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Military Trials of War Criminals in the Netherlands East Indies 1946-1949$
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Fred L. Borch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777168.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 April 2021

Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage

The Dutch in the East Indies from 1595 to 1942

(p.6) 1 Setting the Stage
Military Trials of War Criminals in the Netherlands East Indies 1946-1949

Fred L. Borch

Oxford University Press

Explores the role of the Dutch in the Indies from 1595, when sailors from Amsterdam first arrived in the islands, to 1942, when the Japanese invaded the colony and inflicted a devastating defeat upon the Dutch. The history of the Dutch in the Indonesian archipelago is critical to understanding the impact of the Japanese occupation after 1942, and the nature of the war crimes committed by the Japanese. This is because the ultimate goal of the Japanese occupiers was to erase all aspects of Dutch culture and influence the islands. The chapter begins with an examination of the early Dutch settlement of the islands, and the development of the colonial economy. It then discusses the so-called “Ethical Policy,” which sought to unify the islands under Dutch rule and implement European ideas about civilization, culture, and prosperity. The chapter looks at the colony’s social structure prior to World War II and closes with a discussion of the colony’s preparations for war with the Japanese in 1942. A short postscript explains what occurred between August 1945, when the Japanese surrendered, and December 1949, when the Netherlands East Indies ceased to exist.

Keywords:   Dutch colony, Dutch in Indonesia, Japanese invasion, United East Indies Company (VOC), Cultural System, Ethical Policy, Sukarno, Royal Netherlands Indies Army, Java, Bersiap

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