Geef een of meerdere zoektermen op.
Gebruik dubbele aanhalingstekens om in de exacte woordvolgorde te zoeken.

Tabee New Guinea

Time period: 1962
Number of interviews: 33
Accessibility: Currently not accessible via the website

Relatively little is known about the history of the (Indo-)Europeans and Papuans in former Dutch New Guinea. This is in contrast to the situation regarding the period after Sukarno’s proclamation of the Republik Indonesia (17 August 1945), which led to Indonesian independence. Tabee New Guinea changes this by recording personal experiences and presenting them for the general public. 



The aim of the Tabee New Guinea project is to present and document testimonies of New Guinea residents and Papuans about the eventful period around the end of Dutch rule in October 1962. The focus is on the period surrounding the transfer of sovereignty of New Guinea to the United Nations (UNTEA) on 1 October 1962. 



The Be-wonder Foundation started preparations for the Tabee New Guinea project in late 2019 and interviewing 33 people who experienced this period. Betsy Torenbos and Paul Pattynama visited the 33 interviewees’ homes. Betsy Torenbos, as an oral history expert, conducted the in-depth interviews and Paul Pattynama asked additional questions. People living scattered across the country were interviewed in their homes. The interviews, which were recorded on video and audio, lasted an average of three hours.

The video installation is a picture and sound world based on 33 interviews and was created by TeZ and Betsy Torenbos. With a valid entrance ticket to the Indisch Remembrance Centre, you can visit the installation for free. 


In the docu-theatre “Reconciliation?”, a number of interviewees, improvising composer Oscar Jan Hoogland and performer Betsy Torenbos together with singer Eef Mamoribo and Raki Ap are on stage, in the setting of the 33 interviews. Unique docu-theatre about the eventful period surrounding the Netherlands’ departure from New Guinea. What does it do to you if you have to flee once, twice or even three times? Can a person reconcile with this? And with whom?


The symposia explore underlying themes and place the interviews in a different context and relate them to current events.

New Guinea policy

Stichting Film en Wetenschap
Time period: 1961-1962
Number of interviews: 5
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: none
Period of interviews: March 1983

The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization can, however, be requested from Sound & Vision via: 

Medium: 2 audio tapes

The interviews were held for Leo Kaan’s doctoral thesis on the attitude of the ARP towards the New Guinea issue in 1961-62. The interviewees were ARP-politicians at that time or otherwise affiliated with the ARP, like Prof. Verkuyl. Mrs. Vellema is the daughter of the ARP-politician Bruins Slot, who died in 1972. Under his influence, the ARP-fraction advocated a direct transfer of New Guinea to Indonesia in 1961.


Interviewee(s): Mr. W. Aantjes, Mr. W.F. de Gaay Fortman, G.A. Kieft, Mrs. Vellema-Bruins Slot, prof. J. Verkuyl


Article by L.A. Kaan in Christen Democratische Verkenningen 3/84 

Papuans in Diaspora

Sitting woman with green skirt (© PACE Objectcode BD/166/94)

Time period: 1940-2009



Project realisation:




Time frame: 1940-2009


number of interviews: 25

(beperkt openbaar)


Thematic collection: Erfgoed van de Oorlog



In March 1942, the Royal Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL) capitulated and the whole of the Dutch East Indies was occupied by Japan. Dutch New Guinea also fell into Japanese hands, although the Dutch flag continued to fly in the southern town of Merauke, with its impenetrable jungle, throughout the war.


In 1943, the American counter-offensive began along the north coast of New Guinea and the large supply and transhipment of goods and personnel had a major impact on the local population.


After the Japanese had been driven out, the ‘Papua Battalion’ was established in the phase of the restoration of Dutch rule. This was the forerunner of the later ‘Papua Volunteer Corps’, set up to involve the Papuan population in protecting the interests of Dutch New Guinea, which was eventually handed over to the Republic of Indonesia in 1962.


For this project, 25 people were interviewed. All have memories of New Guinea between 1940 and 1962. Some were born there, others worked and lived there. There are 21 Papuans, two Moluccans, one Tuuccan and one Dutch. The interviewees talk about their experiences in the Second World War, their childhood and school years, their traditions, their lives as adults and their migration history.