Indonesian Youth honour Dutch victims of bersiap 1945

October 12, 2013 – Surabaya

Youth from Surabaya, accompanied by members of the Dutch-Indo community and Dutch veteran Anton van Apeldoorn put flowers on the graves of Dutch citizens killed during the bersiap period in 1945.

The ceremony caught attention of Indonesian national television and press.

Eddy Samson (Dutch people will know him from the television series Van Dis in Indonesië) held a short speech explaining that reconciliation between Indonesia and the Netherlands is still an ongoing process and that he as an 79-year-old was excited by the fact that so many young people were present.

The graves were each decorated with two flowers, one red one white, symbolising the Indonesian flag, merah puti. The ceremony was described by many as heart warming.
Ady Setyawan, who took the initiative for the memorial, explained that his gesture was a direct response to the monument of light  that was held in the Dutch city Hoorn, honouring the victims of Dutch colonialism.

Dutch veteran Anton van Apeldoorn said it is a good idea to openly discuss the dark chapters of Dutch-Indonesian history and simply listening to each other is an important step already.

Next aim of Ady Setyawan and Max van der werff is to set up a joint history project and especially for this purpose a bronze statue of Sukarno was casted.

Photos: copyright Aftonun Nuha and Leo Arief Budiman

The statue will be shipped to the Netherlands and once arrived further plans will be revealed.