In 1940, it was estimated that they, the Eurasians, were 80 per cent of the European population, which at the previous census had numbered 250,000.
Nine tenths of the so-called Europeans are the offspring of whites married to native women. These mixed people are called Indo-Europeans. This group has suffered more than any other during the Japanese occupation.” Official US Army publication. On November 24, 1945, Sutomo leaked propaganda to specifically kill the Dutch, Indo, Ambonese and unarmed civilians. Hundreds of Eurasians were killed in attacks by fanatical nationalistic Indonesian youth groups in the Bersiap Period during the last quarter of 1945 and beginning of 1946
Over a 15-year period after the Republic of Indonesia became an independent state, virtually the entire Dutch population, Indische Nederlanders (Dutch Indonesians), estimated at between 250,000 and 300,000, and left the former Dutch East Indies. Some of them went to Australia, the United States or Canada. 18.5% departed for the United States. In 1959, Dutch people who did not embrace Indonesian citizenship were expelled. An estimated 60,000 immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s
The migration pattern of the so-called Repatriation progressed in five distinct waves over a period of 20 years.
- The first wave, 1945–1950: After Japan’s capitulation and Indonesia’s declaration of independence, around 100,000 people. Although Indo’s suffered greatly during this period, with 20,000 people killed over 8 months in the Bersiap period alone.
- The second wave, 1950–1957: After formal Dutch recognition of Indonesia’s independence,many civil servants, law enforcement, and defense personnel left for the Netherlands. According to one estimate, 200,000 moved to the Netherlands in 1956.
- The third wave, 1957–1958: During the political conflict around the ‘New-Guinea Issue’, Dutch citizens were declared undesired elements by the young Republic of Indonesia and around 20,000 more people left for the Netherlands
- The fourth wave, 1962–1964: When the last Dutch-controlled territory (New Guinea), was released to the Republic of Indonesia, the last remaining Dutch citizens left for the Netherlands, including around 500 Papua civil servants and their families. The total number of people that migrated is estimated at 14,000
- The fifth wave, 1949–1967: During this overlapping period a distinctive group of people, known as “Spijtoptanten”(Repentis), who originally opted for Indonesian citizenship found that they were unable to integrate into Indonesian society and also left for the Netherlands. In 1967, the Dutch government formally terminated this option. Of the 31,000 people who originally opted for Indonesian citizenship (Indonesian term: Warna Negara Indonesia), 25,000 withdrew their decision over the years.
A 2005 study estimates the number of Indo’s who went to Australia around 10,000.[
During the 1950s and 1960s an estimated 60,000 Indo’s arrived in the US, where they have integrated into mainstream American society. These Indo’s were sometimes also referred to as Indo-Europeans and Amerindo’s. They are a relatively small Eurasian refugee-immigrant group in the USA.
An accurate count of Indo immigrants is not available
However the Indo’s who settled via the legislative refugee measures number at least 25,000
By 1951, US consulates in the Netherlands registered 33,500 requests and had waiting times of 3 to 5 years.
The 1953 flood disaster in the Netherlands resulted in the US Refugee Relief Act including a slot for 15,000 ethnic Dutch who had at least 50% European blood
US Representative Francis E. Walter pleaded for a second term of the Refugee Relief Act in 1957 and an additional slot of 15,000 visas in 1958. In 1958 the US Pastore-Walter Act (“Act for the relief of certain distressed aliens”) was passed allowing for a one off acceptance of 10,000 Dutchmen from Indonesia
Still in 1960 senators Pastore and Walter managed to get a second 2-year term for their act which was used by a great number of Indo ‘Spijtoptanten‘ (Repentis)
In 1990, the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) registered the number of first-generation Indo’s living in the Netherlands at around 180,000 people. In 2001 official registration, including the second generation, accumulate their numbers to around half a million. Based on this the estimations, which include the third generation descendants, reach up to at least 800,000 people. However researcher Dr. Peter Post of the NIOD estimates 1.5 to 2 million people with Indo blood living in the Netherlands. The Indo Dutch living abroad were not included. That makes them by far the largest minority community in the Netherlands.
A 1999 CBS study reveals that of all foreign-born groups living in the Netherlands, only the Indo’s have an average income similar to that of citizens born in the Netherlands. Job participation in government, education and health care is similar as well. A 2005 CBS study, among foreign-born citizens and their children living in the Netherlands, shows that on average, Indo’s own the largest number of independent enterprises. A 2007 CBS study shows that over 50% of first-generation Indo’s have married a native-born Dutch person, which increased to 80% for the second generation.
Kirsten Vos investigated the emigration period after the war by concentration on the published articles in the local Dutch newspapers, published at that time in Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya. Beside that she compared her numbers with the published numbers by Van den Doel, Ellemers, Willems and Meyer.
- Returnees in the period 1946-1968.
- Between 1950 and 1958, approximately half, 160,089 persons repatriated. Period Group Totals (persons) 1946-1949: Evacués 108,410. Van den Doel 110,000, Willems 106,976 (Return to Indonesie) Those who remain in Netherlands 30,000 – / –
- 1950-1951 Returnees from Indonesia 80,607. Ellemers – CCKP 88,000, Ellemers – CBS 67,821, Willems & Meijer 86,000
- 1952-1957 Returnees from Indonesia, regret optants and naturalized 79,482, Ellemers – CCKP 88,000, Ellemers – CBS 72,447, Willems 78,000
- 1958-1968 Returnees from Indonesia & New Guinea, regret optants and naturalized 67,470, Ellemers – CCKP 74,000, Ellemers – CBS 84,410, Willems 44,000
- 1946-1968 Evacuees, returnees from Indonesia and New Guinea, regret optants and naturalized 306,329 Averages of socio-historical research (Van den Doel, Ellemers, Meijer, Willems) 303.262, Beets et al. 298,057
Master thesis Kirsten Vos, 2007
In the meantime, between 1960 and 1968, Eurasian returnees emigrated from the Netherlands and left for Canada, America, Suriname, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. That total number is around 23.5% of the total in the Netherlands. This corresponds to: 70,043 (Beets 298.o57) to 71,873 emigrants (Kirsten Vos 306,329).
In the Netherlands, there are currently about 1,530,000 Dutch people of European-Indonesian descent. (not 2 million, as some others mentioned)
Ron Geenen 2020