Indonesian War of Independence
After the Dutch East Indies had been occupied by Japan in World War II , nationalists proclaimed an independent Republic of Indonesia on August 17, 1945 (see Indonesian Declaration of Independence ). However, the Dutch government wanted to reinstate the old colonial administration and had larger parts of the island empire occupied in politionele acties (dt. "Police actions").
Despite their numerical superiority, the Indonesian troops were not up to the Dutch in terms of training and equipment, so that there were hardly any military battles. The guerrilla war was more significant, as the Dutch troops were insufficient to control the vast areas. The Netherlands suffered the real defeat in diplomacy, however, as the world public sympathized with the Indonesian side. Under American pressure, the Netherlands signed the transfer of sovereignty to the republic in December 1949.
As a concession to the Netherlands, Indonesia would be a federal state that would also be linked to the Netherlands through a Dutch-Indonesian union . As early as 1950, however , President Sukarno proclaimed the unified state , and in 1956 the union that had never been realized was abandoned. In 1962/63 the Netherlands also lost the western part of New Guinea ( Dutch New Guinea ) to Indonesia.
The Latin-Greek word "Indonesia" was first used by an English traveler in 1850 and means island India, in Dutch insulin is also used with poetic intent . For a long time, Indonesië was a little used geographical term until it was politically charged and used by the nationalists from 1922. The most common name for the colony of the Dutch East Indies is Nederlands-Indië , as well as Oost-Indië , ons Indië ("our India") or Indië for short , with the adjective Indian . The former British India , however, is in Dutch India , with the adjective Indiaas .
The events from the proclamation of the republic in 1945 to the signing of the transfer of sovereignty in 1949 are mostly referred to in Dutch with the contemporary expression politionele acties , ie “police actions”. This euphemism was chosen to emphasize the domestic nature of the military action. Use of force and guerrilla warfare also existed outside of the actual two “police actions”. Sometimes the actions are also named after their code names Operatie Product and Operatie Kraai (“crow”).
The term Indonesian National Revolution is often found in English , which is also the name of the influential publication by Anthony Reid from 1974. The Indonesian nationalists had already wanted to use the term to refer to the American Revolution (with the associated struggle for independence). The laden term of the revolution is rarely used in German in this context.
Nationalists refer to natives of the Indonesian archipelago, most of whom campaigned for independence from the Netherlands before the Second World War. You have belonged to different parties - partly because of Dutch party bans - the most important of which was the Parti Nasional Indonesia .
The Dutch Indies colony
The Dutch East Indies gained global economic importance through the cultivation of spices, tea, coffee, sugar, coconuts and later the extraction of rubber and petroleum. Since 1799 it was administered by the Dutch state as a colony, with the governor relying primarily on the help of local feudal lords.
The exploitation of agriculture was called cultuurstelsel (culture system), with the farmers having to cultivate a certain proportion of their land at the discretion of the Dutch; the price for the raw materials or food was set by the Netherlands. After 1870 the cultuurstelsel was given up, and instead of the state, private investors took the initiative. The result was that the locals experienced the interference in their economic life and the rising taxes less as the arbitrariness of the feudal lords, but more as the result of Dutch politics and economic power.
European education for Indonesians was part of the program of "ethical politics" that emerged at the end of the 19th century and became the official Dutch government standpoint in 1902. The locals should be given greater opportunities to develop, but the most important posts in the colonial administration were barred to them. Dutch officials were not very open to advocates of this policy; In fact, it remained a dilemma that on the one hand openness and freedoms should be realized, on the other hand nothing should be changed in the power relations.
A young, up-and-coming elite went through a colonial school system, studied in Europe and learned about the Dutch struggle for freedom against the Spaniards, and the example of Marxists and leaders like Sun Yat-sen in China or Kemal Ataturk in Turkey also had an influence on them, recalled later Mohammad Hatta . Gradually a local intellectual elite emerged that felt more like "Indonesians" than Javanese or Sundanese. The later leaders of the nationalists came from this elite.
A party that addressed Indonesian national interests was founded for the first time in 1912, the Indian Partij of the Dutch writer and activist Eduard Douwes Dekker . However, this party was soon banned, similar to the Perserikatan Nasional Indonesia (PNI) of 1927. The leader of the PNI was the engineer Sukarno , who was imprisoned by the Dutch colonial administration in 1929 and who later had to go into exile. Islamists and communists also expressed nationalist positions.
Once the Dutch discovered that an organization was acquiring a dangerous mass attachment, it was banned and the leadership jailed. Therefore, the local leaders gave up the idea of a mass party and formed small cadre groups as the vanguard of the independence movement.
It is true that there was a “People's Council” as an advisory body for the colonial administration, and locals also belonged to it. Overall, however, the Dutch leadership failed to adequately involve the locals in the colonial administration and thus enable the island empire to have ever greater self-government. They used repression against nationalists and Islamists, such as internment or exile in certain areas of the colony. In the Boven-Digoel camp alone, around 1,400 people have been interned since 1927.
Japanese occupation, 1942–1945
The Dutch Colonial Army (KNIL) was weak and mainly served to suppress local uprisings. The Japanese army , which landed in northern Borneo at the end of 1941 , succeeded in conquering the colony in just over a week in March 1942. The Dutch government, which had resided in exile in London since the German attack in May 1940, ordered the colonial administration to move to Australia .
The residents of the archipelago initially greeted the Japanese with great optimism, with the exception of those who had previously worked for the Dutch. But the Japanese occupation wanted to gain as much rice and raw materials as possible for the war. Of the fifty million inhabitants of Java and Madura , around 2.5 million died during the occupation, often of malnutrition.
While a local before the war had an average of about three hundred grams of the staple food rice a day, the official ration in Bandung in December 1943 was only 160 grams. In some places the actual ration fell to 20–30 grams per person or even family.
The Dutch nationals in the colony were detained in internment camps or ordered to do forced labor. In 1942/1943 29,000 men, 25,000 women and 29,000 children were interned in Java alone. About sixteen percent of them did not survive the war, and the situation was similar with the forced laborers, for example on the Burma railway. Adrian Vickers gives total numbers of 100,000 civilians and 80,000 military personnel, including British, Americans and Australians. Vickers also points out that the Dutch mainly brought communist or nationalist prisoners from Boven-Digoel to safety in Australia, but only a few compatriots.
There were three groups of local people who were supposed to support the occupation regime on Java: local rulers, the nationalists and the Islamists. The nationalist leader Sukarno was ready to respect the Japanese military regime and worked with him, but wanted to seek independence after a Japanese victory. When he heard in early 1943 that Burma and the Philippines would gain independence that year , but not Indonesia, he first published criticism of the Japanese: "Every kind of colonization destroyed." Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta were unsuccessful on a trip to Japan with their request - only local advisors and local councils were appointed in 1943. They had no real meaning.
However, when the American troops advanced in the Pacific, certain indications were made for an independence of parts of the archipelago since 1943/44. It was only on March 10, 1945 that it was said that a commission to investigate the question of independence was starting work on Java. On July 17, less than a month before the surrender, Japan announced a commission to prepare for independence.
The importance of the Japanese occupation for the later independence lies above all in the fact that the nationalists were given the opportunity to turn to the people and gain recognition. Since the Japanese occupiers had increasingly used locals for administrative tasks, the occupation also tended to accelerate future independence in this way. Vickers considers the previous Dutch rule to be so successful that without the Japanese occupation the emergence of what would later become Indonesia would have been impossible. The Japanese historian Goto Ken'ichi points out that 40,000 Dutch were enough to rule the colony, but 145,000 were unable to recapture it; 957 Japanese soldiers died during the invasion of 1942, but 10,078 during the Japanese occupation in the transition phase 1945/1946.
End of the war in 1945
Japan capitulated on August 15 a few days after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki . Both the Dutch side and the Indonesian nationalists were taken by surprise, because Japanese troops were still standing in vast areas of China and South Asia. Nobody was prepared for a quick takeover.
The surrender shocked the nationalists. They had expected the transfer of power to take place immediately and hoped that Japan would hold out for a few more months. During this period the Indonesian government could have stabilized and should ultimately have been recognized by the world as an unchangeable fact. But now they feared the quick return of the Dutch colonial administration.
Planned return of the Dutch
In the Netherlands it was taken for granted that the old conditions would be restored. The Netherlands considered the possession of the Dutch East Indies to be of vital importance as they believed they could not do without the economic advantages of a colony, especially not after the economic decline caused by the German occupation from 1940 to 1945. Furthermore, Dutch East Indies were the reason for the Netherlands for seeing oneself as a middelgrote mogendheid (medium great power). Since Asians are incapable of self-government, the restoration of the colonial administration can only be beneficial for the inhabitants of the archipelago. There were hardly any differences of opinion in the Netherlands about these basic assessments, at most about the degree of desirable participation by locals in the lower administrative levels. As a result, the Netherlands often referred to a declaration by the London government in exile, which at the end of 1942 had announced that the Dutch East Indies would have an equivalent place in the kingdom.
The new superpower, the USA, did not assume that the Indonesian nationalists were ready for immediate and complete independence. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thought of a voluntary union of the Netherlands and the Indonesian Republic. The Soviet Union thought negatively about a return of the Dutch, but it would have been even more against a permanent presence of the USA and Great Britain.
It was planned that the Japanese troops would continue to exercise power for the time being until they were gradually replaced by British troops under the command of Lord Mountbatten . The British, in turn, would hand over power to the Dutch, who in 1945 still had virtually no troops in the archipelago. One of the most important tasks of the British was to free the Dutch people locked up in internment camps (jappenkampen) and to transfer them to safe, British-ruled areas. These Dutch people, as well as the top of the old colonial administration who came from outside, found that they were received in a hostile manner by the locals.
Proclamation of independence
The movement of the Pemuda ("youth", Dutch spelling: pemoeda ) contributed to the radicalization of Indonesian nationalism . It emerged from youth organizations during the Japanese occupation. Pemuda gangs terrorized Dutch people as well as local people who wanted to work with the Dutch. During the period of bersiap (“Be ready!”), The transition from Japanese rule to the post-war period, approximately 3,500 people were killed by the pemudas and other groups. On the other hand, Japanese and British troops took revenge for their own losses inflicted on them by the Pemudas. In November 1945, for example, the village of Bekasi near Batavia was destroyed by British-Indian troops after Pemudas killed the crew of a British aircraft that had crashed nearby.
Nationalists had been talking about future independence at the invitation of Japan since May 1945. Sukarno set up his formula of the Five Principles ( Pancasila ) : nationalism, humanity, democracy, social justice and belief in one almighty God. The draft constitution for the "Republic of Indonesia" has already been drawn up, and the president has a strong position in it. The leaders Sukarno and Hatta had been hesitant about establishing the new state until the atomic bombing on Hiroshima, hoping that the Japanese would hand them over to power.
It was the pemudas who forced the nationalist leaders Sukarno and Hatta to declare independence , Kemerdekaan , on August 17, 1945 . The next day Sukarno and Hatta became President and Vice-President respectively, elected by a national committee that was supposed to prepare for independence and now served as a provisional parliament. On October 5th, Sukarno founded the so-called People's Security Army, which was armed primarily with police material (TKR: Tentara Keamanan Rakjat , since June 1947 TNI: Tentara Nasional Indonesia ).
In just a few months, the "Republic of Indonesia" succeeded in gaining control over most of Java, where 55 million of the 70 million inhabitants of the entire island kingdom lived. Madura near Java and the western island of Sumatra were also controlled by the republic.
Period of occupation and first “police action”, 1945–1947
British occupation 1945/1946
The British under Mountbatten's South East Asia Command initially had few troops in the region and considered it a priority to free prisoners of war in Malacca and Indochina. They left Borneo and the east of the Dutch East Indies to the Australians. It was not until mid-September 1945 that a British vanguard landed near the capital of the Dutch East Indies, Batavia, today's Jakarta. On October 2nd, luitenant-gouverneur-generaal Hubertus van Mook , the highest representative of the Netherlands , arrived .
On Java, the British initially only occupied a few port cities and later a strip from Batavia into the interior. The fighting was particularly fierce around Surabaja , where the local Japanese commander had given the Pemudas weapons. The six thousand British soldiers who arrived there in October 1945 faced 20,000 soldiers from the Indonesian army Tentara Keamanan Rakjat . Despite Sukarno's attempts to prevent bloodshed, a battle broke out after an attack by the Pemudas. At the end of November, however, the British were able to take Surabaja completely under their control.
In the outlying areas, such as Borneo and the Great East (the eastern island world with Celebes and Ambon ), the handover of power by the Japanese took longer. Since the feudal rulers still had more power here than on Java, the Dutch had the opportunity to partially renew the old balance of power. Around October 1946 the British withdrew from the archipelago and Dutch troops took their place: old units of the colonial army KNIL, plus Dutch volunteer associations and finally also conscripts.
The right course was now being debated in the Netherlands. While Governor van Mook pointed out that the Dutch position of power was very weak, the Cabinet in The Hague found that the old conditions should be restored as quickly and completely as possible. Initially, the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia was thought to be just one last propaganda trick by the Japanese. The cabinet was not prepared to see the republic as an equal negotiating partner, since in its view it was only a small group of nationalists who had no support from the population.
The British Labor government under Clement Attlee found the past of the " collaborator " Sukarno to be irrelevant and wanted to avoid bloodshed through negotiations. The Netherlands should share this view. Above all, London wanted to use its troops only to help prisoners of war and internees, not for the Dutch recapture of the colony. British troops would not intervene against the republic, the government announced on September 29, 1945 over the radio. That was not meant as recognition, but the nationalists saw it as great support.
The Linggajati Agreement of 1947
After several attempts, colonial officials around van Mook and the Indonesian Prime Minister Sutan Syahrir reached an agreement in the Linggajati Agreement (then spelling: Linggadjati) on a reorganization of the archipelago in March 1947 . As a result, the republic should exercise power over Java and Sumatra and become part of a federation - the United States of Indonesia (VSI). The other states should be Borneo and "East Indonesia". The VSI would be linked to the Netherlands through a " Dutch-Indonesian Union ".
When the agreement was signed, however, there were already different opinions about the interpretation of the agreement, including what form the Union should take. At best, the republic saw in it a loose alliance for economic and cultural exchange, in which it was strengthened by Governor van Mook. The question of whether the Dutch Queen would be head of the Union was kept open. The Dutch cabinet, on the other hand, wanted the Union to be an instrument of power through which it would exert considerable influence on the VSI in the future, including in foreign and defense policy. Parliament in The Hague added a corresponding addition to the agreement. The following dispute turned formally about whether "Linggajati" should apply in its original or its expanded form, and practically about who will exercise ultimate power in the archipelago in the future.
At that time, the Netherlands was under considerable financial pressure. Their social democratic finance minister Piet Lieftinck warned of an imminent collapse of the Dutch-Indian finances and then the finances of the kingdom itself. He was in favor of withdrawing the troops from the archipelago. The alternative is a "limited military action" with which the Netherlands would secure the production facilities in Java and Sumatra and at the same time demonstrate their power. Ultimatas to the republic to recognize the expanded version of “Lingaddjati” led Prime Minister Syahrir to agree to an interim government that could even be led by a Dutchman. In doing so, however, he had gone too far and lost the last of the support among the political forces in the republic. On June 27, 1947, the Prime Minister had to resign. The republic's leaders feared that too much indulgence would bring back the colonial balance of power.
First "police action", 1947
In 1947 and then again in 1948/49 the Netherlands occupied large parts of Sumatra and especially Java militarily with so-called police actions. The term "police action" was chosen to suggest that it was an internal matter for the Netherlands. The two occupations were illegal because of the Lingaddjati Agreement; this specifically stipulated that in the event of a dispute, a neutral third party should be asked to act as arbitrator.
In the first "police action" from July 21, 1947, the Dutch armed forces occupied the west and east of Java (the center remained with the republic) and enlarged the bridgeheads on Sumatra with minor losses of their own. The Republican army had twice as many soldiers, but had no air support and fewer means of transport and communication.
From an economic point of view, the operation was successful with the conquest of plantations and quarries for the Netherlands, and the republic was deprived of its ability to trade with foreign countries. However, there were not enough Dutch officials to manage the occupied territories effectively. A stream of refugees worsened the food situation in Yogyakarta , where the government of the republic resided. Local people who wanted to work with the Dutch for political or material reasons were not safe of their lives due to Indonesian guerrilla attacks . In December 1947, parts of the Dutch army carried out the Rawagede massacre , which was condemned by the UN.
Large parts of the world public sympathized with the republic, including the (British) India, which was just becoming independent, as well as Australia, which in the future would primarily have to do with the new Indonesia and not with a small country on the North Sea. Above all, the colonial powers Great Britain, Belgium and France supported the Netherlands.
The attitude of the United States was initially contradictory. On the one hand, the Americans sympathized with independence movements and had also spoken out against colonial empires during World War II. On the other hand, the United States did not want to alienate or weaken the Netherlands because they feared an economic collapse in Western Europe and, as a result, the strengthening of communist elements.
In the case of Indochina , America was considerate of France because France's voice was needed in the UN Security Council and there was a large communist party in France. In addition, Indonesian crude oil was of paramount importance in the face of a possible Third World War . The Netherlands was only able to ensure swift exports for a short time. In the longer term, however, Dutch rule would have been catastrophic for Indonesia's political future.
The Dutch Indian troops, Governor van Mook and half of the Dutch cabinet believed that the limited action should be extended to the rest of Java. Above all, the capital of the republic, Yogyakarta , must be conquered and the republican government dissolved. The social democratic ministers spoke out against this, and the USA also warned that in this case they would no longer prevent UN sanctions. The latter saved the Netherlands from “leaping into the abyss” in August, as the historian HW van den Doel judges. The American mediation offer prevented the UN from interfering, which was more in the interests of the Netherlands than of the Republic.
New Negotiations and Second “Police Action”, 1947–1949
In September 1947, representatives of the Netherlands and the Republic met on the American warship USS Renville off the coast of Java. Both sides had been responsible for war crimes . In addition, the republic accused Governor van Mook of installing puppet states for his United States of Indonesia in the occupied territories. The Americans therefore doubted the honesty of the Dutch and feared a further radicalization of the conflict. The mediation commission on the Renville ruled that the Netherlands must stop creating new states, withdraw from the occupied territories in three months and have free elections within a year to decide the future of the archipelago. The Republic accepted this, while on January 2, 1948, the Dutch government continued to claim full sovereignty over the archipelago.
On January 17, 1948, both sides came to a new agreement on the Renville : the republic had to recognize the borders created by the occupation, but was given the prospect of free elections under American supervision. The Dutch, in turn, interpreted this agreement in their own way, as recognition of their sovereignty and freedom of action. Just as there were two “Linggajatis”, van den Doel believes, there were now two “Renvilles”. This time, however, the Americans played the role of a neutral observer who put pressure on the Dutch.
Van den Doel supports the assessment of an employee of the Foreign Ministry at the time that the Dutch managed to lose the sympathy of the other powers in the republic in a short time. Van Mook and his surroundings would only have tolerated their own view of Indonesian reality, especially not that of foreigners such as the British military or French, Belgian or Australian observers.
Establishment of federal structures and new governor
The establishment of federal structures by the republic was not without problems, because the local politicians selected for this appeared self-confident and in the eyes of Dutch officials were corrupt and incompetent. In terms of time, the Netherlands was under pressure that on January 1, 1949 - according to "Lingaddjati" - the VSI should be established.
In the Netherlands there were new elections on July 7, 1948, which were necessary to amend the Basic Law: According to the constitution, the Dutch East Indies was part of the kingdom and was now to become sovereign, linked to the Netherlands only through the Union. A two-thirds majority was required for the change, so the Catholic People's Party expanded its coalition with the Social Democrats to include the Liberals and the Protestant CHU party . The Prime Minister's office was granted to the Social Democrats. The Catholics were given the Colonial Ministry and it was agreed that a Catholic would replace Van Mook. The colonial inexperienced Catholics, according to JJ Woltjer, wanted to break away from an earlier, in their opinion more cautious, Indian policy of the Netherlands. They considered it pointless to make agreements with the republic, as it would not adhere to them, which was proven by the infiltration of Dutch-controlled areas.
In August 1948, Governor van Mook received an announcement that a new head of the colonial administration was being sought. Former Prime Minister Louis Beel officially succeeded him on November 4th. As early as September Beel had wanted to take advantage of a communist uprising in Madiun on the territory of the republic to eliminate the republic with a military action. However, the new Prime Minister, the Social Democrat Willem Drees, opposed this plan . In addition, the communist uprising of September 19 was over by September 30 at the latest when the local communists fled from the advancing republican troops; the attempt to unleash a communist guerrilla war failed because of the negative rural population. The rapid end of the Madiun uprising earned the republic the confidence of the western world in this regard.
Second "police action", 1948/1949
The cabinet and Governor Beel saw a last chance to use the UN's Christmas break for a second "police action". After December 15, 1948, until mid-January there was the possibility of abolishing the republic and creating new facts. The Dutch believed they could accept the annoyance of other powers. Prime Minister Drees said that without war, “the Indonesian people would be left to their own devices, with the result: first anarchy and then dictatorship”.
On December 19, the second "police action" began with 80,000 soldiers, with a quick occupation of strategically important points and a paratrooper mission over the airport near Yogyakarta. President Sukarno, the new Prime Minister Hatta and several ministers were arrested, but the army commander had managed to escape. In this second military action, the Netherlands conquered almost all of Java, Madura and other places in eastern Sumatra.
Despite the contrary assumption of the Dutch army commander, the arrest of the government did not bring an end to the Indonesian guerrilla war . General Simon H. Spoor had 102,000 men on Java and 22,500 men on Sumatra, too few to control the vast areas effectively.
Foreign policy expert George F. Kennan warned on December 17, 1948 that the Dutch were unable to create a pro-Western Indonesia. Hatta and Sukarno, however, are. If they fell, extremists would come to power and there would be a risk that Indonesia would become communist. The press was also negative about the "police actions" and finally the US announced that no Marshall aid would go to the Dutch East Indies. But they shied away from excluding the Netherlands from it, because that would have looked like America was using its power against a small country.
On December 28, the United Nations passed two resolutions against the Dutch war of aggression. Those Indonesian politicians who wanted to work with the Dutch in the VSI also rejected the war. In the Netherlands, however, over sixty percent of respondents supported the second "police action".
After the government of the republic was released in March 1949, there were renewed Dutch-Indonesian negotiations in Batavia on April 14, 1949. The problem they faced, however, was that the republic's politicians wanted to return to Yogyakarta before any issues could be discussed. Hatta and the Dutch envoy van Rooijen agreed that the republic would take part in a round table after their return to Yogyakarta and that the Dutch would not form any new puppet states. In the Van Rooijen Roem Agreement of May 7, the Netherlands granted the Republic, among other things, half of the seats in the provisional VSI parliament. On 10/11 In August 1949 an armistice was adopted.
Prime Minister Drees, the Republic of Indonesia, the UN Commission for Indonesia and the “non-republican” states, which through the second “police action” in the arms of the republic, took part in the round table in The Hague, which had met since August 23, 1949 had been driven. The Dutch-Indonesian Union was implemented in the “weak” form that the republic had been ready to accept in 1946, albeit now under the Dutch crown. The difficult New Guinea question was avoided by the fact that the Netherlands would still retain control over the western part of the island. Only later should a decision be made about its future.
In the Dutch parliament, the former Prime Minister Gerbrandy spoke of a surrender to a "republic founded by Japan collaborators" and an extradition of the former colony to "the demonic powers that are at work in Asia". The chairman of the anti-revolutionary party , Jan Schouten, called the planned union “as light as a feather”. On December 9th, however, the Second Chamber accepted the results of the negotiations with 71 to 29 votes, the First Chamber on December 19, 1949. In the Indonesian Parliament, after the difficulties caused by the war, 319 members could be assembled. Of them, 226 voted for the results. Queen Juliana signed the transfer of sovereignty on December 27, 1949 in Amsterdam .
Consequences for Indonesia
With the transfer of sovereignty, the Republic of Indonesia Serikat came into being, the Republic of the United States of Indonesia. One day later, President Sukarno was received triumphantly in Jakarta (formerly Batavia). As early as January 1950, there was an attempted coup led by the Dutchman Raymond Westerling . Sukarno took this as an opportunity to make Indonesia a unitary state. Since 1956 he turned more and more into a dictator and in 1959 abolished the parliament, which was only elected in 1955. Sukarno himself was replaced by Major General Suharto in an extremely violent conflict in 1965 . Massacre in Indonesia 1965–1966
Independent Indonesia was confronted with the consequences of the Japanese occupation and the war of independence. Between 1945 and 1949 around one hundred thousand soldiers of the republic perished. The second “police action” in 1948/49 also had long-term significance for Indonesian domestic politics. By imprisoning the core of the civilian leadership, local military leaders could see themselves as rulers in their respective areas. The guerrilla struggle resulted in military leaders, politicians, officials and other refugees having to go into hiding in villages. For many villagers, Reid said, this was their first real revolutionary experience. The shared experiences showed solidarity and gave the future leaders a legitimation among the people, which continued to have an effect in the independent state. The Japanese historian Ken'ichi sees a certain connection between the idea under Japanese occupation that the army was everything and the later strong position of the army in the Indonesian state.
It is difficult to say whether the people of the archipelago would have fared better under further Dutch rule than under independence, as the world economy, for example, looked different in the 1950s than in the 1930s. Vickers points out that many Indonesians were in debt in the 1950s, as they were in the colonial days. The Korean War only caused a short-term boom that helped the country pay off its debts. To make the handover easier for the Dutch, the US forced Indonesia to assume the gigantic national debt. After the handover, however, little of the economic aid promised by the USA came. This kept Indonesia suspicious of America in the long term.
In addition, inner-Indonesian tensions became more apparent, also through the claims of federalists, Islamists and communists. Regional uprisings, such as in 1957 in Sulawesi and Sumatra, were a reminder that it was a multiethnic country with unresolved autonomy problems. The New Guinea question , which had been excluded from the transfer of sovereignty in 1949, was not resolved as planned in 1950. The area, which was continued as a Dutch colony, remained a matter of dispute between the Netherlands and Indonesia until 1962. Eventually the area came to Indonesia through the United Nations.
Consequences for the Netherlands
Due to the large groups of returnees and immigrants - the Netherlands had almost ten million inhabitants at the time - the colonial past remained public in the Netherlands for a long time, but was only gradually discussed in public after several decades. However, this was limited to individual aspects of the war and the conduct of Dutch politics.
Although the financial question was of decisive importance for The Hague's policy on India only in the summer of 1948, the public opinion to this day remains that the fear of an economic catastrophe was in the foreground ( Indië lost, rampspoed [calamity] born ). A report by two economists published in 1945 stated that the Netherlands earned fourteen percent of its national income in India in 1938. In their opinion, the end of the colonial era would not be an economic catastrophe, as the centuries of economic cooperation would outlast the colonial era. Woltjers points out that the Dutch economy was against confrontation and in favor of cooperation with the republic.
The real reason for the rigid attitude of the Dutch politicians was the feared loss of prestige: Without this colony the country would fall to the level of foreign policy of Denmark; in addition, according to a Dutch sense of mission, they believed that as a civilized power they had the right to educate other peoples. At that time the Catholic People's Party and the Social Democrats were in power; Woltjers believes that the People's Party was disappointed that it was unable to give politics a spin of its own, and that the Social Democrats feared an Indonesian dictatorship. In addition, De Jong notes, the Netherlands had no experience of decolonization, unlike Great Britain with the USA, Ireland, South Africa and South Asia.
Woltjer admits to the Dutch side that they saw the republic's mistakes and wanted to help, if necessary by force, by replacing the radical republicans with moderate ones. But: " No matter how many justified complaints about the conditions in the republic were to be brought, it symbolized the Indonesian self-esteem." This feeling could not be reconciled with the subordinate position that was intended for the republic in the Linggadjati Agreement.
Duco Hellema places the Indonesia question in the larger context of Dutch foreign policy and rejects the simplification that is often made that in 1948/49 the Asian policy was abruptly exchanged for an Atlantic policy. Rather, both tendencies would stand side by side for a long time, ultimately until the loss of Dutch New Guinea in 1962. At that time, the Indonesia question was a major foreign policy burden; in 1949 the Netherlands even doubted whether to join NATO because of their disagreements with the West .
Emigration to the Netherlands
After 1945, approximately 110,000 Dutch and Indian Nederlanders (who came from mixed relationships) had come to the Netherlands with the intention of returning to their homeland after recovering from the events. After 1949 another hundred thousand came, and another fifty thousand in 1956. In addition, former native soldiers of the Netherlands and their families sought refuge briefly in the Netherlands after the Republic of the South Moluccas was annexed by Indonesia in 1950 . Contrary to other intentions, these 13,000 people, whom the Dutch government had promised to work for their return to the Moluccas, also stayed in the country.
Bernd Müller describes the problematic, delayed integration of these Moluccas, while the other immigrants from Indonesia would have leaned towards Dutch culture as soon as they arrived. At the beginning of the 1990s there were around 450,000 people in the Netherlands who were born in Indonesia or whose father or mother was.
In the summer of 1945, volunteer associations were set up in the Netherlands to fight the Japanese. This was no longer necessary, but from autumn it was a matter of renewing Dutch rule. In November the cabinet decided to assign a division of conscripts to these troops, despite the constitutional clause that they could not be sent overseas against their will. It was not until August 1947 that a corresponding constitutional amendment came into force, so that, as Lou de Jong points out, the (then two) divisions were sent out unconstitutionally. According to a survey of June 1946, fifty percent of Dutch men and 36 percent of women were in favor of sending troops to the Dutch East Indies (41/44 percent against). A total of around 109,000 soldiers from the Dutch army and 12,000 marines were sent to India from 1945 to 1949, plus 4,000 soldiers from the colonial army KNIL. The common expression for the soldiers is Indiëgangers (Indians).
About 1900 conscripts asked for exemption on grounds of conscience. Of these, 300 refused to serve despite non-recognition. Few of the 1900s came from the Catholic south of the Netherlands because, de Jong suspects, the Catholic Church supported government policy. When the first contingent left, 15 percent stayed away from work and the second in September 1947 22 percent. These deserters (some went into hiding) and their helpers made themselves liable to prosecution. The courts, however, had problems convicting the latter of aiding and abetting desertion during wartime , as the country was officially not at war. In total, nearly 2,600 deserters were sentenced, many to four or five years in prison. There were also a few Dutch people who defected to the Indonesian side, such as Jan "Poncke" Princen , who later became a human rights activist.
The Indonesian guerrilla war cost the lives of over 1,150 Dutch military personnel in the months after the second "police action" alone, almost as much as in previous years. Hundreds of Indonesians, Chinese and Dutch suspected of collaborating have been kidnapped, ill-treated, mutilated and murdered by the TNI Republican Army. In return, there were excesses that were committed by Dutch soldiers. The Dutch historian van den Doel attributes excesses to “inexperience, fear and powerlessness”. A young Dutch lieutenant was given the task of tracking down TNI soldiers in Goenoeng Simping. When he got there on August 1, 1949, a wedding party was taking place. The lieutenant went alone to the village proper. A shot came from an unknown direction, possibly from a nervous Dutchman, whereupon the Dutch opened fire on the crowd: 26 people were killed, 33 wounded. In the Rawagede massacre in 1947, the Dutch army acted willfully and mercilessly , according to a UN report . War crimes are most likely to be seen in the appearance of Captain Raymond Westerling . Westerling commanded the Depot Speciale Troepen on Celebes (for example: special troops assembly point, a KNIL elite unit) and countered the guerrillas with counter-terror. In his opinion, the Dutch soldiers should act tougher than the guerrillas. He had villagers report him to “extremists” and then shot these “extremists” first and then those who reported the “extremists”. Van Mook compared such methods, which were copied by other commanders, with the German and Japanese. According to official Dutch figures, the guerrillas in southern Celebes caused 3,130 victims and the counter-terrorism 1,534. Westerling personally killed 388 Indonesians.
In 1987/88 a scandal broke out when Loe de Jong presented the corresponding volume of his monumental history of the Second World War ( Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog ). Even before the publication, a Colonel a. D. criticized the chapter on “war crimes” in the press, which he had received in confidence for a test reading. At most, he wanted to admit “excesses” to the Dutch colonial army. De Jong felt reminded of the way "in which Germany jumped the Netherlands in May 1940" during the paratrooper actions against the enemy's government center (during the second "police action").
It was not until 1995, on the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the republic, that war crimes began to be discussed in the Dutch public. The decision of the Dutch government to give the sick deserter Jan Princen an entry visa for humanitarian reasons so that he could visit his family in the Netherlands caused emotional reactions.
- Hubrecht Willem van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie . Prometheus, Amsterdam 1996, ISBN 90-5333-374-6 .
- Hubrecht Willem van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië. de val van het Nederlands imperium in Azië . Prometheus, Amsterdam 2000, ISBN 90-5333-888-8 .
- Steven Drakeley: The history of Indonesia . Greenwood Press, Westport 2005, ISBN 0-313-33114-6 .
- Kevin W. Fogg: Indonesia's Islamic Revolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2019, ISBN 978-1-108-48787-0 .
- Lou de Jong ; Rĳksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam : Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog . 11 a: Nederlands-Indië , I. Nijhoff, Leiden 1984, ISBN 90-247-8044-6 .
- Lou de Jong ; Rĳksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam : Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog . 11 b: Nederlands-Indië , II. Nijhoff, Leiden 1985, ISBN 90-6890-037-4 .
- Lou de Jong ; Rĳksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam : Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog . 12: Epiloog. Nijhoff, Leiden 1988, ISBN 90-6890-222-9 .
- Bart Luttikhuis, A. Dirk Moses: Colonial Counterinsurgency and Mass Violence: The Dutch Empire in Indonesia. Routledge, London 2014, ISBN 978-0-415-85683-6 .
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and cold war. The United States and the struggle for Indonesian independence, 1945-49 . Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1981, ISBN 0-8014-1388-5 .
- Anthony Reid: The Indonesian national revolution, 1945-1950 . Longman, Hawthorn 1974, ISBN 0-582-71047-2 .
- Merle Calvin Ricklefs: A history of modern Indonesia since c. 1200 . 4th edition. Stanford University Press , Stanford 2008, ISBN 978-0-8047-6130-7 .
- Adrian Vickers: A history of modern Indonesia . Cambridge University Press , Cambridge (England) and New York 2005, ISBN 0-521-54262-6 (English).
- Eric Ambler : The Night-Comers (US title: State of Siege ), 1956, German translation Uninvited guests 1958 (Stuttgart, Günther-Verlag), new translation 1978 Visit at night (Zurich, Diogenes). ISBN 978-3-257-20539-8 .
- Peter van Dongen : Rampokan (Volume 1: Java ; Volume 2: Celebes ), Avant-Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-939080-29-9 , ISBN 978-3-939080-30-5 .
- Het Nederlandse militaire optreden in Nederlands-Indië / Indonesië 1945–1950 - A bibliographical overview (bibliographical overview, Dutch Institute for Military History, Dutch)
- Dutch War Cemeteries Far East (Dutch War Cemeteries Far East, Dutch)
- University of Münster: Decolonization in the Netherlands
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 237. For more details see RE Elson: The Idea of Indonesia: A History , Cambridge u. a .: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 1-4.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, p. 26.
- Steven Wedema: "Ethics" and power. The Dutch colonial administration and Indonesian emancipation efforts 1901–1927 , Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, p. 329.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, pp. 28/29.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, pp. 30-32.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, pp. 32/33.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, p. 224.
- Adrian Vickers: A History of Modern Indonesia , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 85.
- The Indonesian government spoke of four million victims in the early 1950s. See: NIOD, Veel gestelde vragen, Cijfers Japanse bezetting, Pacific-oorlog en Indonesische onafhankelijkheidsstrijd .
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 11b: Nederlands-Indië, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 537-541, p. 555.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, pp. 272/273.
- Adrian Vickers: A History of Modern Indonesia , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 87.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 11b: Nederlands-Indië, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 891.
- After Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 11b: Nederlands-Indië, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 894/895. "Elke soort kolonisatie rot."
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 11b: Nederlands-Indië, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 902/903.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 11b: Nederlands-Indië, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 887.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Prometheus: Amsterdam 1996, p. 268.
- Adrian Vickers: A History of Modern Indonesia , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 85.
- Goto Ken'ichi: Modern Japan and Indonesia. The dynamics and legacy of wartime rule. In: Peter Posy / Elly Touwen-Bouwsma (eds.): Japan, Indonesia and the war. Myhs and Realities. KITLU-Press, Leiden 1997, pp. 14–30, here p. 15.
- Benedict R. O'G. Anderson: Java in a Time of Revolution. Occupation and Resistance, 1944-1946 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1972, p. 69.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 261.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 695.
- Frances Gouda: American Visions of the Netherlands East Indies / Indonesia. US Foreign Policy and Indonesian Nationalism 1920-1949. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2002, p. 43.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 261.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, p. 280. Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 725.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, p. 275.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, pp. 275/276 .; Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 693.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 262.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 263.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, p. 281.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 267.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, pp. 225/226, 230/231.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, p. 169.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 824-829.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 825/826.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, pp. 175/176.
- Robert J. McMahon: Colonialism and Cold War. The United States and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1945-1949 . Cornell University Press: Ithaca / London 1981, p. 177.
- Frances Gouda: American Visions of the Netherlands East Indies / Indonesia. US Foreign Policy and Indonesian Nationalism 1920-1949. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2002, p. 299.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 256. "De Amerikaanse regering had hiermee Nederland behoed voor [...] een sprong in de afgrond [..]."
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 283.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 293.
- JJ Woltjer: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, pp. 289/290.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, pp. 308/309. JJ Woltjer: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, pp. 290/291.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 318.
- Quoted from: HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 320. “[…] tenzij men het Indonesian people aan zichzelf wil overlaten met als gevolg eerst anarchy en dan dictatuur”.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 321.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 944-947.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, pp. 290/293.
- Frances Gouda: American Visions of the Netherlands East Indies / Indonesia. US Foreign Policy and Indonesian Nationalism 1920–1949. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2002, pp. 294/295, pp. 297/298.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 951.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 350. “by Japan collaborateurs gestichte republiek”, “een Unie zo licht als een pluisje”.
- See: NIOD, Veel gestelde varsh, Cijfers Japanse bezetting, Pacific-oorlog en Indonesische onafhankelijkheidsstrijd .
- Anthony JS Reid: Indonesian National Revolution 1945-50 . Longman: Melbourne 1974, pp. 154/155.
- Goto Ken'ichi: Modern Japan and Indonesia. The dynamics and legacy of wartime rule. In: Peter Posy / Elly Touwen-Bouwsma (eds.): Japan, Indonesia and the war. Myhs and Realities. KITLU-Press, Leiden 1997, pp. 14–30, here p. 21.
- Adrian Vickers: A History of Modern Indonesia , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 133-135.
- Frances Gouda: American Visions of the Netherlands East Indies / Indonesia. US Foreign Policy and Indonesian Nationalism 1920-1949. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2002, p. 304.
- J. van Goor: De Nederlandse colonies. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse expansie 1600–1975 , The Hague: SDU, 1993, p. 344.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, p. 299.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, p. 318.
- JJ Woltjer: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, pp. 311, 317.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 1069.
- JJ Woltjers: Recent verleden. Nederland in de twintigste eeuw , Amsterdam: Balans, 1992, pp. 305/306. "Hoe veelerechtvaardigde bezwaren also were in te brengen tegen de toestanden in de Republiek, zij simboliseerde het Indonesische gevoel van eigenwaarde."
- Duco Hellema: Neutraliteit & Vrijhandel. De geschiedenis van de Nederlandse buitenlandse betrekkingen , Utrecht: Spectrum 2001, pp. 138, 155/157.
- Bernd Müller: No more fun - migration and integration in the Netherlands. In: Alexander Thomas / Boris U. Schlizio (Ed.): Living and working in the Netherlands. What you should know about the country and its people , Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007, pp. 200–222, here p. 207.
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, p. 299.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 800.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 802/804.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, pp. 804/805.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, pp. 294/295.
- HW van den Doel: Afscheid van Indië , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2000, pp. 284/285.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 14: Reacties, 2nd half, The Hague 1991, pp. 900-928.
- Loe de Jong: Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog , Volume 12: Epiloog, 2nd half, The Hague 1985, p. 948. “[…] een aggressie bovendien die door hair poging om bij de inzet met luchtlandingstroepen het regeringscentrum van de tegenstander te veroveren deed think aan de wijze waarop Nederland in mei '40 door Duitsland something. "
- HW van den Doel: Het Rijk van Insulinde. Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie , Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996, p. 298.