Sunday, January 15, 2012

WARLOVECHILD: Forgotten victims of Dutch military aggression in Indonesia

I received an email from the organization Oorlogsliefdekind. I’m interested to help this project, to unite former Dutch military personnel and their offspring. I have sent information about this matter in Indonesian language to many mailing lists and to Indonesian press.

Batara R. Hutagalung
Chairman of The Committee of Dutch Honorary Debts

WARLOVECHILD unites military personnel and their offspring
Dutch servicemen and their secret children born in wartime Indonesia - breaks the silence about a blind spot in Dutch-Indonesian history with a successful crossmedia project which deals with the secret children fathered by Dutch servicemen and Indonesian women during the decolonization-war between the Netherlands and Indonesia (1945-1949). The family finding website contains a wide variety of personal testimonials and family-snapshots gathered through extensive oral history research. All information is now accessible to an international audience with an online English version at

The saying ‘all is fair in love and war’ refers to matters of the heart and soul which are difficult to control and contain. No wonder that a lot of commotion was caused among veterans in the Netherlands, their relatives and people of mixed Indonesian-European descent when the website and the historical documentary Sir Daddy (Tuan Papa) was released. The unreserved testimonials about love and sexuality in wartime made painfully clear that the most intensive Dutch war effort ever had the birth of thousands of mixed-blooded children as an unforeseen consequence. breaks the taboo about this subject by creating a safe and neutral digital environment where stories of both children and fathers are shared and commented on. Many of the 'warlovechildren' never met their fathers but kept on looking for them all their lives. Fathers also decide, sometimes after sixty years, to search for their secret children born from an Indonesian war romance. Often the reactions show that children of Dutch marriages who have found out about daddy’s secret want to meet their unknown Indonesian half-siblings.

The family finding tool on the website functions as an effective way to start quests for long lost relatives or newly discovered families. The Warlovechild project collected a wide variety of testimonials of children, fathers, their Dutch offspring and even mothers, both in the Netherlands and Indonesia. Veterans tell about their wartime affairs and sexuality, their children describe the harassment they faced as an occupier's child and the mothers recall romantic and sad moments from their memories. A huge amount of original historical documents such as birth certificates, family-snapshots and military reports have been brought together for the first time to give a unique insight into the secret life of love in wartime. The serves as a portal for a growing community of people with similar roots. At the same time it is a source for new historical research.

It is remarkable that we know of young Dutch girls who gave birth to children of German military during the Nazi-occupation or of the allied military after the liberation of the Netherlands in 1944/1945. But no historian nor journalist has ever tackled the role of Dutch military as absent fathers of Dutch-Indonesian children after the colonial war of 1945-1949.

Due to post-colonial migration of Dutch-Indonesian veterans as well as their family, kin and halfcast offspring, many can be found in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. To reach this internationally dispersed target group, the website is now accessible in English as well as in Dutch. The financing of an Indonesian version is currently being investigated. The 80 minutes documentary Sir Daddy with unique archival footage and personal interviews is available in English, Dutch and Indonesian. An impression of the making of Sir Daddy can also be watched on the website as well as a blog by the makers.

Keywords: love in wartime, family finder, oral history, colonial past, Netherlands, Indonesia, secret children, crossmedia, website, television, documentary, Indo-European

More information (not for publication): Promoters mrs. Stef Scagliola (historian), mrs. Annegriet Wietsma (interviewer/director) and mr. Jean Hellwig (producer/director) can be reached for further information at: / +31-6-2127 1555 / +31-20-462 0018

Warlovechild is produced by Hellwig Productions Audiovisuals
with the support of: Heritage of War programme, NTR, VPRO, Dutch Cultural Media Fund, V-fonds, Bank Giro Loterij, Data Archiving and Networked Services

This message is sent to you because we think you may be interested in its contents. We apologize for cross-sending. 

Zeeburgerpad 53
1019 AB  Amsterdam
the Netherlands
phone +31 20 462 0018

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Batavia 1941

A bit of nostalgia.
Beautiful video of Batavia/Jakarta 1941

Met hartelijke groeten uit Jakarta,
Batara R. Hutagalung