Moluccans in the Netherlands various

Moluks Historisch Museum (currently Museum Maluku)
Time period: 1930-2006
Number of interviews: 6
Accessibility: restricted public
Period of interviews: 1990, 2001-2006

Archive numbers: AVD0207 through AVD0212

The interviews are not yet unlocked. The interviews are
available to listen to by appointment at Museum Maluku, located in Museum Sophiahof. The AVD issues can be listened to digitally. (Questions and requests can be sent to:

Medium: Minidiscs converted to digital audio files (WAV)

Museum Maluku has several interviews in its collection collected for various reasons.
The interviews discuss events and experiences in the years 1930 – 2006.
They are mainly about the Netherlands, Groningen and Indonesia, the Moluccas. Themes include camp elders, Carel Coenraadpolder (CC polder), Commission Rechtspositie Ambonese Militairen en Schepelingen (CRAMS), Dutch Royal Navy.

Storytelling project Antara Nusa

Aankomst Indonesische immigranten op Centraal Station, Amsterdam (foto: R.W. Wettstein)
Stichting Nusantara Amsterdam
Time period: 1930-2017
Number of interviews: 11
Accessibility: restricted public
Period of interviews: 2016-2017

If interested, please contact Stichting Nusantara Amsterdam via:


When Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation was established in 2006, it was decided to work with Zieraad Foundation to record the life stories of visitors to the session afternoons organised by Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation. Within this storytelling project, 11 interviews were conducted. Video and audio recordings of the interviews were made by Ben and Ineke Vink. 10 of the interviews formed the basis for the book Antara Nusa, life stories of elderly people from the East Indies/Indonesia (2018) compiled by Yvette Kopijn (Zieraad foundation) with the cooperation of Hanoch Nahumury, secretary of Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation and Armando Ello, photographer. During the writing process, several follow-up interview sessions were held of which no recordings are available.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1930 – 2017. They mainly discuss Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, Ambon and New Guinea and the Netherlands.
Themes include colonisation, struggle for independence, Japanese occupation, World War II, Indonesian revolution, migration, RMS, upbringing, childhood, identity, class society, loss, displacement, uprooting, resilience, courage, racism.


Relevant links: Website Nusantara Amsterdam:
Facebook page Zieraad Foundation:

Antara Nusa. Levensverhalen van ouderen uit Indië/Indonesië.

Kopijn, Y.

LM Publishers, 2018

Over the years, a lot has been written about settling and processing the end of the Dutch East Indies. The voice of the totoks (white Dutchmen) has been strikingly dominant in this. This book wants to offer the reader an alternative, multi-voiced perspective. It features elderly people of Indonesian, Moluccan, Timorese, Indonesian-Chinese and Surinamese descent.

Asymmetric warfare

Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie (NIMH)
Time period: 1945-1949
Number of interviews: 21
Accessibility: not (yet)
Transcripts: 10-minute summaries of part of it exist
Period of interviews: 2017-2023

After the research is completed (summer 2023), the interviews will be included in the NIMH collection.

The material is currently scattered among three researcher-archives and other repositories.

Website NIMH:



Deelstudie Asymmetrische oorlogsvoering:


Origin, objective and/or main question: Independence, decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945 – 1950 is a joint research programme of the Royal Institute of Language, Land and Ethnology (KITLV), the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) and the
NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The Asymmetric Warfare project is being carried out by NIMH. This project focuses on Dutch military action during the Indonesian War of Independence. Research is conducted within three sub-studies: the Dutch intelligence apparatus, the use of heavy weapons/technical force and the military-justice apparatus. For the purpose of these studies, 21 interviews were conducted.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1945 – 1949.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include Indonesian revolution,
the Dutch intelligence apparatus, technical violence, heavy weapons, the military-justice apparatus.

Indonesia Merdeka!

Time period: 1930-1950
Number of interviews: 5
Accessibility: restricted public
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 1976

The collection cannot be found as such in the archive.
The collection is registered in an old inaccessible system. Full migration has not yet taken place. Requests for use for research purposes can be sent to Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision:


The interviews were conducted for the benefit of the three-hour documentary film Indonesia Merdeka!, which Kiers made for VPRO in 1976. The interviewees talk about the developments of the struggle for independence in Indonesia before, during and after World War II until the transfer of sovereignty by the Netherlands on 27 December 1949. The documentary was first broadcast on 1 December 1976.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1910 – 1950.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include World War II, struggle for independence, transfer of sovereignty, colonialism, decolonisation.



  • R. Abdulghani
  • dr. Abu Hanifa
  • mr. Mohammad Hatta
  • A.H. Nasution
  • T.B. Simatupang

VPRO Documentary – Roelof Kiers (1976)

Indonesia Merdeka (1976) | Dutch East Indies/Indonesia Independence struggle


Epic about the struggle that preceded the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia in 1949. The independence struggle is reconstructed with unique historical material and through memories, fates and anecdotes of prominent eyewitnesses who witnessed the independence struggle.

Living Memories/Menghayati Kenangan

Stichting Levende Herinneringen
Time period: 1930-2007
Number of interviews: 160
Accessibility: Restricted public
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 2012-2016

For now, the collection is managed by media company Noterik. The collection is likely to be transferred to DANS.


If interested, please contact media company Noterik.


The Living Memories/Menghayati Kenangan Foundation recorded life stories as part of Het Gebaar (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, 2000). The aim that this would ensure that the colonial part of history would not be forgotten. The life stories of the interviewees were largely recorded chronologically.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1930 – 2007.
They mainly discuss the Netherlands and Indonesia. Themes include Japanese occupation, ‘bersiap’, Indonesian revolution, repatriation wave 1962, experiences in the Netherlands, resistance.

Memories of the Dutch Indies

Indisch Herinneringscentrum (IHC)
Time period: 1930-1990
Number of interviews: 88
Accessibility: public
Transcripts: partly
Period of interviews: 2012-2018

Part of the collection is housed at DANS


Het project Herinneringen aan Indië is gestart in 2012. Guido Abuys (conservator Westerbork, tevens zoon van één van de geïnterviewden) startte het project als een vrijwilligersproject. Aanleiding voor het project was het werk van Esmeralda Böhm en Guido Abuys in Duitsland in opdracht van de NOS/NTS, waar ze op zoek waren naar mensen die de ‘bersiap’ periode hebben meegemaakt. Er waren weinig verhalen beschikbaar. Dit motiveerde Guido Abuys het interviewproject Herinneringen aan Indië op te zetten. In dit project werden levensverhalen verzameld. Doelstelling was om zo veel mogelijk verhalen te verzamelen van de eerste generatie ‘Indische Nederlanders’ voor hun overlijden.
Hoofdvraag: Hoe heeft u de aanloop naar de Tweede wereldoorlog, de Indonesische onafhankelijkheidsoorlog, de periode daarna en de reis naar Nederland en aankomst in Nederland ervaren? Via de IHC-nieuwsbrief is toentertijd een oproep gedaan, mensen konden zich opgeven om geïnterviewd te worden. De meeste geïnterviewden zijn witte Nederlandse mannen. Er zijn ook enkele Indonesiërs geïnterviewd. In sommige gevallen zijn er objecten gefotografeerd van mensen die geïnterviewd zijn.
Deze zijn in de IHC beeldbank opgenomen en zullen nog herleid worden naar de interviews.


De interviews gaan in op gebeurtenissen en ervaringen in de jaren 1930 – 1990.
Er wordt voornamelijk over Indonesië en Nederland gesproken. Thema’s zijn o.a. het leven voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog, de koloniale samenleving, de Japanse inval, krijgsgevangenschap, de bevrijding, de Indonesische revolutie, repatriëring, aankomst en ontvangst in Nederland.


Beheer: De collectie wordt beheerd door het Indisch Herinneringscentrum (IHC) en is deels ondergebracht bij Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).
Toegang: De collectie is openbaar. Bij interesse kan materiaal opgevraagd en bekeken worden in het kenniscentrum van het IHC (CC 0.4).






Our Dutch Indies for the Indonesians

Jan Bosdriesz
Time period: 1940-1950
Number of interviews: 42
Accessibility: restricted public
Transcripts: 19 of 42 available
Period of interviews: 1983-1984

The collection cannot be found as such in the archive.
The collection is registered in an old inaccessible system and full migration has not yet taken place. Requests for use for research purposes can be sent to Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision:


Interviews with Indonesian Dutch, Japanese who played a role during the occupation, officers and other military personnel (British Army, British-Indies Army, Dutch Army, KNIL), Indonesian nationalists and Dutch administration officials.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the 1940s – 1950s. They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include Indonesian struggle for independence, World War II, Japanese occupation, Westerling’s Coup, transfer of sovereignty, internment, independence, governance vacuum, authority vacuum, Hatta, Soekarno, Van Mook, Spoor, Westerling, federalists, nationalists, diplomatic consultations.


The interviews were conducted for the purpose of Bosdriesz’ (16mm) film Ons Indië voor de Indonesiërs. This film was broadcast as a television series by NOS in 1984. The makers’ aim was to capture the decisive developments in the Indonesian struggle for independence by recording the positions and experiences of the interviewees. The focus was on the period of World War II and the year after.

Ons Indië voor de Indonesiërs
de oorlog, de chaos, de vrijheid

Author: Jan Bosdriesz, Gerard Soeteman, C. van Heekeren, Nederlandse Omroep Stichting
ISBN: 9789061354017
Year: 1985

From various perspectives, it describes the disengagement process of the colony of the East Indies. A mixture of experiences and opinions, Japanese, English, Javanese, Dutch, these create a good picture of the historical course of events.

Catholics and the Indonesian Revolution

Stichting Film en Wetenschap
Time period: 1940-1976
Number of interviews: 3
Accessibility: on demand
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 1976

The collection has limited public access. The collection cannot be found as such in the archive.
The collection is registered in an old inaccessible system and full migration has not yet taken place. Requests for use for research purposes can be sent to
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision:

Medium: 2 audio tapes

The interviews were conducted for the dissertation by J. Bank, Catholics and the Indonesian Revolution, Baarn: Ambo, 1983.
They deal with the Indonesia policy of the Dutch government and in particular the attitude of the KVP in this regard. With the then PvdA party leader Van der Goes van Naters, they discuss the relationship between the PvdA and KVP factions on the Indonesian issue. De Graaf, Indonesia specialist of the KVP group in the late 1940s, is asked about the development of the Indonesia position within the group. With Van Aarden, secretary of the Centrum voor Staatkundige Vorming in the period in question, Bank talks, among other things, about the relationship of this scientific institute of the KVP to party leadership and group, and about the group’s Indonesia policy and its influence on the party.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1940 – 1976.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include Indonesia policy, PvdA faction, KVP faction.

Author: Jan Bank
Publisher: Ambo
ISBN: 9789026305979
Year: 1983

Bank discusses the attitudes of Catholics in the Netherlands and the East Indies at the church and political levels towards the emasculation of the East Indies in the period 1945-1949. But he cites so much and describes various aspects in such detail that the book is also a study of the entire field of the decolonisation of the East Indies. Stories about the struggle for independence, the role of the British until autumn 1946, the spread of nationalism, rise and fall of federalism, the policies of the Dutch government and that of Batavia, decision-making in Djokjakarta, the international scene, military operations, the Catholic parties both in the Netherlands and in the East Indies, mission and mission etc.

Witnesses & Contemporaries

Getuigen & Tijdgenoten (NIOD, KITLV)
Time period: 1945-1949
Number of interviews: 76, of which 5 group interviews
Accessibility: The collection is not accessible (yet). The collection will be unlocked in 2023.
Transcripts: Abstracts are available. Transcripts of most interviews are available; a report is available of a small number.
Period of interviews: 2017-2022
Medium: Digital audio flies (WAV, MP3, M4A, OGG)

Interviews conducted in local Indonesian languages include a translation into Bahasa Indonesia.

The interviews conducted in Bahasa Indonesia by Fridus Steijlen have been translated into English.


The material is managed by the NIOD. In the near future, the collection will be included at Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).

Within the research program Independence, decolonization, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950, the Witnesses & Contemporaries project focuses on collecting the experiences of those involved in the Netherlands, Indonesia and other countries. The Witnesses & Contemporaries project aims to build a bridge between people who experienced the period between 1945 and 1950 in Indonesia and researchers.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1945 – 1949.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include Indonesian revolution, KNIL, Darul Islam, Tentara Pelajar, TNI, Royal Navy, veterans, conscription, refusal of command, war criminal, MARVA, VHK, Red Cross, daily life, violence, demarcation line, protection camps, republican camps, Bandung Lautan Api, language, loyalties, eyewitness accounts, positioning, remembering and forgetting.




getuigen en tijdgenoten

Indo in Indonesia

Dorien Theuns, Martin Everaert
Time period: 1930 - 2018
Number of interviews: 58
Accessibility: The collection is in limited public view. If interested, the material can be viewed with the permission of the archive creators. Contact can be made for this purpose at:
Transcripts: Software-generated transcripts (low quality) available and manual transcripts or summaries of some interviews.
Period of interviews: 2014, 2018
Medium: Digitale audiobestanden (WAV) en een deel daarvan (43 interviews) ook op video (MP4)

Dorien Theuns made a documentary about Depok, Java, in 2013. During those months in Indonesia, she met many Indonesian people who spoke Dutch and shared stories with her. She realized that these were the last generation in Indonesia who experienced the former Dutch East Indies from this bi-cultural perspective and wanted to capture their stories for a wider audience. Martin Everaert of Utrecht University – linguist, born in Surabaya wanted to research the Dutch language in Indonesia. They decided to start an interview project together, the result of which can be seen in the website
The website features 60 excerpts with a length between 1 – 5 minutes. The interviews went through the life of the interviewee chronologically. The main questions were: What is your (family) background? How were you raised and educated? What influence did Dutch colonial rule, World War II/Japanese occupation, Indonesian freedom struggle and independence have on your life? What made you stay in Indonesia? How did your life change after independence; how do you look back on your life?






Everaert, M., Pinget, A-F., & Theuns, D. (2022).

Speaking Dutch in Indonesia: Language and Identity.

In The Riches of Intercultural Communication (3 ed., Vol. 37, pp. 3).
(Utrecht Studies in Language and Communication; Vol. 37).