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Stacheldraht und BambusspeereBy Bruni Adler
Stacheldraht und Bambusspeere (Barbed wire and bamboo spears) deals with the complex situation resulting from World War II in the Dutch East Indies, which affected, Indonesians, Dutch, Japanese - plus several other nationalities.
Bruni Adler, a German author and journalist with a background in social psychology, got interested in the Germans living and working in the pre-war Dutch East Indies, and how they got caught up in WW-2 and its aftermath in Asia. Broadening her interest she interviewed 40 witnesses to the end of Dutch colonial rule, six of them Dutch, the others Indonesian, Japanese, and German.
I find the book an excellent introduction for Germans, and certainly also for others, to the complexity of the issues and people surrounding Indonesia's 20th century independence struggle.
I was struck by the wide variety in life experiences of the people interviewed, all in Indonesia during the independence struggle, but all viewing events from different perspectives, and often quite ignorant of the experiences and perspectives of the other groups.
I had been aware of the rough deal that the (former) Germans got through their internment immediately after 10 May 1940, but not in all its details. An analysis as to why the Dutch authorities acted as they did might have been useful.
The book presents the history through the eyes of those who lived it. That is a strength, but carries the risk of perceptions diverting from reality, as sometimes they do. The author has counteracted this problem by interspersing the book with chapters on the historical background ‚Äď and by an extensive glossary at the end of the book.
Several Indonesian interviewees implicitly or explicitly characterize the Indonesian independence war as a kind of civil war: while they thought they were battling the Dutch, many faces under the Dutch helmets were in fact Indonesian.
What also emerges is that Indonesians interviewed were less hostile to the Dutch people than they were enthusiastic for independence. What may have helped the spontaneity of the response by the Indonesians interviewed is that the author is neither Dutch nor Indonesian.
I expect the book to find a readership among those who want to study the complexity of history in general, and Indonesian history in particular.
(16/08/2014)Toos Blokland ‚Ä†
Mrs Toos Blokland passed away on Saturday 16 August 2014. She was the eldest of the 19 persons who told her stories in "The year 2602". Toos also published her war diary in a book with the title "Vrouwenleed" (Sufferings of women - see the Dutch version of this website). A teenager when entering the camps, Toos provided a very articulate contribution to the movie.
Buitenkampers on BVN
Satellite station BVN, is the Dutch-language TV station for Dutchmen overseas - provided they get their programs via satellite dish .
BVN will show the shortened version of documentary Buitenkampers on Wednesday 27 august (21:01h), and on Thursday 28 August 2014 (09:01h). Time is in GMT+1. Information on http://www.bvn.tv/programma/2Doc%3A_Buitenkampers and on http://www.bvn.tv/ontvangst
Interested in the history of the Dutch in Indonesia during WW-2? The BVN shows abovementioned documentary only in Dutch, but the original movie can be ordered on DVD, and that DVD has English subtitles.
(August 7, 2012)
Nel van der Ploeg - van Zijl
On 5 April 2012 Mrs P. (Nel) van der Ploeg - van Zijl passed away, age 79. In the documentary "The year 2602" Nel tells her story of war and internment. She shares with the viewer how she experienced the onset of war, and how hard the news of her father's death in a faraway camp struck her. After World War II Nel was a teacher in the Netherlands, then lived for many years in Tanzania and Swaziland with her family, where she taught the English language.
(August 2, 2012)
On 12 July 2012 Mr J A (Jan) BLok passed away, age 80. Before retirement Jan taught commerce and economics. He grew up in the then Dutch East Indies, and is one of the 19 persons who jointly tell the story in the movie "The year 2602". Jan's controlled but clear style of narrating contributed to the characteristically cool style of this movie.
(February 17, 2012)
Film Foundation Japanese Occupation 1942-45
We adapted our name, replacing "Civilian camps" with "Occupation". The name change reflects our broadened scope to include the WW-II experiences of all Dutch civilians, including those outside the concentration camps in the occupied Dutch East Indies.
We have largely completed our first movie project: "The year 2602", which ran its course in Dutch movie theaters, was broadcast on national TV, and continues to be sold as DVD (mail us for ordering instructions).
For our new film project "Outside the camps - the color of survival" (see below) we are busy raising funds. At this stage we request mails from those who can share with us their experiences in occupies Dutch East Indies and in the emerging Indonesia. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Derk HilleRisLambers, secretary
(Dec 28, 2011)
"The year 2602" op Amazon.com
Our movie "The year 2602" can now be accessed through Amazon.com: Click on http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-2602/dp/B005IXCZE8 and make your choice between watching online for $1.99 or downloading for $ 9.99.
(Oct 10, 2011)
"Buitenkampers - De Kleur van Overleven", our new movie project
We have joined forces with Holland Harbour (Nadadja Kemper & Rob Vermeulen) and with Scarabee films. Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich, known from the popular documentary "Contractpensions - Djangan loepah!", will direct a movie with the working title "Buitenkampers - De kleur van Overleven". Our new film title translates to "Outside the Camps - The color of survival". The movie will be about the experiences of those Dutch citizens who in WW-2 in Indonesia had to survive outside the concentration camps. Predominantly Indo Dutch, these 'Buitenkampers' faced increasingly hard times surviving in a country that under the Japanese occupation turned itself increasingly against everything and everybody Dutch. After Japan's capitulation this culminated in the murderous rampages of the Pemuda's, young Indonesian nationalists, during the horrible Bersiap period.
Finally, with the transfer of sovereignty to the Republik Indonesia Serikat in 1949, the Indo Dutch, rooted in the country, had to choose between evacuation to a cold and poorly known fatherland, and a continued existence in motherland where there was no place for them.
If you have personal experience of this period in Dutch history that you are ready to relate, please mail to us at email@example.com. A brief mail will suffice, and your mail will be transferred to the producers.
(Nov 10, 2010)
'The year 2602' on America's West coast
On 28 October 2010 "The year 2602" (Dutch, English subtitles) was shown in the Pickford Cinema in Bellingham, State of Washington. Clara Olink Kelly, author of "The Flamboya tree" introduced the movie to an audience of 55 viewerd. Its DVD was also offered for sale on this occasion. There was a great crowd on this occasion, including many for whom this part of history was completely new.
Lowered sales price of DVD 'The year 2602'
We have lowered the price for the DVD to ‚ā¨ 15.-. Shipping costs have still to be added: ‚ā¨ 1.95 for delivery within the Netherlands, ‚ā¨ 5.95 for delivery abroad. Prices apply only to deliveries via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change in mail address for ordering our DVD
The previously mentioned address dvd @ hetjaar2602.nl for ordering dvd's is no longer valid one. Please route all mails for ordering the DVD of 'The Year 2602' to the following address:
273000 viewers on national TV
'Het jaar 2602', shown national on TV August 13 2009, attracted 273000 viewers. For such late-evening broadcast (22:45), we are very satisfied with these numbers.
DVD "Het jaar 2602" (The year 2602), retail price ‚ā¨ 17.95 English subtitles. Order Online Click here
(Credit card payment possible). Wait 15 seconds then the needed button "bestel de dvd" appears center screen
This "region free" dvd has optional English sub-titles. It works on players and screens of the PAL system as used in Europe and most other countries in the world. In the USA a multi-system player and TV screen are needed, but a modern computer will be able to play the disk regardless.
All films have English sub-titles available. The dvd features "The year 2602" plus three additional exclusive films. One shows more pre-war footage of Dutch children in the Dutch East Indies, another follows the sea voyage home, after the war. Willeke van Ammelrooy made the portrait of a mother (Nell van de Graaf) who survived detention with her four children.
Click here . After 15 seconds you'll see the desired button "bestel de dvd") center screen. (you can also pay by credit card).