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Historian Anne-Lot Hoek intimidated because of Indonesia research –

Historian Anne-Lot Hoek intimidated because of [participation in Dutch government-sponsored] Indonesia research, By Afran Groenewoud, January 30, 2024 at 10:35 (Later edited)

Anne-Lot Hoek

Historian Anne-Lot Hoek is intimidated because of her research into the Indonesian War of Independence. The association of professional historians calls on fellow academics to speak out against these practices.

The Royal Dutch Historical Society (KNHG) calls the way in which the Histori Bersama foundation and the Komite Utang Kehormatan Belanda (KUKB) foundation criticize Hoek intimidation. The association of professional historians calls on those involved to stop this immediately.

Historian Hoek has conducted a lot of academic research into the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949). In 2021, her book The Struggle for Bali she revealed that during that period the Netherlands tortured Balinese civilians in prison camps. Our country also executed many Balinese people at that time.

KUKB represents the interests of (Indonesian) victims who suffered under the Dutch colonial occupation. The online platform Histori Bersama focuses on how the colonial past is discussed by Dutch and Indonesian authors.

‘Infringement on personal freedom and security’

Both foundations argue that Hoek adopts a colonial attitude because the historian participated as an independent researcher in a state-funded study into the Indonesian War of Independence.

But according to the KNHG, the way in which KUKB and Histori Bersama express their criticism has nothing to do with a serious academic debate. The criticism against Hoek turned into personal attacks. The professional association calls this “an infringement on the personal freedom and safety of the historian and her family” and says that it makes it difficult for her to do her work.

The KUKB Foundation did not want to respond. Histori Bersama states that it does not recognize itself in the KNHG press release. “No public statements regarding Hoek have been made by or on behalf of the Histori Bersama foundation in the past year and a half.”

Yet the fact is that in August 2022, Histori Bersama founder and board member Marjolein van Pagee wrote a lengthy Facebook message about Hoek.

‘Academic freedom in jeopardy by intimidation’

KNHG-director Antia Wiersema

The KNHG supports the WetenschapVeilig (SafeScience) initiative. It supports academics who are faced with threats, intimidation and hate reactions.

According to the KNHG, intimidation of academics can lead to self-censorship. In the context of [the Dutch study of the] Indonesian history, this could decrease the quality of the [Dutch] research into a war that cost the lives of more than 100,000 Indonesians and about 5,000 Dutch people.

“Academic research is at risk due to this kind of intimidation,” director Antia Wiersma explains on behalf of the association of professional historians in conversation with “We don’t often speak out about this. The fact that we do so now means that we are very concerned.” has read texts and seen images that appear to support the KNHG’s reading. Hoek says that she finds it annoying that people apparently do not understand her work properly. “That should never be a reason to speak ill of someone for years.”

Read also:

Press release Histori Bersama – KNHG accusations

Press release Royal Dutch Historical Society – January 30 2024

KITLV’s statement of support to Anne-Lot Hoek

Historian Anne-Lot Hoek intimidated because of Indonesia research – NRC

Honorable historians denounce intimidation, but what exactly are they referring to? NRC