WHAT HAPPENED during the second World War in the Dutch East Indies

Indonesia was occupied by the Japanese from 1942-1945. The Japanese quickly overran the Dutch colonial forces, which were weakened by the war in Europe, and established a brutal regime that exploited the country’s resources and forced labor. They placed European and Dutch nationals in concentration camps and in prisoner-of-war camps (90,000 civilians, 40,000 military personnel). The Japanese occupation led to widespread suffering and hardship for the population in the Dutch East Indies, with an estimated four million people dying due to famine, disease, and military action.

  • March 8, 1942: Surrender of the Dutch East Indies and start of the Japanese occupation
  • August 15, 1945: Surrender of Japan and official end of WWII
  • August 17, 1945: Proclamation of Independence by Sukarno and Hatta

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