"...The Dutch decolonization debate lights up again: in August 2015 I wrote frontpage news on new academic research by historian Remy Limpach (University of Bern), whose book 'De brandende kampungs van Generaal Spoor' will be published in September 2016.
A few months earlier I had argued that Dutch historians didn't succeed in making the subject of colonial violence in Indonesia part of the Dutch national memory..."
"...Canadian Professor Geoffrey Robinson (University of California Los Angeles) is a historian on Southeast Asia and human rights specialist. I visited him in Los Angeles and we spoke together several times in The Netherlands. He argues that a truth and reconciliation committee might be helpful in dealing with the Dutch colonial past..."
"...In March 2016, the Dutch special forces (Corps Commandotroepen) were decorated by King Willem Alexander for their mission in Afghanistan.
I wrote an opinon article for Vrij Nederland, making the case that the Dutch government should first publicly denounce themselves from their violent past against civilians..."
Onze vuile oorlog
"...Together with Vrij Nederland editor Harm Ede Botje, I looked into the Dutch debate on the Indonesian independence war and interviewed historians and journalists that took part in the discussion. Three institutions (KITLV, NIOD and NIMH) had just requested funding in 2012 for a large scale research on the Dutch military behaviour during the decolonisation war..."
"...In 2012, I met with researcher/activist Max van der Werff who coincidentally at that same moment was working on the same subject: the case of three marines who felt guilty over setting Indonesian kampungs on fire and refused. They were jailed and sentenced, and registered as criminals back in Holland. I discovered the original verdicts in the archive and also found the daughter of one of the marines, who knew nothing about her fathers past. Later on, Vrij Nederland editor Harm Ede Botje and I published an article on the peculiar reaction from the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, Frans Timmermans. Before becoming Minister, mister Timmerman was a strong advocate for rehabilitation of these 3 marines.."