Between 1945 and 1965 almost the entire Indo-European community of the former Netherlands Indies, the later Republic of Indonesia, left their land of birth. This was not a free choice as president Soekarno started bashing the Western and especially the Dutch elements in his young state almost collapsing as a result of his disastrous social and economic policy. In order to withstand the disintegrating power of communism and muslim groups, he had to find a common ennemy. The Indos considering themselves as a mixed ethnic group and who before the war often did not emphasize their indigenous descent, now have become the ennemy.
For most Indos leaving Indonesia meant their Indonesia seized their country and all they possessed. Thanks to their perseverence, good education, will power and ability to accomodate Indos managed to building up a new life in their patria the Netherlands or in the other countries.
It was not always easy and now the stories are reveiled about the ‘cold’ treat when arriving in the Netherlands, the not paid salaries and pensions when Indos were POW’s during the war, and last but not least the loans of the Dutch government for the housing and furniture.
But to the Indos feel themselves a people in diaspora? This first of two articles tries to give some answers.