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Dutch Apology, Seven Decades Late

Monday, February 28, 2022

A landmark study by three major research institutes on extreme Dutch violence in Indonesia resulted in an apology by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the first one by a Dutch government head. The country’s rosy self-image is among the reasons this admittance comes so late.

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A group of Republican fighters to be interrogated by the Intelligence and Security Group in Sidikalang, Northwest Sumatra, early in 1949, is seen in this handout photo provided to Reuters on February 17. National Archives/Handout via REUTERS . tempo : 172132530046.

NEVER before has a historical study been discussed so widely in the Dutch media, weeks prior to its outcome—and then caused the Dutch Prime Minister to apologize to its former colony. “For the systematic and widespread extreme violence perpetrated by the Dutch, and the consistent dismissal of this by previous cabinets, I deeply apologize to the Indonesian people on behalf of the Dutch government,” said Mark Rutte on Thursday, Fe


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