Petition About WWII Backpay and Damage Reparations in the Former Dutch East Indies – I

Please Join & Sign the Petition:

You’ve probably heard about the petition or seen it surface on Facebook urging you to sign it. No matter where you are in the world, if you are a Dutch-Indonesian, Dutch, or a person who has roots in the former Dutch East Indies, we need you to read this and sign on for the sake of many who were discriminated against.

 

What is this all about?

Het Indisch Platform, representing more than 30 Dutch Indonesian groups, started this initiative.  It is a foundation in the Netherlands that lobbies for, advocates and monitors the right and interest of Dutch-Indonesians.

Het Indisch Platform is trying to collect at least 10,000 signatures on a petition called De Indische Kwestie (the Dutch Indonesian Question) to pressure the Dutch Government to right a wrong perpetrated on the Dutch-Indonesians that has gone on for more than 67 years!

What Exactly is De Indische Kwestie?

De Indische Kwestie  concerns two serious issues regarding compensation to the Dutch-Indonesians, for their loss and suffering during WWII under Japanese occupation in the Dutch East Indies.

1.    Dutch-Indonesian government officials and soldiers, to this day, never received     pay for service during the 41 months of the Japanese occupation! On the other hand, Dutch officials and soldiers who were held prisoner or detained by the  Germans did receive their pay retroactively after the war from the Dutch Government.

2.    The Dutch Government never compensated the Dutch people from the Dutch East Indies for private war damage. In 1951, a Dutch law was passed  allowing claims for war damage due to German occupation. The Dutch people from the Dutch East Indies were excluded from receiving any compensation. Instead, the Dutch Government stated that the new and penniless Republic of Indonesia should be held responsible for their claims.

Why is it so important for you to sign the petition? 

The Dutch Government has paid 5.9 billion Guilders to Dutch citizens who were victimized by the Germans during WWII. The Dutch people from their former colony of the Dutch East Indies never received a penny.

Other countries that were at war with Japan during WWII have generously compensated their countrymen who had been living in their Asian colonies. Even Portugal, a country less affluent then the Netherlands, compensated its countrymen living in Portuguese Timor and Macao during WWII. The Dutch Government should be ashamed of itself.

Het Indisch Platform is well aware of the fact that total compensation for war damage is impossible, because that would cost billions of Euros today. The major point of this initiative is to remove feelings of discrimination and inequality towards the Dutch-Indonesians and give recognition for their collective and personal grief and suffering.

All Dutch-Indonesians and their descendants, as well as every Dutch citizen, can sign this petition.  It is important that ten thousand or more signatures are collected so that the Indisch Platform can pressure the Dutch Parliament to finally accept responsibility and instruct its government to start negotiations for an acceptable solution for all affected parties.

 

Important to Remember

If you have Dutch-Indonesian roots and/or have parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts who have lived in the former Dutch East Indies during WWII, it directly affects you since these are the people that have been discriminated against all these 67 years.

Please take the time to go to the  petition* and add your Name, City & State and Email address at the bottom of the petition. If you want your signature to be made public with the other names of petitioners, check off the little box.  If not, leave it blank. Remember, all Dutch-Indonesians or their descendants as well as every Dutch citizen can sign this petition. The few minutes that it will take will mean so much to so many.

Thank you!

Priscilla Kluge McMullen

*Note: The petition is in Dutch because it is being presented to the Dutch Government.  You can use Google Translation for the English text.

 

39 Comments on “Petition About WWII Backpay and Damage Reparations in the Former Dutch East Indies – I

  1. Ben geboren in 1939, mijn vader geinterneerd geweest in the werfstraat te Surabaya.

  2. Both my dad Nicolaas WouterCoral van Doesburgh and mom Gysbertina Kuylaars (van Doesburgh) were in the Japanese prison camps during WWII

    • My dad’s name is not Nicolaas WouterCoral van Doesburgh it is just Nicolaas Wouter van Doesburgh, please correct.

  3. My parents, and my oldest brother, all three of whom were imprisoned for four years by the Japanese military, and barely survived the ordeal, never received one penny from the Dutch government. The Dutch East Indies, before and during the Japanese occupation, were exactly as the name clearly states, Dutch territory and therefore Dutch responsibility. The idea that the newly formed Republic of Indonesia is responsible for war reparations to Dutch citizens is ludicrous, and the height of Dutch hypocrisy. Many of those who suffered are now close to the end of their lives or have already died, and a swift response is crucial. I urge the current Dutch government finally, at long last, to do the right thing and compensate all Dutch-Indonesians for their grievous war time losses. To do anything less would be SCHAAMTELOOS!

    • In the last 20 years a letter came from the dutch government – they gave approximately $2,000 Canadian to those who served and suffered in the KNIL. My dad was a prisoner of war in Burma under the Japanese for 3 years.

  4. Father Johan van Beers
    Mother Anita van Beers
    Sister Peggy Gabrielson – van Beers
    Brother Klaas van Beers
    Brother Sjoerd van Beers
    Brother Barry van Beers
    Brother Anthony van Beers

  5. ATTENTION:
    if you have sighned the petition, you will get an e mail in your INBOX to confirm your signature.
    Don’t forget it or look in your UNWANTED mail, when you didn’t receive the e mail.
    Thanks Priscilla for the good job!

    • I tried to sign the petition and I didn’t see a place to sign it. I don’t read dutch very well.

  6. Bestaat het woord “Sorry” in het japans.Zo ja,snappen ze daar de betekenis dan van.
    Dan zou de keizer zijn verontschuldiging moeten kenbaar maken aan de slachtoffers van zijn hemelsekeizerrijk.
    Maar ook aan de slachtoffers van Hiroshima en Nagasaki.Er waren 2 bommen nodig om dit tot zijn ziekelijke keizerlijke hersens te laten doordringen.Maar zelfs zijn zoon is er te dom voor.
    Voor mij is hij van hetzelfde kaliber als Hitler en Stalin.

  7. Ik teken voor mijn familieleden Willy en Joke Francken, beiden vermoord tijdens het Goebeng-transport op 28 oktober 1945, en teken voor hun vader (mijn oudoom), Peddy Francken, die in Soekamiskin overleed als gevolg van de martelingen die hij onderging tijdens de Japanse bezetting (zie mijn book Silenced Voices/Verstilde stemmen en verzwegen levens). Ik teken ook voor mijn vader (ALCF Hollander) die als dienstplichtige 2.5 jaar moest dienen in het leger in Nederlands-Indië, in een conflict waar hij niet voor gekozen had en waar hij (onverwerkte) traumatische herinneringen aan heeft overgehouden,
    Inez Hollander
    Dutch Studies, UC Berkeley

  8. What good is money after 67 years, early deaths, illness and forced emigration? Get our HOMES back. I wouldn’t mind the equivalent of my grandfather’s home in Bogor, I’ll turn it into a bed and breakfast for Indos.

    • Dear Mieke Jacobs,
      it’s not all about the money, nothing can change the fact of suffering and grieve and illness that were given to our grand parents and parents and the next generations.
      I think that healing can start when the Dutch Governement finally says sorry and recognizes the way they
      treated the Dutch Indonesian community in a very wrong way.

      @Thanks Priscilla to put the petition into the Indoproject, not only for the signatures, but people can share the stories. My parents never wanted to talk about the war and I’m “glad” with the stories I read here.

      @ To you all: thank you for sharing
      Love from Toby

  9. It makes me double mad that some governments wait until people of of certain governments just let their citizens get old to die before they can pay out their debt.
    I also qustion discrimanation involeved. It sounds like it.
    Like al veterans who get lied to but got their attention after long disputes I would say just pay up and avoid pressure from EU or UN.
    One thing the Dutch-Indonesians still have is respect,as their children now.But pay up…

    • They will wait till we die off so more money is available
      for the holocaust dependents. So sad but expected and
      forget about what the internments did to us the survivors
      Who now suffer from all kinds of PTSD issues.
      Disabled US veteran

  10. My father was a prisoner of war under the Japanese rule, serving with the Dutch army. My mother, her mother and sisters were living in Indonesia an were in prison camps also.

  11. Priscilla Kluge Ms Mulen/Johan E. Celosse. I thought you wouldbe interested to read my repond of what I had send to the the CRvB etc.
    The addressees were R.Boom Griffier and attorneys: A.Beuker-Tilstra, R. Kooper & G. Stevens. Reference: 10/2612 Wubo and 10/2613 Wuz, the datum was December 13th, 2012 dispatched Express US Mail.Quote:
    Gentlemen, On December 16, 2011, I received the decision made by the Centrale Raad van Bestuur rejecting my claim. In connection herewith I had requested that you send me a copy of the complete dossier that has served as the basis by which you arrived at your determination, i.e/ judgement. The costs associated with this is hereby refunded. Enclosed, herewith is my check for $55.00 representing those costs and reflects a tiny part of the BLOOD MONEY that CRvB as well as the Pension Board under Mrs. H.Dresden, Chairperson and Mr. I.Wolfert, Scretary have extracted from the undersigned. There will be retribution for this hideous act to deny my rightful compensation for my pain and agony I suffered from, during the Japanese Wartime Occupation years followed by the Bersiap Period due from the Dutch Government undder wubo & wuz Acts. Have no doubt that it will come from Higher Authority and shal and will affect you in ways that profoundly touches you, because the day of reckoning and rightfulljustice that affects your life strikes you home in waya that evil people like yourself deserve. What your immoral and corrupt assessment symbolizes is the state of mind of people whose sole function is to protect the Dutch Treasury by interpreting in the most narrowest form of the restricted applicable law written by lawmakers with limited knowledge and experience, like yourself what had transpired from March 1942 to September 1946. The arrogance displayed by you is beyond comprehension because it represents the Dutch Polder Boys Syndrome that is so repugnant that punishment by Higher Authority is inevitable. Thank You signed: Johan E. Celosse Unquote

    • Dear Johan Ernst Celosse,
      is this about WUV or WUBO?

      My advice to you: don’t give up, it took me more than 3 years of fighting before they gave my sisters WUV, in the meantime my brother died, so they need not pay for him, but their policy is to refuse everybody at first, but you have to keep on trying!

  12. Jacob Smit, please refer to the bottom part of the article which provides you with a link to the Petition and directions on how to fill it out. Thanks for your support!

    Johan Celosse, if everyone took the time to write a letter, we would not have to have this petition. Thank you for taking the time. This petition is to make it easy for people to sign on. The problem is that MANY Indos and their descendants do not know about the Indische Kwestie. We need to get this out to as many people as we can and have them sign it by MARCH 1, 2013!! We ask for everyone’s help to do so.

  13. Ludwig van Kempen

    29 november 2012

    Nederlandse regering niet andere landen helpen, eigen volk eerst!

    Mijn vader Ulrich van Kempen had drie en half jaar gewerkt aan de Birma Spoorweg kreeg daar hoge koorts 40-41C Malaria ,bacillaire dysenterie, maagzweer.
    Hij heeft over die drie en half jaar geen soldij ontvangen.
    Als werknemer mag je van de werkgever in die tijd de Nederlandse regering toch verwachten dat je loon naar werken krijgt, al was het op dat moment niet mogelijk, zeker toch wel na de oorlog, daar is helaas niets van terechtgekomen.
    Mijn vader is nu 91 jaar en hij kijkt nog altijd uit naar die achterstallige betaling.
    U kunt dit alsnog waarmaken!

    • wat goed dat uw vader nog leeft! Heeft u misschien een foto van hem in Knil uniform en mag ik ook een foto van hem zoals hij nu is en mogen wij die gebruiken voor onze actie???
      Er zijn nog maar weinig levende KNIL soldaten.

    • Kunnen we misschien e mail adressen uitwisselen, want als u mij misschien foto’s van uw vader wilt sturen is dat wat makkelijker, ik kan u niet op facebook vinden.
      Dit is mijn adres: tobydebrouwer@hotmail.com
      ik woon in den Haag, Nederland
      Thanks!
      Toby de Brouwer

  14. My dad was a POW in Ohasi Japan for 3+ years, worked in a mine for the Japanese all that time after being captured in Surabaya.

    His father died in Cimahi (Tjimahi) camp near Bandung.

    His brother worked on the Hell railway in Thailand and came home a broken and shattered man.

    His youngest brother (14 at the time) bore scars on his back all his life from the beatings he received from the Japanese and died aged 35.

    There has been little or no acknowledgement of the horrors they all suffered at the hands of this brutal machine.

    Money cannot bring them back but it can bring a form of acknowledgement of wrong doing.

    Michele Duggan nee Verburgt, Australia

  15. Thank you all, so much for signing the petition and especially sharing your stories here. These are poignant reminders of the suffering of many of our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Please pass the petition and the stories on…

  16. Thanks for this Website and the Petition form!

    My Father Nicolaas F.J. Diemel was a POW in a Japanese Concentration camp and died there in 1945. We also were in the Japanese Concentration camps in Ambarawa and a few other terrible camps for thre and a half years.
    My Father is burried in Indonesia (Chimahi) he was a KNIL soldier and died in the service of his country, but we have never had any recognition or any acknowledgemen from the Dutch government, ever!
    My Mother died over thirthy years ago, but four of us adults that were in those Jap Camps are still alive, and we have been fighting with the PUR and the WUV for over four years now. (and have been denied each time)
    They have never paid us a penny for anything we lost in our old Homeland, or for any pain and suffering that some of us still have today.

    It is a real shame for a country like the Netherlands to ignore us for 65+ years.

    Nico E. Diemel
    Bend, Oregon USA

  17. Nico, thank you for signing the petition. Your father’s story is repeated over and over again in the Indo community. There is strength in numbers and I hope you’ll continue to support us by obtaining signatures or sending the links on to friends and family members. ~~ Priscilla

  18. I really hope that the today Dutch government is willing to wake up. Especially because the prime minister Mark Rutte is also an Indo. And there are many others in the Dutch parlement.

    Mr. Rutte, I hope you read these articles of us older people. How long do we have to wait. Will we ever hear from you? I am already 76 years old. My father died in 1948, being tortuered in jap prison camp, of blood poisening.
    My mother died at 90 seven years ago and my brother 5 years ago of cancer. I have still 3 sisters left.
    We all have spent nearly 4 years in japanese concentration camp.

    We all have suffered long enough and we waited long enough. You can end this after March 19, 2013.

    • Ronny, it is on behalf of you, your parents and many more in similar situations like yours, for whom the younger generation are signing the petition. Thank you for speaking up and we will do our best to collect as many signatures as we can!

      • Priscilla,
        Thank you for your comments.
        As we all know, many older indos are not doing anything on a computer and the internet.
        I wrote an article in the Indo and asked the people to send me a note with signature to support the action.
        I will take care, that it will arrive at the right spot in Holland.
        From that moment I started collecting names and signatures and until today I have 61 names scanned into my computer and emailed them to Toby Brower.
        I am 76, but one of the exceptions to the rule doing everything on computers.

  19. I hope, I will be of help signing this petition.
    Yes I wrote my memoirs to make my children and grandchildren understand the happenings of our own family during the Japanese occupation.

    Yvonne de Bats Miller,
    Vienna Virginia USA

  20. I am encouraged by what you are doing Ronny and Yvonne….I hope many more will follow your example. On 19 March many supporters of this petition will gather and march to the Vredespaleis in The Hague to hand over the petition to the Dutch Government. It is my hope that there will be enough signatures and people to have the desired effect.

  21. Dear all, please sign this petition on Avaaz.org;
    Dutch Government take your responsibility now! for the last 100 KNIL soldiers who are about to die..
    Why this is important
    Only 100 KNIL soldiers alive…

    ‘De Indische Kwestie’ concerns two serious issues regarding compensation to the Dutch-Indonesians, for their loss and suffering during WWII under Japanese occupation in the Dutch East Indies.
    1. Dutch-Indonesian government officials and soldiers, to this day, never received pay for service during the 41 months of the Japanese occupation! On the other hand, Dutch officials and soldiers who were held prisoner or detained by the Germans did receive their pay retroactively after the war from the Dutch Government.
    2. The Dutch Government never compensated the Dutch people from the Dutch East Indies for private war damage. In 1951, a Dutch law was passed allowing claims for war damage due to German occupation. The Dutch people from the Dutch East Indies were excluded from receiving any compensation. Instead, the Dutch Government stated that the new and penniless Republic of Indonesia should be held responsible for their claims.
    Why is it so important for you to sign the petition?
    The Dutch Government has paid 5.9 billion Guilders to Dutch citizens who were victimized by the Germans during WWII. The Dutch people from their former colony of the Dutch East Indies never received a penny.
    Other countries that were at war with Japan during WWII have generously compensated their countrymen who had been living in their Asian colonies. Even Portugal, a country less affluent then the Netherlands, compensated its countrymen living in Portuguese Timor and Macao during WWII. The Dutch Government should be ashamed of itself.
    Het Indisch Platform is well aware of the fact that total compensation for war damage is impossible, because that would cost billions of Euros today. The major point of this initiative is to remove feelings of discrimination and inequality towards the Dutch-Indonesians and give recognition for their collective and personal grief and suffering.

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Dutch_Government_taking_responsibility_for_the_last_100_KNIL_soldiers_who_are_about_to_die/

    • Dear Peggy,

      Thank you for stating our case so forcefully and with all the facts and details of how all the other soldiers were acknowledged and received back-pay.
      My Father N.F.J.Diemel died in Singapore in a Japanese POW camp at the end of the war. My mother (his wife) never even received any acknowledgement from the Dutch government, not even one medal or official document that he died in the service of his country and queen.
      Since the war and our arrival in The Netherlands in 1946, we lived like gypsies all over Europe just to exist as my mother worked any job she could find to keep us in a safe shelter.
      We came to the USA in 1956 as refugees and have been here ever since, a great blessing from God.
      Even today the Dutch government will not belief or acknowledge that we were ever in those awful Jap concentration camps in Ambarawa & Banjoe-Biroe for three long years, where many of our dear friends died. Many of us still wear the scars, even today.
      Thank you, blessings to you Peggy,
      Mvg,
      Nico E. Diemel

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