The Bersiap Period

Bersiap is the term used by the Dutch to describe the violent and chaotic phase of Indonesia’s revolutionary period that unfolded in the aftermath of World War II. The Indonesian word bersiap means ‘get ready’ or ‘get prepared’. Europeans, Indo-Europeans, and any civilians who were accused of being pro-Dutch were targeted. This group predominantly consisted of native-born Indo-Europeans, Indo-Chinese, Christian indigenous people (such as Menadonese and Ambonese), and indigenous aristocracy. It resulted in a chaotic mix of civil war, religious conflict, and social revolution. The Bersiap period spanned from August 1945 to December 1946.

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