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The other side of the Bersiap

Title: De andere kant van de bersiap: Een reconstructie van de interneringen in en de evacuaties uit de republikeinse kampen op Java, oktober 1945-mei 1947

Author: Mary van Delden

Publisher: Walburgpers, Zutphen, 2024

ISBN: 9789464561760


Title: De republikeinse kampen in Nederlands-Indië oktober 1945 – mei 1947: orde in de chaos?

Author: Mary van Delden

Publisher: Mary van Delden, Kockengen, 2007

ISBN: 9789081184519

For decades, the media, publications and websites have talked – without any nuance – about violent, undisciplined, brainwashed and disorganized Indonesian youth who, after the Japanese capitulation – under the name of pemoeda – roamed through Java killing and looting. In the process, tens of thousands were reportedly killed. The reconstruction of the internments in and evacuations from the so-called republican camps shows that by no means all pemoeda were violent. “The other side of the bersiap” is that pemoeda in the majority responded to Sukarno’s call for all threatened Dutch (and Ambonese and Menadonese) men and older boys to be interned in republican camps between Oct. 11 and 19, 1945, to prevent bloodshed. Women and children followed from late October to mid-December.


To produce this study, Mary van Delden interviewed more than one hundred eyewitnesses and Indonesian veterans. In 2007, Van Delden already acquired her PhD on this same subject. Her dissertation can be found online.


Also see this conversation between interviewer Michal Citroen and Van Delden about her thesis from OVT (VPRO).

The Interbellum

afl. 1: The Mistake of Troelstra


In 1917, things are rumbling across Europe. The Russian Tsar has to step down, in Austria the throne is tottering. Social revolution seems imminent. Things get noisy in the Netherlands too. In starving Amsterdam, the potato riot breaks out. For a while in November 1918, it looked like the wave of revolution would spread to the Netherlands from Russia and Germany. Anxious SDAP leaders think the revolution is imminent and drop their foreman; Orange hysteria does the rest. The revolution fails.

Historical excerpts from and interviews with:

  • police commissioner Voordewind, involved in the shooting in A’dam during the hunger riot
  • Jan de Ronde, of the soldiers’ councils
  • G. van het Reve senior
  • journalist Cor Schilp
  • former Rotterdam SDAP chairman Arie de Zeeuw
  • J. Moor, labourer, then present at the demonstrative SDAP meeting where Troelstra delivered his revolutionary speech
  • old Truth editors Koejemans and Barend Lutheran
  • Martha Molendijk, former chairwoman of the AJC



This episode is about conscientious objection in the years surrounding World War I and just after, the International Anti-Militarist Association (IAMV), Church and Peace, the anti-Fleet Act demonstration, and the confusion surrounding the Spanish Civil War.

Historical excerpts from and interviews with:

  • Wim Wessels, active in the anarchist youth movement and IAMV, conscientious objector
  • Ge Nabrink, member Jongelingen Geheelontoudersbond and IAMV, also wrote brochure on the Scheveningen penal prison,where two conscientious objectors died in 1929
  • Joke Roos, member from the founding of Church and Peace, rejects any form of violence on the basis of the gospel.
  • Wim Jong, active anti-militarist, on the Fleet Act and actions against it
  • Mrs Sirks: speech in 1926 to the Utrechts Dienstweigeringscongres (spoken after by Kiki Amsberg)
  • Nico Busscher, AJC member, on his imprisonment in Scheveningen and the reprisals against his family
  • Bas Roschar, active in IAMV, among other things about canvassing
  • Widow Motz on the conscription of her husband, Rotterdam man Wim Motz
  • Wim Jong and Wim Wessels on the issue of the Spanish Civil War: to fight or not to fight?



The rise of the radio marked a breakthrough in mass entertainment. In 1919, Ir. A. a Steringa Idzerda was the first to experiment with the new medium, providing some trial broadcasts from Utrecht (later The Hague). In 1923, the Hilversumsche Draadloze Omroep took over that task and broadcast on airtime leased by the Nederlandsche Seintoestellen Fabriek on its transmitter in Hilversum.
In this way, the NSF wanted a regular programme to sell more radio sets. The AVRO emerged from the HDO in 1928. By then, it had been joined by the NCRV (1924), KRO and VARA (1925) and the V.P.R.O. (1926). in 1930, government broadcasting time was divided proportionally between the four major broadcasters (minus V.P.R.O.). About these early days of radio and the competition between them, Mr Jaap den Daas (AVRO), Herman Felderhof (AVRO) and Ger Bakker (VARA) tell.
As for the content of the programmes, the main focus is on entertainment, which was seen as the main task of the new medium. Jaap den Daas invented the successful AVRO revue programme ‘De Bonte Dinsdagavondtrein’.

Interviews with:

  • Ir. H. a Steringa Idzerda (HA 17216), broadcasting pioneer in 1919
  • J. Loeber (HA 15004), provided the first broadcast of the HDO in 1923 with his Larens Strijkkwartet.
  • Mr Jaap den Daas, employed by the AVRO from 1928, programme director from 1930, invented the Bonte dinsdagavondtrein.
  • Herman Felderhof, employed by the AVRO from 1929, first on the Radiobode editorial staff, later as a reporter;
  • Ger Bakker, from 1930 assistant editor, later editor-in-chief of the VARA Radiogids;


Music and radio play excerpts from: Bob Scholte, Louis Davids, Johan Buziau, Snip&Snap, Jack Hilton Orkest, Kees Puris, Ome Keesje (Willem van Cappellen), Huib Wouters (= Martin Beversluis, not authentic), Concertgebouw Orchestra olv Willem Mengelberg.



Low wages and arrogant bosses on one side. Increasing awareness among workers on the other. They created a long line of fierce industrial disputes across the country. One of them was the 1929 farm workers’ strike in East Groningen. Together with Jaap Meulenkamp, Kees Slager went back to northeastern Groningen.
Meulenkamp was the son of one of the strike leaders in Finsterwolde, and experienced the strike himself as a small boy. He wrote the booklet: ‘Wie willen boas blieven’, about that strike, the longest agricultural workers’ strike in the national history.
Also interviews with Ms P. Dorenkamp and Mr E. Kolk, who reminisce about the life of farm workers in those days and the strike.

AFL. 5: Wise Parenthood


The New Malthusian League opposed in word and deed the propaganda, especially from denominational quarters, for the big family, which often also resulted in great impoverishment.


Interviews with:

  • Mrs Kuyt, childhood memories of the lack of and taboo on sex education.
  • Ge Nabrink, on lectures for the NMB, on the sale of contraceptives, and on whether the NMB should continue to deal with family planning or also engage in sexual reform.
  • Kees Rijken on how he tried to do family planning himself.
  • Mrs Kuyt, drug depot keeper, on selling drugs and fitting pessaries.
  • Mrs Bierman, also active in the NMB
  • Mrs Roschar, NMB board member



Despite crisis, strikes, monetary devaluation and austerity, in 1932 the Netherlands completed something the whole world looked at with admiration: the Afsluitdijk
‘A nation that lives, builds its future,’ was chiselled into the monument. And who cares about a few protesting fishermen?”
On the completion of the Afsluitdijk (in 1932) and what preceded it.

Interviews with:

  • Jouke Volgers, a fisherman in Enkhuizen, about fishing on the Zuiderzee, about the fishermen’s resistance to the Afsluitdijk, about their fear for the future, about the discovery that eel can also live very well in fresh water and about the Zuiderzee Support Act.
  • Peter Verbiest, dike worker, about the circumstances that led him and others to become dike workers, about life on a working island, about working on the dike, about fights, boozing and women.
  • Jan Nauta, also a dike worker, on his unemployment after completion of the dike and on the establishment of the National Crisis Committee.



In 1929, panic breaks out at the New York Stock Exchange, which will lead to a global crisis. The effects are also felt in the Netherlands. In the 1930s, the Netherlands has an average of about half a million unemployed, many of whom receive no government support. Conditions in many families are harrowing. This programme covers the misery in working-class families, government control of welfare recipients, attempts to limit spending somewhat (shutting down gas meters, proletarian shopping), the flare-up of resistance to Colijn’s punitive rule, and eventually the bursting of the bomb in Amsterdam’s Jordaan and Rotterdam’s Crooswijk, riots spreading to other parts of the country. The quelling of the uprisings and the effects of resistance.

Interviews with and historical footage of:

  • Jan Weggelaar, worker’s son, on conditions in the Spaarndammerbuurt and on the riots.
  • Jan van Leyden, lived with dad, mum and 11 siblings in a cramped house in Crooswijk: about how things were at home and about the riots in Crooswijk.
  • Radio appeal to Princess Juliana for support for the National Crisis Committee.
  • Kees Rijken, unemployed flower merchant in Rotterdam, on the generosity of the NCC, on shutting down gas meters and proletarian shopping, and on the fear of many to resist the authoritarianism of home visitors.
  • Henk Gortzak, carpenter, on the effects of the crisis, on the riot which he said was a reaction to the provocations of government, police and army, and on his role (important activist) during the Jordan riot.



About the political confusion after World War I, the rise of communism and the rise of fascism that put order in a number of countries (Salazar in Portugal, Mussolini in Italy, Primo de Rivera and Franco in Spain, Hitler in Germany). The somewhat difficult formation of the NSB, with leader Anton Mussert. The anti-fascist movements Antifa (communist), Antifo (socialist) and Freedom, Labour, Bread (social democrats). On the tussles between NSB members and anti-fascists. About the somewhat more moderate opposition to fascism by ‘Unity through Democracy’. On the NSB’s dwindling following and the growing threat of war. On sabotage actions in the Rotterdam port.


Interviews with and historical material from:

  • Mussert, van Geelkerken, an NSB member
  • Kees Rijken, Rotterdammer, communist anti-fascist.
  • Peter Brijnen van Houten, mapped the entire NSB
  • Bertus Schmidt, active in the Antifa and the Marxist Workers’ School.

Red Aid

Rode Hulp, de opvang van Duitse vluchtelingen in Groningerland 1933-1940

Ruud Weijdeveld

Uitgeverij: Wolters-Noordhoff

EAN: 9789062430550


Het spoor terug – VPRO

The communist refugee organisation De Rode Hulp helped between three and five thousand German communists cross the border illegally in the 1930s. The communists here wanted to continue the struggle against Hitler. Especially in the Groningen-German border area, many crossed the border. The Colijn government was deeply troubled by the refugees. It therefore tightened the right of asylum and refused residence permits to active ‘revolutionaries’.


VPRO Radio 5 – Het spoor

‘De Rode Hulp, opvang van Duitse vluchtelingen in het Groningerland 1933-1940’.
With a tour of smuggling trails, and interviews with those involved, including:
-Klaas Telkamp, son of a smuggler from Bellingwolde,
-communist Willem Kuiper
-Hennie Stal from Groningen;
-Friedl Baruch of the ‘General Council’, which had to investigate the political reliability of the refugees;
-co-author and historian Ruud Weijdeveld


Huis van Derk Telkamp in Bellingwolde

At the home of …

Joos Florquin

Ten huize van … is a Flemish talk show that first appeared on TV1 (Eén) in 1957.

Each episode, presenter Joos Florquin visited a Famous Fleming or Famous Dutchman and interviewed him in his own home. For three days, he installed himself in the home of the person in question, while his camera crew shot footage. Most interviewees were from the political or cultural world. The first guest was Gerard Walschap. More than 250 followed.

Over the decades, Florquin interviewed an impressive number of people. The interviews were written down afterwards, compiled and published in a series of books. When Florquin died in 1978, the programme was also stopped for a long time.


Only in the 1990s new episodes appeared around “At home of”, this time with Edward De Maesschalck as interviewer (34 episodes). From 2003, Frieda Van Wijck took over the presentation.



Naam Uitzending Boekdeel
Aafjes Bertus 1969 7
Alfrink Bernardus J. 1971 9
Aubroeck Karel 1958 2
Avermaete Roger 1962  
Baekelmans Lode † 1963 3
Baie Eugène † 1961 10
Baksteen Dirk † 1963 3
Baksteen Gerard † 1963 3
Baur Frank † 1960 16
Boon Constant 1977 17
Boon Louis-Paul (2) † 1971 8
Bosmans Phil 1978 15
Bovy Vina 1977 18
Brachin Pierre 1967 8
Broekx P. † 1965 16
Brugmans Henk 1962 18
Brulez Raymond † 1959 1
Burssens Amaat 1962  
Cardijn Jozef † 1962 3
Carmiggelt Simon (2) 1972 9
Caspeele Hendrik 1973  
Claes Ernest † 1958 1
Collaer Paul 1961  
Collin Fernand 1964 3
Contrijn Jef 1974  
Cool August 1968 7
Coppé Albert (2) 1973 10
Cornelis Hendrik 1971  
Cox Jan † 1976 17
Craeybeckx Lode † 1966 4
Daan Lea 1969  
Daisne Johan † 1972 10
Darciel Elsa 1975  
De Bock Eugène † 1962 16
De Boeck Felix 1958  
De Boeck Felix 1967 1
De Clerck Oscar † 1960  
Declerck Richard 1977 17
De Coen Jeanne † 1961  
De Cuyper Floris † 1959  
De Hartog Jan 1965 4
De Jong Marinus 1959 18
De Keyser Paul † 1961  
De Leebeeck Maria 1977  
Delwaide Leo † 1969 8
De Man Yvonne † 1965 4
De Mayer Aloïs † 1963  
Demedts André 1968 6
De Meester Johan 1965  
De Meester Louis 1969 16
De Meyer Willem 1964 14
De Muynck Gust 1965 4
Den Doolaard A. (2) 1971 9
Denys Willem (2) 1978 15
De Pillecyn Filip † 1959 1
De Raeymaeker Louis † 1966 17
De Ridder André † 1961 1
De Schryver August 1968 7
De Smedt Emiel J. 1977 15
De Smet Léon † 1961 2
De Spot Jan † 1977 16
De Sutter Ignace 1977 14
De Sutter Jules † 1967 15
De Troyer Prosper † 1958 1
De Vocht Lodewijk † 1958 13
De Vree Paul 1972 13
De Waele Fernand J.M. † 1966  
De Wit Gaspar † 1961  
Diels Herman 1968  
Diels Joris 1968 6
Dille Denijs (2) 1975 13
Dumon André † 1963  
Elaut Leon † 1965 4
Elsing Johan-Mark 1977 15
Elström Harry 1960  
Eyskens Gaston (2) 1974 11
Fayat Hendrik 1976 15
Gerlo Aloïs 1973 13
Gevers Marie † 1963 17
Geyl Pieter † 1961 2
Gheyselinck Roger † 1970  
Gijsen Marnix 1959 1
Gijsen Marnix 1974 12
Gilliams Maurice 1968 5
Goris René 1975 12
Grammens Flor 1972 9
Gronon Rose † 1969 6
Gunzburg Nico 1967 9
Haanstra Bert 1976 13
Haasse Hella (2) 1975 12
Haesaerts Paul † 1966 17
Hagedoorn Georgette (2) 1975 13
Helman Albert 1976 14
Herberigs Robert † 1960  
Herckenrath Antoon † 1974 12
Herreman Raymond † 1960 2
Heymans Corneel † 1963 3
Hoste Marcel A.J. † 1974 18
Hullebroeck Emiel † 1958 1
Indestege Luc † 1965 5
Jacquemyns Pol † 1967 16
Janssens Magda † 1971 10
Jespers Floris † 1959 5
Jespers Oscar † 1958 5
Jonckheere Karel 1968 5
Kimpe Reimond † 1964 3
Knuvelder Gerard 1974 14
Kuypers Julien † 1962 5
Lamberty Max † 1960 5
Lampo Hubert (2) 1973 10
Langui Emile † 1969 6
Lauwereys Modest † 1962  
Leemans Victor † 1967 7
Leys Fanny 1960 5
Liebaers Herman 1973  
Luns J.M.A.H. 1968 6
Maes Jef 1975 18
Magits Leo 1966 8
Malfait Hubert † 1968 16
Manteau Angèle 1967 5
Marceau Félicien 1976  
Major Louis 1967 7
Martens Adriaan † 1963 3
Martens Gaston † 1958 2
Masereel Frans † 1961 1
Minnaert Marcel † 1970 7
Minne Joris 1958  
Minne Joris 1967 1
Minne Richard † 1962 1
Moens Wies 1975 12
Mussche Achiel † 1961 2
Naessens Maurits 1961 6
Nees Staf † 1959 2
Opsomer Isidoor † 1957  
Paerels Willem † 1959  
Peeters Flor 1958 1
Peeters Karel C. † 1970 11
Pelemans Willem 1962 18
Philips Luc 1971 9
Picard Leo † 1963 17
Pieck Anton 1973 11
Poels Albert 1959 1
Pols André M. † 1964  
Poot Marcel 1972 17
Preud’homme Arm. 1970 8
Renard Raf 1977  
Rens Jef 1969 6
Roelants Maurice † 1959 2
Romein-Verschoor Annie † 1974 11
Ruyslinck Ward (2) 1975 12
Ryelandt Joseph † 1959 10
Sabbe Etienne † 1968  
Saverys Albert † 1958 1
Schillebeeckx Edward (2) 1976 13
Schmidt Annie M.G. (2) 1974 11
Schmook Ger 1963 18
Segers Paul W. 1966 17
Servaes Albert † 1966 3
Servranckx Victor † 1961 5
Seuphor Michel 1965 4
Slabbinck Rik 1971 10
Stynen Léon 1972 18
Stracke E.P. Desiderius † 1966 4
Struye Paul † 1971 8
Stuiveling Garmt (2) 1970 8
Suenens Leo 1970 8
Termote Albert † 1970  
Terruwe Anna A.A. 1972 10
Thiel Urbain † 1967  
Thuysbaert Prosper † 1962  
Tinbergen Jan 1976 13
Torfs Jos 1978  
Vaerten Jan † 1974 12
Van Acker Achiel † 1964 3
Van Aken Piet (2) 1978 15
Vanaudenhove Omer 1977 14
Vanbeselaere Walth. 1970 18
Van Cauwelaert Emiel 1976 17
Van Cauwelaert Frans † 1960 2
Vandekerckhove Michiel 1973 18
Van den Abeele Hugo † 1967  
Vandendriessche Ern. 1969  
Vandeputte Robert 1971 16
Van der Essen Leo † 1960  
(Van der Goes Hugo) 1968  
Vanderlick Armand 1969 7
Van der Meer Frits 1973 11
Van der Meer de Walcheren Pieter † 1966 4
Vandermeulen Lambertus † 1974 12
Van der Mueren Floris † 1960  
Van der Plaetse Antoon † 1968  
Vanderpoorten Herman 1978 15
Vandersteen Willy 1976 13
Van de Velde Anton 1964  
Van de Voorde Urbain † 1964 7
Van Duinkerken Anton † 1960 1
Van Eynde Jos 1975 14
Van Hemeldonck Em. † 1958 1
Van Hool Bernard † 1970  
Van Hulse Camil 1967  
Van Isacker Karel 1977 14
Van Istendael August 1975 16
Van Oorschot Geert (2) 1977  
Van Overstraeten Jozef 1966 5
Van Overstraeten War 1960 10
Van Oye Paul † 1965  
Van Reeth Flor † 1959 14
Vansina Dirk † 1965 4
Van Straaten Werenfried 1972 12
Van Vlaenderen Michel † 1964 3
Van Waeyenbergh Honoré † 1961 2
Van Werveke Hans † 1969 6
Van Wilderode Anton 1976 14
Vercammen Jan 1973 11
Veremans Renaat † 1959 2
(Verlooy Jan Baptist) 1973  
Victor René 1964 17
Vinck Joseph † 1970 18
Vranckx Alfons † 1973 16
Walschap Gerard 1957 1
Wasserman Ida † 1968 6
Westerlinck Albert 15
Wijnants Ernest † 1960  
Wildiers Max 1969 7
Yoors Eugène † 1959 1

From resistance fighter to subversive citizen

Van verzetsstrijder tot staatsgevaarlijk burger. Hoe progressieve illegale werkers na de oorlog de voet is dwarsgezet

Joost van Lingen en Niek Slooft

Anthos/uitgeverij In den Toren, 1987

ISBN: 90 6074 200 1

The life stories that seventeen former resistance fighters of a very left-wing persuasion told journalists Van Lingen & Slooff describe hopes, expectations and bitterness, feelings of unity and, above all, hostility. The interviewees are (ex)-communists, Trotskyists, anarchists and so on, from clubs such as the CPN, EVC and De Vonk, and their mutual feelings are decidedly less lovely than the common denominator ‘progressive’ would suggest. Nevertheless, there is something they shared in post-war Holland and that is their position of absolute outsider, of enemy and ‘fifth columnist’ in a situation of division in which even fierce non-communists, such as the interviewed old Groninger, an anarchist pacifist, were labelled communists.

What is intriguing about the stories van Lingen and Slooff recorded is the ambivalence that many revolutionaries display: a curious combination of distrust, cynicism and illusiveness on the one hand, and surprised innocence and naivety on the other. During the war, many had the dream that everything would be different later, but at the same time, even then, they felt alone, deviant, always (even in the future) in struggle and always betrayed.

The secret of Oss

Het SP-congres 1991 stelt het programma 'Handvest 2000' op

Het geheim van Oss – een geschiedenis van de SP

Kees Slager
Olympus Pockets

ISBN: 9789046702208

The secret of Oss writes the history of a group of inspired young people from the Brabant factory town of Oss, who in 1970, on the initiative of eighteen-year-old Jan Marijnissen, joined the forerunner of the Socialist Party (SP). Although the revolution they were about then never broke out, almost 40 years and many hundreds of actions later, they are the largest political party in this city.

The secret of Oss is the story of a city and a group that were the cradle and learning ground of Jan Marijnissen, political leader of the SP from 1994 to 2008. This book uses the closed archives of the Socialist Party for the first time. In addition, the author based his search for the secret of Oss on extensive interviews, both with party members from the first hour, with people who dropped out and with political opponents. At a time when many a party has shaken off its last ideological feathers, The Secret of Oss tells how it is still possible, even in a Catholic stronghold without any left-wing tradition, to gain the confidence of the population and thus a large following for socialism.


Inauguratie van TNI-leiders. Beeldbank NIMH - Objectnummer 2155_800272

Publications linked to the collection:

Heshusius, C. A., Zwitzer, H. L., & Staf Chef Generale Staf/Bevelhebber Landstrijdkrachten. Sectie Krijgsgeschiedenis K.L. (1976). Verslag omtrent militair-historisch onderzoek in Indonesië over de periode 1945 – 1949 door een team van de sectie krijgsgeschiedenis K.L. In Sectie Krijgsgeschiedenis K.L. Staf Chef Generale Staf/Bevelhebber Landstrijdkrachten.


For further analysis, see: master’s thesis E.M.F.F. Miedema

“Wat weet zo’n meid in Den Haag er nou van?”


A comprehensive publication on the war with Indonesia failed to materialise. Instead, in 1977 Heshusius and Zwitzer published the retrospective The Royal Dutch East Indies Army 1830-1950: a retrospective. In this book, which consists mainly of photographs with short descriptions, the authors dwell on the Java War, the Aceh War, General van Heutsz, the capture of the Dutch East Indies by Japan, and at the end the ‘police actions’ are also briefly discussed.


Het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indische leger 1830-1950 – Een terugblik

H.L. Zwitzer en C.A. Heshusius
Sdu Uitgevers, 1977

ISBN: 9789012017633





An old collection from one of the predecessor organisations (Section Krijgsgeschiedenis KL) of the NIMH.

In 1976. C.A. Heshusius and H.L. Zwitzer conducted interviews with TNI leaders in Indonesia as part of military-historical research on the period 1945-1949.


In the summer of 1976, Heshusius and Zwitzer went to Indonesia for archive work and to conduct interviews with TNI chieftains, Indonesian military historians and politicians, for the purpose of their research. A short report of this visit was published. Heshusius and Zwitzer spent over two months in Indonesia, visiting several cities on Java.


Discussions are mainly about Indonesia. Themes include Indonesian revolution, tactics and organisation of TNI and KL/KNIL.