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Adoeh seh… The road to Amersfoort

MS Sibajak die ca. 20 maart 1951 vanuit de haven van Tanjong Priok naar Rotterdam vertrok voor de repatriëring

Arrival of stork ship ”Atlantis” (1950)
The ship “Atlantis” repatriates KNIL soldiers and their families from Indonesia to the Netherlands. On the way, babies are born, so the “Atlantis” eventually arrives in Amsterdam with 62 more passengers than originally.
Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (manager)
Publication date: 10 July 1950
Licence: CC-BY-SA


YouTube – KeiTV Amersfoort


Interviewer/writer Grondhuis was himself born aboard the Atlantis in 1950, when his parents sailed from Indonesia to the Netherlands. “I have already come across four different people in my childhood in Amersfoort who were also born on the Atlantis.” In his book, Grondhuis describes the stories of 18 Indonesian families who came to Amersfoort


On the English ship the Atlantis, 63 babies were born during the voyage, receiving both Dutch and English nationality. With 959 people eventually on board, the fleeing Dutch arrived in Amsterdam at the Javakade on 10 July 1950.


The book contains eighteen different stories of families with Dutch East Indies roots.

They came to the Netherlands not only with the S.S. Atlantis, but also with the M.S. Sibajak and the S.S. Majola, among others.

Grondhuis’ parents came on the Atlantis, others came to the Netherlands on the MS Sibajak or the SS Majola, for example.

Main questions were: Do you know anything about the background of your father (mostly KNIL background) and mother? What can you tell about your ancestors? On which islands did your family live and did migration take place between the islands? Where did your parents live when they arrived in the Netherlands in the 1950s and 1960s? Do you feel Indian and do you go to Indian gatherings?

Subjects are mainly about the Netherlands, Indonesia, Java, Ambon, Saparua and Sulawesi.
Themes include World War II, Indonesian revolution, ancestry, migration, reception in the Netherlands, identity, Indonesian associations, KNIL, housing, discrimination, inequality within army.


The collection is managed by Jim Grondhuis. There are no concrete plans to transfer the collection to an archival institution.


The collection consists of digital audio files. To preserve the interviews permanently for the future, transfer to an e-depot is desirable.

Grondhuis, J. (2020). Adoeh seh. De weg naar Amersfoort.