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In Search of Westerling: The Decolonization of Indonesia and the Dutch Question in the 1950s

  • 인문논총
  • 2018, 47(), pp.5-26
  • DOI : 10.33638/JHS.47.1
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : September 10, 2018
  • Accepted : October 12, 2018
  • Published : October 31, 2018

Woonkyung Yeo 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article explores political and social conflicts surrounding the Dutch in Indonesia and their impacts in the decolonization of Indonesia in the 1950s. More specifically, it focuses on the case of Westerling who launched a rebellion called Angtakan Perang Ratu Adil (APRA) in Bandung in early 1950. This rebellion was regarded as a symbolic threat to the security of the newly independent state. After the rebellion failed, Westerling smuggled himself to Singapore. There were intense political and legal disputes over the extradition of Westerling to Indonesia. The Indonesian government chased him even after he was deported to Europe, and continued to attempt to extradite to Indonesia. Meanwhile, some Dutch ex-military officers of the KNIL, such as Jungschlaeger and Schmidt, were arrested for anti-government activities in the mid-1950s. During the trial, they were allegedly accused of being involved in Westerling s campaigns in the 1950s. Through this trial they were labeled as another Westerling , and the image of the Dutch was formulated as an obstacle to Indonesian nationalism and decolonization. By exploring the APRA rebellion, debates on Westerling’s whereabouts, and the Jungschlaeger trial, this article analyzes what Westerling and the Dutch question meant in the decolonization of Indonesia in the 1950s, and how the image of Westerling was manipulated in the process.

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