Author Country Media Name Year

Press release Histori Bersama – KNHG accusations

Press release Histori Bersama February 8, 2024

Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Genootschap (Royal Dutch Historical Society, KNHG) falsely accuses Histori Bersama of intimidating and threatening Anne-lot Hoek 

With great surprise the Histori Bersama Foundation took notice of the commotion following the press release of KNHG, in which they claim that we intimidated and threatened Dutch historian Anne-Lot Hoek.

In an article in Dutch newspaper NRC, published last January 30, the KNHG says that the personal freedom and safety of Anne-Lot and her family is under threat. Dutch news site also covered the news, claiming that the editors had seen texts and images “that seem to support the interpretation of KNHG.” In her response, Anne-Lot Hoek stated that, for many years, we have spoken negatively about her. Subsequentely, the Dutch Royal Institute for the Linguistics, Geography and Ethnology (KITLV) published a statement of support suggesting that our alleged intimidation against Hoek is a deliberate and systematic attempt to damage her name and reputation.

The Histori Bersama Foundation does not recognize these allegations. None of our members have ever threatened Hoek or her family.

Anne-Lot Hoek

We did, however, substantively criticize Hoek and other historians between 2017 and 2022 in relation to their involvement in the politically motivated research project Independence, decolonization, violence and war in Indonesia 1945-1950.

Immediately after the start of the research, in November 2017 with the idea to initiate an academic-historical debate we published an open letter, written by two critical Indonesians in the Netherlands: Jeffry Pondaag and Francisca Pattipilohy. Over the years, we became an important decolonial platform that offers space to critical Indonesian voices in the Netherlands. In that context we paid a lot of attention to the substantive, decolonial criticism of the research.

Our main point of criticism is that the research is not independent and that there is a conflict of interest; one of the three institutes that conducted the research, the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH), falls directly under the Dutch Ministry of Defense. The Dutch government allocated 4.1 million euros for this study. It is evident that the Netherlands, as the former colonizer, still has an interest in the way this bloody period is being depicted.

What surprised us too is that there is no recent event that could explain the sudden allegations from the KNHG. Recently, the Histori Bersama foundation made no public statements regarding Hoek.[1] There has also been no contact with her recently. In fact, Hoek has cut all ties with Histori Bersama herself. Moreover, the publication of the research results is now two years behind us. The issue may have been newsworthy at the time, but not now.

Part of a free, academic debate, which the KNHG says to support, is being able to substantively criticize each other’s work. This is even more true if it concerns research with far-reaching political implications. The KNHG’s unfounded allegations are unworthy of a respected historical society.

We request the KNHG, NRC,, KITLV and Anne-Lot Hoek to issue a rectification as soon as possible. There is no proof that we intimidated and threatened Hoek. The public spreading of unfounded accusations is unlawful.

The board of Histori Bersama

[1] In our first response of January 31, 2024, we stated that the last public statement regarding Anne-Lot Hoek is at least one year and a half old. Subsequently, rightly noted that last August, Marjolein van Pagee (founder and board member of Histori Bersama) wrote a post on her personal Facebook account in which she commented on an article by Hoek in the Groene Amsterdammer. But the text of this post also does not fall under threat or intimidation, but under substantive criticism of the ideas that Hoek expresses, including her position. Moreover, this personal statement by Marjolein was also made half a year ago, not recently, which means that the current sudden attack by the KNHG against us, still remains inexplicable. See:

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See also:

Press release Royal Dutch Historical Society – January 30 2024

KITLV’s steunbetuiging aan 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