After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, Indonesia, which had been a colony of the Netherlands before the war, declared its independence.
The Dutch did not immediately and unconditionally accept the Indonesian aspiration to independence and attempted to reassert control. A colonial war ensued, which was marked by two major Dutch offensives -- the so-called ‘police actions’ (politionele acties) in 1947 and 1948 -- and widespread guerilla warfare. The Dutch employment of violence stills sparks controversy in both Indonesia and The Netherlands.
Dr. Remco Raben is lecturer at the department of History and Art History at Utrecht University.
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