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The Hypocrisy of Dutch Actions in Indonesia

Abstract: At the end of World War 2 the Netherlands, through its own military tribunals, tried and convicted several members of the Japanese and German militaries for their participation in the war crime of extra judicial executions in Indonesia and the Netherlands. Several of the convicted men were executed by the Netherlands while others sentenced to lengthy prison terms. From 1946-1949 the Netherlands, primarily through commando Raymond Westerling, engaged in the same actions they accused the Japanese of having committed. While no specific order was ever revealed showing that Westerling’s actions were ordered by the military, the Netherlands tacitly approved his actions by failing to control him and his men and by their unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions before or after the Netherlands withdrew its forces from Indonesia in 1949. This research paper explores the extrajudicial executions conducted by Westerling, his men, other Dutch military and the Dutch government in order to provide a better and more thorough understanding of these events and the lack of national or international action against war crimes committed after World War 2. It concludes that the Netherlands has failed to try or even accuse Westerling and others of war crimes or take actions to discipline them, and in fact has covered up his actions and failed to make public those war crimes. Further that the reason for this continued hypocritical refusal is a concern for the reputation of the Netherlands in the world and a belief that high levels of government would be found complicit.
Keywords: war crimes / Netherlands / military / World War / convicted / failed / Westerling / Japanese

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