the subjects of that movie was about and I quote:”
—————— “A third story, the Indonesian migrants who came to the Netherlands after World War II. ”300,000 Eurasians and Moluccans. Now, in 2017, they seems to have been seamless integrated and have become almost pet immigrants. But they were not then. “

Many “Indische Nederlanders” in the Netherlands and other parts of the world, like California are not please because of the constant stupidity and arrogant attitude shown by many Dutch people, especially those from the press and politicians.

Here below is the story written by Anneke van de Casteele on the same sickening topic.
The Dutch version from her hand
: http://annekevdcasteele.blogspot.nl/2017/03/wij-zijn-indische-nederlanders-geen.html

‘We are Indische Nederlanders, not Indonesians!’

Last Tuesday night, February 28, 2017, Dutch D66 democrat party leader Alexander Pechtold was one of the guests on TV talkshow ‘Pauw and Jinek’. We saw him verbally wipe out a competitor in the upcoming Dutch elections, because of his contradictory statements, rightly so. However, we also heard him make a mistake, which he later described on Twitter as ‘careless’. He referred to the group of approximately 1.7 million Indische Nederlanders (Dutch Indos) living in the Netherlands today, as ‘Indonesians’. The Dutch Indo community was in an uproar. Also rightly so.
Did I cringe when I heard it? You know me, so yes. Was I surprised? Well, no. Pechtold is not the first and certainly not the only one who calls us ‘Indonesians’ (or worse: Dutch Indians).
Is it Dutch ignorance? Well, that could be very well possible. Were it not that even Dutch Indos often make the same mistake, especially the younger generation often describes itself as ‘Indonesian’ or even uses both terms, carelessly. This is where education comes in.
Is it just an innocent slip of the tongue? A slip of the tongue could be easily forgiven. However, ‘innocent’ it certainly is not. With the use of only one single word, the largest and oldest group ‘Dutch with a migration background’, as it is called nowadays, is put into a box where it does not belong. For many Dutch Indos this ‘slip of the tongue’ has grave connotations.
After almost 75 years of our presence in the Netherlands, The Hague still does not see us. It is the well-known blind spot. They know full well that we are there, but they do not want to see it, for then they would obviously have to address the never fully realized restitution of justice for the Dutch Indo community. From us, they expect ‘silence’ and ‘assimilation’: the ancient misconception that The Hague should really have to get rid of after all this time.
Hey, what’s that? These Dutch Indos no longer remain silent. What the hell. They make themselves heard. “We are not Indonesians!” It was as if I heard my father speak out some 40 years ago, when an office worker of Civil Affairs, while renewing my Dad’s passport, stated that my Dad was born in Indonesia.
“I was born in the former Dutch East Indies, Madam, not in Indonesia.”
The blonde innocence itself behind the desk replied, “But that’s completely the same thing?” She was being a bit dumb, sorry Alex (Pechtold, not Willy).
What our democratic people’s representative does not realize – and anyone who makes the same mistake – is that that the one word ‘Indonesians’ is the whole reason that we Dutch Indos are here in this country and not in Indonesia.
I am not going to explain for the 1000th time what a ‘Indische Nederlander’ is. What I will do, is indicate why it is not an innocent slip of the tongue to refer to us as Indonesians, but an error, which holds a denial – and in public – of our existence, of our identity and our history, of our Dutch citizenship.
In a nutshell: to use the label ‘Indonesians’ is not only technically wrong, it is also laden. It rips open old wounds. Using this label ‘stands for’ the bersiap, the rapes and massacres, the revolution, the ‘sale guerre’ which the Netherlands led until 1949. It stands for the insults, threats, poverty, and unemployment due to the Indonesian government nationalizing Dutch companies.
It stands for fleeing to the country of the nationality stated in everyone’s passport, it meant forever leaving your native land, home and hearth. It stands for anxiety and trauma. It stands for the scandalous reception in the Netherlands, boarding houses, skyrocketing debts and the never heard war trauma, starting all over again from scratch.
It stands for the never materialized restitution of justice, such as the never paid KNIL wages and salaries (the back pay issue). It stands for the suffering of our parents and grandparents. It stands for forced assimilation, racism and discrimination.
So, For many Indische Nederlanders so very much is concealed in the ‘careless’ choice of words of Dutch politician Mr. Pechtold.
But perhaps even more important in Pechtold’s decision to call us Indonesians is the absence of the ‘Indisch’ (Dutch Indo) story in Dutch education. When I say ‘Indisch’, I mean Indisch. Our story needs to be told by us, not through the rose colored glasses with the white lenses, worn by The Hague. We are perfectly capable to tell our own story and we have been doing so for years and years. If you would have been paying attention, you would have seen it, Mr. Pechtold.

If Dutch education had not made us invisible, the Dutch people would have known their own country’s history, including Dutch colonial history. Then the Dutch – including Mr Pechtold – would have known who we are, why we are here and that we are not Indonesians.

Please Note: Dutch citizens with roots in the former Dutch East Indies have a large variety of ethnicities, far more than only the Indo-Europeans or Indos. The words ‘Indische Nederlanders’ or ‘Dutch Indos’ popped up extensively in the discussion and I used these for simplification.

Geplaatst door Anneke van de Casteele op 17:37 op haar blog

This article is placed with the permission from Anneke van de Casteele

 

Chili peppers are healthy

Eating hot and spicy help one live longer

Most of us Indo-Dutch like to eat spicy and we eat sambal in all kind of mixtures and dishes.
But what do we know about the hot peppers?

International researchers found out comparing people who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who at them at least three to five times per week were live likely 14% longer.
Those who ate spicy meals once or twice a week were 10% less likely to die during the study period of the researchers.

International researchers and scientists have already recognized that spices do have a beneficial health effect. And special capsaicin, the ingredient that gives you the hot bites when eating the chili peppers, have been shown to fight all kind of inflammations, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer, to mention some ills.

According to the researchers the effect of eating spicy foods have the same result on men and women. Among the study volunteers, those who reported eating fresh chili peppers had a better result than did volunteers who ate only dried chilies.
The difference could be that fresh chili pepper contains more capsaicin and nutrients like potassium and vitamins C, A, K and B6.
The study included nearly half a million volunteering people between the age of 30 and 79 and for a period of 7.2years.

To measure the heat units of a chili is based on the Scoville Scale.
Here are a few examples of peppers and their heat units:
Anaheim pepper                  500 to 2500
Jalapeno pepper               2,500 to 8,000
Serrano pepper               10,000 to 23,000
Cayenne pepper             30,000 to 50,000
Thai pepper                    50,000 to 100,000
Habanero pepper        100,000 to 350,000
Ghost pepper               855,000 to 1,041,427

The other side of Holland (By Saskia Rossi)

Holland.
The small, friendly country famous for its tulips, windmills, cheese, and weed. A rich cultural heritage (Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer), a climate of tolerance and innovation, and liberal beliefs. I am proud of the way it takes care of its seniors and of the vulnerable groups in society such as the disabled, the homeless, and the jobless. I am less enthusiastic when it comes to the way it has been treating its Dutch-Indonesian citizens.
My parents came from Indonesia, which implies that they experienced the invasion and the occupation of their country, the Dutch East Indies, then colony of the Netherlands, by the Japanese. Many of the Dutch-Indonesian people, who were all Dutch citizens, served in the Army and Navy. Most of them were taken prisoner and spent years in internment camps. Thousands of them did not survive and those who did, had to face more hardships.
After the capitulation of Japan on August 15, 1945, Indonesia did not want to be under foreign rule any longer. A violent struggle for freedom ensued. In this gruesome period, called the Bersiap, again thousands of Dutch(-Indonesian) men, women, and children lost their lives. In 1947, the Netherlands sent troops to Indonesia in order to reestablish their rule, that is, to preserve their profitable colony. Finally, in 1949, under great international pressure, the Netherlands had to recognize the independence of Indonesia.
What did this mean for the Dutch-Indonesian people? Being Dutch citizens, but living in a country that was no longer Dutch, they only had a few options. The majority chose to depart for the unknown. Roughly between 1950 and 1960, some 300,000 Dutch-Indonesian people embarked on a long journey that would take them to their new home, the Netherlands. Here, they had to start all over again. Of course they met with prejudice, silly regulations, and blatant racism. They had to accept (and pay for) inadequate housing, take jobs that did not reflect their qualifications, and undergo constant social scrutiny.
Much later, in 2000, in an attempt to counterbalance the chilly welcome, the Dutch government made a financial reparation, Het Gebaar, the Gesture. The name itself is poorly chosen; it suggests magnanimity on part of the giver, while it was no more than a band-aid. It did not heal the raw wound underneath.
Recently, the pain and frustration have become unbearable. Since 2013, de Indische Kwestie, the Dutch-Indonesian Issue, has been on the political agenda of The Hague. The much anticipated public hearing in de Tweede Kamer, the House of Representatives, scheduled on July 1, 2015, was adjourned one day before the assembly, a few days before the summer recess. Once again, the aging Dutch-Indonesian beneficiaries are supposed to wait just a little longer.
De Indische Kwestie, the issue that stirs up a lot of emotions in the Dutch-Indonesian community, has two components: Back Pay and Compensation for material war damages.
In a nutshell:
Back Pay:
Unlike their Dutch counterparts, interned or held hostage by Nazi Germany, Dutch-Indonesian government officials and military personnel were not paid for the 41 months under Japanese occupation. An exception was made for Navy personnel; the then Minister of the Navy felt morally obliged to pay his men. Their salaries were retroactively paid in full. All others who proudly served their country, fought for the Queen, and remained loyal to the Dutch flag under the most trying circumstances never received a dime.
Compensation for material war damages:
The Dutch government paid 5.9 billion guilders (precursor to the euro) to Dutch individuals who suffered damages during the occupation of Holland by Nazi Germany. Dutch-Indonesian citizens were strictly excluded from this settlement. The Allies in the war against Japan, like the United States, Great Britain, and France did take financial responsibility for their fellow citizens in Asia. The Netherlands has never acknowledged any financial or legal liability; from the beginning, unhindered by a sense of duty or codes of honor, it has pointed at Indonesia to deal with this matter.
Seventy years have passed since the end of World War II. My father, who served in the Army, passed away a long time ago, all my uncles, who served in the Army and Navy, passed away too. For them it is too late. But others are still alive, still hoping and waiting for recognition, for formal apologies, for justice. Will Holland step up to the plate and finally do what is the right thing to do or will colonial history repeat itself?

Saskia Rossi
Monrovia, California

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

The Hague, the widow of Dutch-Indies

A TV program in The Netherlands called: Typical Dutch.

Jeroen Pauw, a typical Dutch Talk Host, brought a TV program about people, who are living in The Hague.
We all remember about The Hague when it was called “The widow of the Dutch Indies”.
Jeroen Pauw brought together 8 people who all live in The Hague, who are a good representation of the population there, a homo-sexual, a Moroccan-Dutch, a white Dutch woman and man, an Antillean-Dutch, a Muslim-Dutch woman, a Dutch person born in Turkey and a woman originally from Surinam.
These people have been selected out of a large group, who passed the special Dutch list of requirements. That means these people, living in The Hague, represent the Dutch society, according to the program leaders.
What happen to the Indo-Dutch? Do they not represent the people from The Hague? And that after 60 to 70 years being in the Netherlands? We all know that the Indo-Dutch were not welcome 60/70 years ago, and when they still arrive, they have been treated as second class “pinda poep-chinees” human beings.
Are the Indo-Dutch, who are living in The Hague today still second class people and is that the reason that they are not a good representation of The Hague?

Ach kassian, het is voorbij. Kassian, het is voorbij.
Den Haag, Den Haag, de weduwe van Indië ben jij.
Ach kassian, het is voorbij. Kassian, het is voorbij.
Den Haag, Den Haag, de weduwe van Indië ben jij. Den Haag, de weduwe van Indië

Even nowadays there are many typical cultural elements, especially among the older generation of the Indo-Dutch, both in The Netherlands as well as in America. Some typical are almost unique, because they are very different and more emphatic than elements in The Netherlands and America. The Indo culture arises due to the mixture of cultures of the former Dutch-Indies from the period before World War Two and the European.
For example the Indo hospitality to always cook too much food because they always might get unexpected guests. In house nobody wear shoes but slippers. When visiting or leaving friends or families we always shake hands with everybody. The elderly are always treated politely and often spoken with aunt and uncle, also by strangers. It is also a moral duty not to criticize others when visiting a family or friends. Cooked rice is always eaten with the spoon or with the right hand. All the food is serving on the table so that everyone is welcome to take what he/she wants. On special occasions we have our plates with food on our laps or the plate in our hand while everybody finds a place to sit throughout the house, but nobody eats their food standing.
To be able to get someone’s attention wave with your hand back and forth.
When cutting and/or peeling of e.g. fruits, always moves the knife away from you. Pointing the finger is out of the question. Because many cultures above are not known, one says that is the Indo feeling.

Between 1945 and 1965 about 380000 Dutch and Indo-Dutch were forced to leave the Dutch-Indies (after dec. 1949 called Indonesia) for the Netherlands. However the then Government were not in favor of this extensive re-emigration. In 1952 scientist Werner (the Werner Report Commission) made a report of the Indo-Dutch population, which was handed to the Minister President Dr. Drees, who found typical wordings and opinions about the Indo’s, which reminds him of the Nazi time period. He put the file in a drawer and never looks at it.
But evil was already happened: Eurasians were too Oriental to adapt to Dutch society.

Today there are approximately 1 ½ to 2 million Dutch citizens of Indies descent.

Religious encounter in The Netherlands

A 1951 religious experience in The Netherlands.

 It was cold and freezing when we, my mother and 4 children, arrived in the early morning of January 27, 1951 with the passenger ship m.s. Chitral from the Dutch-Indies in Rotterdam. My mother was alone, because my father died in Batavia of the inflicted wounds due to Japanese cruelties. Few hours later we were transported by buses to a hotel in Berg and Dal just outside of the town Nijmegen. We Indo’s got cheated by the hotel owner and after many complains hotel Beatrix got closed by the authorities. Then we were moved to another pension in the town of Nijmegen on the Groesbeekse weg across from the Catholic Church.

Being brought up as a good catholic I went the following Sunday to that church and took a seat on a church bench on the fourth row from the front. During the prayers a man suddenly kept a basket in front of me and asked a donation. Being 13 years old and one week in a cold Netherlands I told him that I had no money. He told me, if you do not have money you have to stand at the back. I got up, went to the back and walk out of the church.

A few months later my mother, my younger brother, two younger sisters and I moved to a house in the village called Beuningen, a typical farmers place about 10 miles outside Nijmegen.
This house had no running water and no heating. In the kitchen was a pump-handle. When we need warm water we had to boil the water on a coal furnace (potkachel).

Meanwhile my mother re-married a man she had worked with at a government office in Batavia (today called Jakarta). Mom could not handle the cold and got arthritis, especially at her hands and the pain was unbearable. The local village doctor was called and surprisingly the village catholic priest together with the doctor showed up at our front door. My father guided both to the bedroom where mom was laying. The doctor checked mom her hands, stand up and while he look at the priest he said: I think you are right! My step-father asked what he meant with “I think you are right”.

The priest turned to my step-dad and told him, that it was not his fault, but a catholic woman is not allowed to marry a protestant man and because she did, she has been punished by god.

Both the priest and doctor were kicked out of our house.

 

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