Still paying the piper after 66 years

Our author Marijcke Jongbloed is a special guest at the opening of an important exhibition in the Dutch town of Epe on 3 August.

The exhibition will highlight the treatment of the Dutch in Indonesia during and after the Second World War. It is a topic very close to Marijcke because she was there, albeit as an infant and toddler, and recorded the struggle of her parents to survive in her book, ‘Morning Comes and Also the Night’.

The Dutch East Indies, as Indonesia was then known, was overrun by the Japanese in 1942 and remained under their control until 1945. The Dutch captured in the Indies were held in detainment camps in steadily worsening conditions, as Marijcke describes in poignant detail in her memoir of survival.

The war ended 66 years ago but for many Dutch, the traumatic experience of the Japanese occupation is a lingering pain. Many are still waiting for recognition, compensation for war damages and back payment of salaries and pensions. They are still hoping for rehabilitation.

The exhibition in Epe is an initiative of the Foundation Japanese Debts of Honour and the ‘Indisch Platform’’. This exhibit is designed to show plainly why the Dutch from the erstwhile Dutch East Indies – the ‘Indisch’ – feel, after 66 years, that they are still paying the piper.

At the opening, Marijcke will present a copy of her book to the mayor of Epe, Ir. H v.d. Hoeve.

The exhibit runs from 3-19 August at the Culture House in Epe. It features many important historical and cultural artifacts made available by residents of the town.

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