Inez Hollander (Ph.D.) has had a portfolio career teaching (UC Berkeley), translating (in particular for Silicon Valley clients like Google, LinkedIn and Netflix) and writing.
Publishing both in the US and the Netherlands, her connection with the Dutch East Indies emerged only when she started looking into her family history. Although more than three generations of her family had roots in the Indies, with several plantations, there were no stories, archives or pictures… Writing her family memoir Silenced Voices (Ohio University Press, 2008, and in Dutch translation, Verstilde stemmen en verzwegen levens: een Indische familiegeschiedenis (Atlas, 2009)), she realized that the silencing of her family’s colonial history was by no means unique but somewhat typical of the generation who had experienced the Japanese occupation and internment, the Bersiap and decolonization.
While part of her own family (of totoks) had been uprooted and lost family members to the Kempetai and the massacre of the Gubeng Transport during the Indonesian Revolution, Hollander was especially disturbed by the experiences and treatment of the Indo population and its subsequent Diaspora after WWII. For the Indo Dutch population who ended up outside of The Netherlands’ borders this led to a sense of uprootedness, loss and struggle for cultural identity among subsequent generations. Her serving on the Board of The Indo Project was her way of paying back and healing the wounds that still have not been closed since WWII. She feels deeply committed to building a stronger Indo Dutch community worldwide, and in particular, in the US so that this population without a country can honor the past, and preserve a legacy for future generations.