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Dutch-Indonesian Relations 1945-1969

Compiled by P.J. Drooglever and M.J.B. Schouten

The period 1945-1969 covers the decolonisation of Indonesia from the capitulation of Japan in 1945 up to and including the Act of Free Choice in 1969, which validated western New Guinea becoming part of the Republic of Indonesia. A number of publications have been dedicated to Dutch-Indonesian relations in this period, all of which complement each other. They include documentary editions, a research guide, an anthology, conference proceedings and a monograph.

These projects were partly triggered by questions raised in society about the policy that was pursued by the Dutch government. This led to a number of official assignments to the Institute of Netherlands History and its predecessor, the Rijkscommissie voor Vaderlandse Geschiedenis. In 1969, the Dutch government commissioned the documentary edition about the years 1945-1950 after questions were raised in the Dutch parliament about the conduct of Dutch soldiers in Indonesia. The documentary edition for the period dating from 1950-1963 was compiled following an official request by the government to continue with this project. The Dutch-language monograph Een Daad van Vrije Keuze about the Act of Free Choice was commissioned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2000 after questions were raised in the Dutch parliament about the Dutch policy concerning New Guinea. In all of the cases involving official assignments commissioned by the government, responsibility for the research and the outcomes resided with the institute and the editors/authors.

These publications were mostly printed in hardback. Some of them have been converted into electronic format and indeed the most recently published documentary edition, which focussed on Dutch-Indonesian Relations from 1950-1963, was compiled as a database from the start and is only available in electronic format.