On 24 November 2021 the book ‘De strijd om Bali‘ (The Struggle for Bali) was published as one of the first results of the study that received 4.1 million euros from the Dutch government. The book is written by Dutch historian Anne-Lot Hoek who participated in the research for 2 years. The rest of the researchers are going to present their findings in February 2022.
Several Dutch media outlets covered the publication of the book by Anne-Lot Hoek and presented it as ‘shocking news’. The book reveals how Dutch colonists built prison camps on Bali in which they tortured and killed many Balinese who opposed the Dutch re-occupation of 1946. Remarkably, Hoek presents a Multatuli-like official named Siebe Lijftogt as someone who criticized the violence. The TV-report frames him as a daring and critical individual that was called a traitor by his -fellow-Dutch. Yet, they do not critically reflect on the fact that, although Lijftogt condemned violence, he was a man who worked for the colonial regime and thus contributed to the colonial re-occupation as well.
Since 2017, Histori Bersama has given platform to the critics of the government-sponsored study. Back then, Jeffry Pondaag and Francisca Pattipilohy, two Indonesians who live in the Netherlands, wrote an open letter to the government. Unfortunately their criticism has been largely ignored, there is no Dutch journalist who decided to interview them about their views regarding the study. Most Dutch researchers like Anne-Lot Hoek do not tell the public that their work received severe criticism from two Indonesians. In the few occasions that Jeffry Pondaag is being interviewed, they only cite him about the court cases and his work for K.U.K.B.
Read the open letter here, available in 3 languages: https://historibersama.com/questions-about-the-dutch-research-project/
You may also like to read: