Farewell to the Dutch East Indies



Stories of veterans who served in the former Dutch East Indies (1941-1950) from the Dutch Veterans Interview Collection are an important source for this research, along with military-historical and social-scientific literature.

Lees verder op: veteraneninstituut

Narrated (In)justice


status: ongoing research

Narrated (In)justice is a research project (2014-2016) by historian Nicole L. Immler that depicts how historical injustice increasingly demands public attention through financial compensation claims. Worldwide, compensation payments for victims have become an important part of ‘recognition’ in recent years. In the Netherlands, recent payments to Jewish-Dutch victims have played a role in the claims of victims of the decolonisation war in Indonesia (the so-called Rawagede case) and are also a point of reference in the claims of descendants of former enslaved people from the former colonies of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles.


On the basis of three Dutch cases – relating to the Holocaust, colonialism and slavery – the project shows how the experience of injustice in families is passed on over generations, what the motivation behind compensation claims is, and what the perception and meaning of such measures is. The question is whether such compensation also meets people’s expectations of it.


The research Narrated (In)Justice was made possible by a Marie Curie Fellowship in the 7th European Community Framework Program, carried out within the research programme ‘Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice: Narratives in Historical Perspective’ of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.


Immler, Dr N.L. (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies) (2017): Thematic collection: Narrated injustice. DANS.

Witnesses & Contemporaries

This project is being carried out by: Fridus Steijlen, Eveline Buchheim and Stephanie Welvaart.

getuigen en tijdgenoten

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

Cerita Cisca – encounter with history

In 10 episodes, you will listen to moments from the life of Cisca Pattipilohy, who, as a 95-year-old, looks back on various periods in her life. Periods that were partly marked by the great line of history and the various cultural transitions she experienced.

She looks back on Apartheid in the colony of the Dutch East Indies, her student days, the Proklamation and the optimism and dynamism of the young Republic of Indonesia. She also talks about her family and the great importance of women’s emancipation.


Cisca was born in 1926 in Makasar as the only daughter of Moluccan Bandanese parents in a family with three brothers. She grew up within the hierarchical structure of the colonial society with an exceptional father who, as an ‘inlander’ – an inhabitant of the indigenous group that was on the lowest rung in his own country within the apartheid society – managed to acquire his own business and a position that allowed him to send his children to study in the Netherlands, where he had to pay triple the amount of a Dutch inhabitant. Studying in the Netherlands, Cisca saw that the Dutch did ordinary work here, something that was unthinkable in the class society of the Dutch East Indies colony.