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The Krancher Family Immigration Photo  to Holland 1956

BDH:   Where were you born ?

JK:  I was born in the beautiful tourist town of Malang, in East Java, the former Dutch East Indies, prior to the Japanese invasion. After struggle for independence, the country became known as Indonesia and the Dutch were expelled.

BDH:  How did you emigrate ?

JK:  As a 17-year old, I emigrated (“repatriated”) with my father, mother and sister to the Netherlands in 1956. After finishing High School and three years later completing my college education in Holland, I immigrated to the USA.  As a bachelor I flew to New York, sponsored by a church organization. From there, I traveled by train across the US to California.

BDH:  What is your citizenship ?

JK:   My citizenship is American.  I did not serve in the military in the Netherlands, a NATO country member, because of multiple deferments for studies. Therefore, I enlisted in the US Army to fulfill my military commitment, still in possession of a “green card.” After three years of service in Germany, I was honorably discharged and became a US citizen while living in Hawaii pursuing my US college degree.

BDH:  How has your Indo background influenced you life decisions?

JK: Being raised in an Indo family of Dutch/German/Indonesian descent  has definitely influenced the choices I made in life.  Some of the positive characteristics of our community is having the ability to generously share, being respectful of others and the occasional use of herbal remedies.  I have always been a rather shy and non-assuming individual.  Later in life, however, I became more assertive and often had to perform on a higher level.  When I entered college in the Netherlands prior to my father’s passing away, he said to me “Now you are a real student. Stay with it.”  I took that advice to heart and I continued my studies and eventually earned a PhD degree.  This trait is called the Indo “pukul terus” or “keep on, keeping on” mentality.

BDH:  How do you maintain connection to your Indo heritage ?

JK:  I was fortunate to marry an Indo women with a significant heritage of her own, being a descendant of the well-known Van Riemsdijk clan, a former Governor General of the Indies.  All my three children, (two boys and one girl, all married) were born in the US.  From the start, we made it a priority to visit our homeland Holland on a regular basis, at least every five years, more often for special occasions. When I was employed in Saudi Arabia in the early 80s, we visited annually. Thus, we always maintained close ties with those overseas and this has borne fruit. Both of our sons are internationally minded, one with an advanced degree in international relations/diplomacy and the other employed by a firm in Holland, married to an Indo girl, where he is in charge of dispatching staff overseas for a large firm. Our daughter lives in the US and we her visit often. We also often attended Dutch-Indo activities in California.

BDH:  What is your most favorite Indo food?

JK:  Having simple taste, I prefer eating “gado-gado,” with lots of peanut sauce and “krupuk” (a shrimp chip). And of course, I enjoy “nasi goring” (fried rice) “bami” (stir-fried noodles) and drinking “tjendol” (beverage).

BDH:  Name the three most important things in your life.

JK:  Obviously, the family comes first.  Secondly, a career that brings satisfaction with support of the family and seeing our children succeed in life and third, a comfortable retirement with plenty of travel in the US and abroad.

Joyce and Jan Krancher, 1-March-1965 Wedding, The Hague, The Netherlands

Krancher Family August-1992 Visalia,California USA

Editor’s Note:  Jan is not only one of the founders of The Indo Project but he has also published a book “The Defining Years of the Dutch East Indies, 1942-1945.  He has been a guest lecturer on many occasions telling the story of The Dutch East Indies.  He has lectured on cross cultural communication and often includes historical evidence of the Indies.

Meet Jan Krancher

By Bianca Dias-Halpert

Help Support The Indo Project Mission


  1. Dear Mr. Krancher,

    My sister Mary VonSchimmelmann mentioned that you might be able to obtain information about ancestors who have lived in Indonesia a long time ago. My name is Vernon Ingleton and I was born in Jatinegara in 1935. My father was British and mother was Dutch. Father was in a Japanese prison in Bandung and we miraculously survived as buitenkampers in Meester Cornelis, now called Jatinegara. My grandmother Eugenie Elisabeth Merle (pronounced Merlay) was born in Tjilatjap on June 20, 1882 and passed away on December 12, 1921. She had a French father (Eugene Merle) and and (probably) Dutch mother named Maria Meyer. My grandmother’s nationality is still unknown; it may be French or Dutch but some relatives told me there also may be some Indonesian through ancestral lines but we’re still in the dark about her other ancestors. So we’d appreciate it if you can locate any info. I have read your excellent book “The Defining Years” and hope that such terrible situations may never happen again. Terima kasi for all your efforts.

  2. on Amazon:
    A Boy’s Journey: From internment camp to the Land of the Free (Holocaust/ WWII Memoirs)
    Tjideng Reunion: A Memoir of World War II on Java (Holocaust/WWII memoirs by
    I survived Camps Baciro and Pundung: A Life to Remember (Holocaust/WWII memoirs by
    Edokko: Growing up a Stateless Foreigner in Wartime Japan (Holocaust/WW II memoirs by

  3. Hello, dag, ik zit nuwith Frida and Ida at the Newark Dutch Americans Indonesian coffee hour. I will be releasing a novel about a Dutch family’s life in America, after the father survives Jappen kampen as a youth. I hope to speak to you soon.

  4. Dear Mr.J Krancher,
    A friend, Bert Klink, recommended your book to me. It is so important that my children know their roots.
    All they know are their Dutch roots, and that is because I was only 10 years old when I left Indonesia.
    My mother still lives in Holland, whom I visit annually.
    Where can I order your book, Mr. Krancher?
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my email and look forward as to how I can buy this book.
    Since I have three children, all adults, I need to order 4 books.
    Irene Marmelstein- Latuperisa

  5. I am attempting to locate information about a Jeanne Mayer (a great -aunt) whom I believe married a Mr Krancher in the Dutch East Indies. Would you have any information onthis matter? Thank you, Meikie Flach

      • Hi Meikie:

        Late but I hope not too late. Better late then never, right? Here is an excellent contact for you. Ron Krancher in Holland who wrote the book, titled “Dari Mana.” ( He has all the info of that branch of the Kranchers. It’s OK to state that Jan Krancher referred you. Good luck.

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