A Fictional War: Dutch propaganda and the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949)

Dutch soldiers shopping at a Javanese market, 1947.

Paul M.M. Doolan

In December 1949, the Netherlands was forced to hand over sovereignty of its colony, the Dutch East Indies, to the Republic of Indonesia. Their long domination of the Indonesian archipelago had come to a brutal end with the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949). Hundreds of thousands of Dutch who had called the former colony home repatriated to the metropole and 150,000 soldiers returned from a war that had proven futile. Their memories were not forgotten, though their compatriots did not care to hear their stories. During the decades that followed, the war faded from Dutch collective memory. Today it frequently makes the news.

The foundations for unremembering had already been constructed during the war, by means of official representations of the war. Carefully contrived representations, including visual representations, gave the impression that the Dutch military were involved in a great humanitarian exercise, not in a war. The Dutch military authorities contrived this false impression, but the press distributed and the public consumed this manipulated image, producing a fiction that would complicate the act of remembering in the future.

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Job Klaxon: Lecturer in Modern History

Lecturer (E&S) in Modern History

Job details

Job reference S63958

Date posted 20/09/2021

Application closing date 04/10/2021

Location Exeter

Salary The starting salary will be from £36,382 up to £47,419 on Grade (F), depending on qualifications and experience.

Package Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

This full time role is available immediately on a fixed-term contract until August 2022.  The successful applicant must be able to start no later than 1 November 2021.

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university in the top 200 universities worldwide. We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, and have achieved a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017. We have over 22,000 students and 4600 staff from 180 different countries and have been rated the WhatUni2017 International Student Choice. Our research focuses on some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today, with 98% of our research rated as being of international quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students.

The role

The role of Lecturer in Modern History (Education and Scholarship) in the Department of History will include supporting the student learning experience using a range of approaches and modes of delivery appropriate to the teaching allocated. The post-holder will support the design and delivery of innovative and high-quality teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The ability to teach introductory, first-year modules on US history (post-1850) is desirable.

For further details and to apply click here

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Thomas Sankara, president of Burkina Faso, with French president François Mitterrand. Ouagadougou. November 1986. Daniel Janin/AFP/Getty Images.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From 9/11’s lost news coverage to France’s brutal post-colonial legacy in West Africa, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

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