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Dutch Research Team Ends Discussion

Dutch Research Team Ends Discussion

After receiving the extensive report regarding the roundtable discussion of 31 January, 2019, the Dutch research team decided not to continue the discussion any longer. They choose not to reply the report that was sent to both the Dutch and Indonesian government and press. The Dutch research on the Indonesian independence war 1945-1949 is conducted by three institutions: NIOD, NIMH and KITLV. The following e-mail was sent by NIOD on behalf of the rest of the research-team. 

Date: April 12, 2019

Dear Jeffry,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We would like to emphasize that we gladly welcome all input and feedback. As a research group, we are at the center of the social debate on this subject.

But being at the center of the society also means that we must maintain our independence and are therefore unable to respond to demands from different parties to change the program or draw conclusions before the investigation is completed. Of course we will keep the promises we made when we addressed the questions and points of criticism that came out of the 31 January meeting. At the same time, we also indicated in that discussion that we cannot (or do not want) certain things that were asked for. So at the moment there is not much more left to do than what we have done already. The most important thing is to continue the work now, to ensure that we will end up with a series of good studies.

By the way, on January 31 Ireen Hoogenboom did not promise to send the names of the Indonesian researchers involved in the investigation. This is because the Indonesian research group wants to do the communication themselves, not via us.


Marjon van der Veen
NIOD, Team leader Communication and Information

Date: April 16, 2019

CC to: Francisca Pattipilohy, Marjolein van Pagee (Histori Bersama), Frank van Vree (NIOD-director), Ben Schoemaker (NIMH-director) and Gert Oostindie (KTILV-director)

Dear Marjon,

First, why is this e-mail only addressed to me and not to Mrs. Francisca Pattipilohy and Marjolein van Pagee (Histori Bersama) How often do I have to repeat that this is not my initiative alone? 140 Dutch and Indonesians have signed our open letter. It is unbelievable that you simply ignore our extensive report (with detailed information)!

This proves how unwilling and detached you are.

You claim to be independent, but in the meantime I read in the newspaper how a former employee reveals the close connection of NIOD with the government and the royal family. It doesn’t surprise me! If Rawagede had not been put on the map in the Netherlands, the so-called scholars wouldn’t have be doing anything. We saw the previous documentary that revealed the unacceptable role of your institute in the Van-Imhoff case. A typical Dutch cover-up. Annemarie Toebosch referred to this in her video message. In any case, this does not give us confidence and it is in line with our argument that not only NIMH but also NIOD is not independent.

On top of this, I read the following on your research website about you supposedly welcoming criticism because this keeps the researchers on their toes: “Criticism can highlight omissions and pitfalls, so it is always welcome. This will keep the programme and the researchers on their toes, so the researchers will be happy to keep in contact with critics.” This is not our experience! Don’t you see that this e-mail with your rejection proves the exact opposite?

During the round table discussion, Ireen Hoogenboom did promise to inform us via e-mail about the exact amount that has been paid to UGM. At that time you only knew that 4 positions were paid for, while I wanted to know exactly how much money that was; you had to figure that out. Remember, this is tax payer money, we have a right to know how and to whom this is paid. Ireen also said that the Indonesian team would come up with its own website in February. Why does it need to be so mysterious? All this secrecy is not right.

As an Indonesian, I don’t take this lightly, the secrecy regarding the involvement of the Indonesian universities exposes a lie. In Dutch newspapers and on national television Gert Oostindie proudly announced that the research “works closely together with Indonesians.” Ireen also said this during the kick-off event. However, apart from the names of Purwanto and Wahid, you still refuse to release other names to this very day. It remains completely unclear who is collaborating and how much money has been given to the Indonesian parties and universities. This does not sound very convincing. As long as we don’t get a proper answer, my unfortunate conclusion is that Gert and Ireen lied.

Let it be clear that this discussion is not over. You can’t get away so easily with compiling an Excessennota 2.0. Because of your dismissive attitude, we are forced to publish the correspondence online so that everyone knows how you treat us.

I look forward to your response and continue to expect that you answer our criticism and include it in the research.


Jeffry M. Pondaag

Date: May 20, 2019

Dear Francisca Pattipilohy, dear Marjolein [van Pagee] and Jeffry [Pondaag],

CC to: Frank van Vree (NIOD-director), Ben Schoemaker (NIMH-director) and Gert Oostindie (KTILV-director)

Due to my absence during the May holidays, my response has been delayed. Because the previous mail was written in Dutch and only signed by Jeffry, I answered it in Dutch and addressed it in particular to Jeffry. In future correspondence I will always address to the three of you.
As we said before, with interest the research group has taken notice of the content of your extensive report. All input and feedback are very welcome, especially to keep it in mind when we conduct the research. At the same time, it is impossible to respond extensively to all comments; this would lead to an endless discussion. For now we are concentrating on the continuation of the research, but we will probably meet each other in various occasions.
With regard to the question about the costs of the research: because this is about tax payers money, the information about the budget of the research program is publicly available on the website of the Dutch government.


Budget explanation*:


Marjon van der Veen
NIOD, Team leader Communication and Information

* The second PDF contains proof that the research is not independent, as the critics repeatedly argued. The document clarifies that the Dutch Institute of Military History (NIMH) defends the interests of the Dutch State in the court room by verifying the claims. Since 2008/2009 the Dutch government is facing claims of Indonesian victims of Dutch war crimes, launched by Jeffry Pondaag’s organization K.U.K.B. 


In this paragraph it is stated that NIMH receives 1.5 Million Euros, of which 2.5 fte is used for “the verification of the so-called Indië-claims.” (Indië-claims = presumably the Indonesian court cases against the Dutch State)

The PDF-document also reveals the difference in salaries between Dutch and Indonesian historians. A Dutch Senior researcher receives 68.000 Euros salary per year, while a Dutch Junior researcher is paid 47.500 Euros per year. Yet, Indonesian researchers only get 16.000 Euros salary per year. The Dutch research team previously stated that they are paying for 4 Indonesian researchers. Thus in total the Indonesian team receives about €256.000 for 4 researchers for 4 years, this is 6% of the total budget of 4 Million Euros. See: