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Plea Jeffry Pondaag in ‘Bersiap-case’ against Rijksmuseum

Plea by K.U.K.B. chairperson Jeffry Pondaag, Amsterdam, October 13, 2022

Dear counselor(s),

Jeffry Pondaag

I am delighted to stand here in front of indigenous, white Dutch native legal counselors. During the 350 years that the colonial, racist system of oppression existed, we [Indonesians] did not have any rights. It was an urgent situation that made me decide to report the director and curator of the Rijksmuseum to the police. The Netherlands is wrong, period, there is no comma. The Dutch-invented ‘bersiap’ does not exist, we always stood ‘bersiap’ [ready] in the 350 years to defend ourselves against the bloodthirsty Belanda [Dutch] and their collaborators. Think about Aceh and the Jawa [Java] war. The Dutch and their collaborators brought civilization they say, no, they are blood thirsty. (In Indonesian language ‘belanda’ means Dutch.)

I am a factory worker and I don’t want to offend anyone, I just want to explain the facts as they are. I enjoyed my education in Indonesia. The K.U.K.B. Foundation filed court cases against the Dutch State, which we won. Many of the victims in Indonesia that I spoke to, whose fathers were executed and murdered by the Dutch colonial army (KNIL), pointed at their skin and said ‘itu orang kita’ (these are our people). The Dutch do not even know the difference between Indonesians and Indische Nederlanders (Dutch-Indies people).

Besides, I found it very sloppy of the Public Prosecutor that the name of my foundation was wrongly spelled, not just once but several times it was written as K.B.U.B.

The identity of ‘Indische Nederlanders’ is a Dutch fabrication as it is linked to the racist 3-layered apartheidssystem. The 350.000 people who migrated to the Netherlands in the 1950’s chose sides with the colonizer. They are traitors who executed their brothers and sisters in the name of the Dutch kingdom. The Netherlands is guilty of falsifying its history by not including this in their education. Did the Public Prosecutor look at the image on the Golden Carriage, especially on the right side, it is a gross insult for us Indonesians.

Every Monday we have to stay ‘bersiap’ [ready] at school to raise the red and white flag. After that we walked ‘bersiap’ in two rows to the class room. The same happened on Fridays when the red and white flag was solemnly lowered. Your decision not to prosecute Mr. T. Dibbits and Mr. H. Stevens proves that the Netherlands legitimizes colonialism.

The Netherlands ignores the 70 up to 100 million people who defended their country at the time, and pretends that they do not exist. The Dutch interpretation of bersiap is made up by the legally assimilated Indische Nederlanders: Indisch is made in Holland.

In March 1942, within three days, the Dutch were defeated by the Japanese who came on their bicycles. After that the Dutch wanted to come back to occupy us again. Did they really expect we welcomed them with open arms? The Belanda’s [the Dutch] are bad losers! We are people of flesh and blood, like all of us who are present here in the court of Amsterdam, and that is how we want to be treated too.

I do not agree with the Public Prosecutor. The term bersiap that the Public Prosecutor uses, does not exist! [Holding a picture] My uncle whom I never met, has been executed because he owned maps that contained information about the location of natural resources. He was killed because he didn’t want to give away the maps.

Kindly but urgently, we ask the court of Amsterdam to demand the prosecution of T. Dibbits and H. Stevens. It is my opinion that they are guilty of racism! 

Terima kasih banyak – thank you very much.

Download in PDF:

Press Release KUKB bersiap-case Rijksmuseum

Plea by Dida Pattipilohy in ‘bersiap-case’ against Rijksmuseum

Plea Marjolein van Pagee in ‘bersiap-zaak’ KUKB against Rijksmuseum