New Zeeland Actien Commitee
It is time for a report. My wife and I visited the Netherlands and we attended the Commemoration of the “End of WWll” in The Hague with some 2000 others, many of whom were 2nd and 3rd generation. The actual number of survivors present reduces every year. It was very impressive.
King Willem-Alexander was also present and laid the first wreath at the Indisch Monument. Next to the microphone stand was a Dutch flag (see photo in this newsletter). The original flag was taken apart, hidden and reassembled after 3 ½ yrs in Camp Ambarawa. The speeches of actor Eric Schneider and scholar Sanne were very emotional. A fly-over of a Catalina aircraft was emotional for many of the visiters. On the TV report my wife and I were seen as I laid flowers for EJOS and my parents at the beautiful Indisch Monument. After the ceremony, a bus took visitors to the Zuiderzee Theatre where we enjoyed an Indonesian Lunch.
There was tension and an expectant looking forward to the Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s speech if the Dutch government would finally offer an apology for the way the victims of the Japanese prison camps and forced labor received when returning to The Netherlands from the Dutch East Indies. For years unrecognised and never compensated for lost goods and households. No financial gesture towards the surviving victims, whose ranks have now been so thinned that the treasury would suffer little pain? The Minister regrets the disappointment of the victims.
Minister of State Martin van Rijn was to have a meeting on the 14th of October, which was cancelled but he came back with the promise that he wants to finalise the “Indische Kwestie”. Martin said it is a “moral duty”. Will we ever be acknowledged and get compensated for the loss of our valuables and goods in the Dutch-East-Indies? We’ve had a long stretch in which not much happened at all. Note; The MH17 plane disaster was priority news in NED at this time.
The Japanese Emperor Akihito spoke this morning in a speech the hope that the horrors of war will never be repeated.
Statement from the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday morning August 14th.
Abe has “Heart felt remorse and mistakes of the passed must never be repeated”. No apologies. Abe’s comments on the Comfort Women issue. “There were many women being hurt. Tremendous suffering was caused by our country”. He says that Japan did apologise in 1995.
Future? We have to wait and see. Will there be an International reaction?
Indisch Platform will meet SVW Martin van Rijn. IP chairman Silfraire comments; “We proceed and are in a strong performance” (“Wij gaan door”) The October 14th meeting was cancelled. A future meeting with the Indisch Platform will be announced. Opening of the TROONREDE 15 SEP 2015; “The Dutch seem to be able to shift the beacons if required”. Hm.
President Jan van Wagtendonk comments; “We proceed with what we are doing now”.
EJOS has a good interaction with the SJE group in The Netherlands and we stand by them. I met Hans Faber. He knew Pilot Gus Winkel from the Broome Massacre in Australia.
With great regret I have to announce that the following members have passed away.
Corrie Beets in May, Tom Wubben in July, Klaas Borgers in September, Dick v/d Schaaf in October, Rudy Storms wife Elisabeth in OCT.
I was not able to organise a Commemoration Lunch in August since I was in Den Haag. Our AGM in Birkenhead attendance was very disappointing. There was a storm raging with heavy rain that was a good reason not to go out. The Indische Lunch was nice though.
From AUG 4 to 15 the Dutch Newspapers issued dramatic moving articles of survivors in the Dutch-East-Indies. Have a nice Christmas and end of the year with the family.
From Ivo Pabbruwe
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