The Virtual Circle of Stories
Repatriation and Emigration
Why this Website?
"The history of my life is the history of my heart"
Inspired by the beautiful books "Istori Kita" and “De Lange Reis van de Poesaka”by Simone Berger, I (Guus Rozendaal) recently wrote down my father's story based in the Dutch East Indies. The story starts in 1921 with the immigration of my grandfather and his family to the Dutch East Indies to take up work in education and ends in 1958 with the forced repatriation of my father and his family back to the Netherlands.
As a result my wife Tilly and I came up with the idea to collect more of these family stories and bring them together in one neutral place a so-called "Circle of Stories", where everyone can provide his or her story or other information. Together with those “storytellers”, we have now written more than 15 stories which have been brought together here including stories found on the internet.
None of these stories are told because the narrator thinks himself to be so interesting, but mainly because they take place against the background of periods that are very important for history. These backgrounds have changed many lives forever. Unfortunately, it has turned out that later generations know very little about them, as a result of which the generation of the pre-war Dutch East Indies is often neither heard nor understood. It is through passing on these stories as well as the background which allows, them to be understood and recorded that this understanding comes about. This is why we have also added a timeline and several hyperlinks to a numerous amount of educational videos, on the YouTube Channel.
"Repatriation and Emigration"
Since 1945, more than 300,000 people from the Indonesian archipelago have come to the Netherlands. The exodus as a result of the end of the Japanese occupation and the independence of Indonesia lasted until about 1968 and took place in 'waves' of departure. Officially this exodus was called 'The Repatriation from the Indies, but this should be seen symbolically, because for most of the emigrants this meant a definitive departure to a country totally unknown to them.
The Koninklijke Rotterdamsche Lloyd (KRL) and the Stoomvaartmaatschappij Nederland (SMN) in particular have played a very important role with their passenger ships from 1945 onwards, whether forced or not, to leave the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia for the Netherlands. These crossings still appeal to many people's imagination, so more about this under "To the Netherlands"
For many, the reception in the Netherlands was a great disappointment and a traumatic experience. Many of the Dutch born in the Dutch East Indies did not feel welcome in the Netherlands. They found it very difficult to build a new life there. The Dutch themselves were recovering from the Second World War in Europe, so there was really no place here for the suffering of the native people of the Dutch East Indies. The story of the Moluccans who came to the Netherlands deserves a separate reference, that is why we have dedicated a separate chapter to this under "In the Netherlands".
This platform is fully focused on (r)emigration to the Netherlands. However, many emigrated directly or via the Netherlands to countries other than the Netherlands after the Japanese capitulation or its aftermath, in which economic motives, climate and government policy played an important role, more information to be found under "Other Destinations"
In order for this platform to stay alive and continue to grow, we warmly invite visitors to send in more material (stories, links, suggestions for improvement, constructive criticism, etc.):
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