Stichting Vervolgingsslachtoffers Jappenkamp
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Stichting Vervolgingsslachtoffers JAPPENKAMP

Foundation in support of the victims of Japanese concentrationcamps in the Dutch East Indies
and other by Japan occupied territories in South-East Asia.
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august 2002
Indisch[1] Platform blatantly against interests.

Victims of Persecution of Japan

Why the Migrated (Dutch) victims of the Japanese persecution are wondering why the outcome of ‘Het Gebaar’ was so stingy, in comparison to Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Norway.

First and for all you have to understand that ‘Het Gebaar’ was not meant as a compensation, but a redress for the formalistic, bureaucratic and uncaring welcome in Holland. In the address to the House of Parliament (2nd Chambre) of 12th December 2000 former minister Borst of National Health, Welfare, and Sports (VWS) said: << [1] In the (postwar) Netherlands repatriates and emigrants found a ramshackled society in reconstruction, which had little time and attention for, let alone understanding of, their experiences. Housing facilities, help with the catching up of the arrear in education and at the labour market were lacking. The ignorance and prejudices of many Dutch people about the Dutch East Indies, the Indische community and the colonial past in general have been experienced as highly damaging. All these elements have contributed to feelings of repudiation with many members of the Indische community. The (present) government recognises the suffering of all the victims of war, not only caused by their wartime experiences, but also at their arrival and settlement in Holland. Looking back with the knowledge and eyes of the present, it has to be admitted that there was too much formalism and bureaucracy, and above all chilliness >> The minister offered her apologies on behalf of the Dutch government << however, without assuming wrong intentions with the persons who were in charge at the time >> (Drees Cabinet).

<< On the basis of assumed shortcomings in the Indische redress, in association with various other problems with which the victims of persecution[2] were confronted after the Japanese occupation, viz. the hostile treatment by the Indonesians who were in pursuit of their independence and the mitigation of the redress due to the situation in Indonesia between 1946 and 1949 (27th December – Declaration of Sovereignty), the government is of opinion that a gesture is viable >>

Although the minister mentioned << victims of persecution >> in her speech, she meant of course: the Indische community. Nevertheless, it is highly probable, that she initially did mean << victims of persecution >>. This is what she said next:

<< In a former consultation with the Indisch Platform in February and March 2000 the possibility of individual compensations to victims of persecution were discussed. But the Indisch Platform rejected this proposal because it was the utmost wish of the Indische Community to get an equal treatment for all persons from former Dutch East Indies. Making a difference between the victims of persecution and others was vehemently rejected >>.

- according to the minister.

You should know that the Indisch Platform is a consultation body installed by the Dutch government, which consists of representatives of the many Indische organisations, including JES (Japanse Ereschulden) that was originally established as an interest group for the victims of persecution in order to get compensation from the Japanese government. For many years the members paid their annual dues, which up till now was to no avail since all lawsuits against the Japanese state were lost so far. And will be lost in the future, because there is no judge to be found in Japan who would dare to sentence his own state. Or, as a former military officer[3] stated at an international conference: << the Japanese courts and judges, who are influenced by the politicians lacking reflection, make unfair judgements. >> because << During the war period, the specially assigned police and military police suppressed the freedom of speech and thinking. Today, hypocrites who wear the military uniform in their mind are still suppressing the freedom of speech. >> besides:
<< 50 years after the war, certain people in the Japanese Diet (parliament) attempted to deny being an invader during the war... The shameless politicians distort the true history, and make untrue speeches >>

JES, amongst others, accepted the demand of the majority of the Indische Representatives in the Indisch Platform that the Indische Community would be treated as an undivided whole, notwithstanding their differences in interests, except for one: the chilly, formalistic and bureaucratic reception and treatment. Apparently, the JES board was totally unaware of the profound and irrevocable consequences this decision was to have, both for their victims of persecution membership and JES itself.

Stichting Vervolgingsslachtoffers JAPPENKAMP was founded in 2001 as a reaction to ‘Het Gebaar’ and in order to take over the assignments that JES should have pursued but cannot any longer, since it committed itself to the demands of the Indische Platform, against the interests of the majority of their membership, who were victims of persecution.

august 1, 2002
Lilian Sluijter
Lid Support Groep SVJ

[1] I prefer to use the word Indisch for people who came (back) from the former Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) – both caucasian and from mixed descent – as the word Indian means a person from India.
[2] <<......>> means: quote - unquote
[3] Here the minister makes a mistake. Victims of persecution are under the Dutch Law: persons who were detained in closed camps or jails.
[4] Shiro Azuma, a Japanese witness at an international Redress Conference in 2000

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