Forwarded message:
From apakabar Thu Jun 9 18:33 EDT 1994
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 18:33:07 -0400
From: John MacDougall
Message-Id: <199406092233.SAA22698@clark.net>
Subject: DUTCH WRITER (L ONLY) By ANGELIQUE VAN ENGELEN/AMSTERDAM
Apparently-To: apakabar@clark.net
Content-Type: text
Content-Length: 3387


DATE=6/9/94
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-159976
TITLE=DUTCH WRITER (L ONLY)
BYLINE=ANGELIQUE VAN ENGELEN
DATELINE=AMSTERDAM
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: A DUTCH WRITER HAS BEEN ACQUITTED BY A COURT IN THE NETHERLANDS AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF BERSMIRCHING THE IMAGE OF DUTCH VETERANS WHO FOUGHT IN THE COUNTRY'S FORMER COLONY, INDONESIA. ONE OF THE EX-INDONESIA FIGHTERS SUED THE WRITER, STIRRING A PUBLIC DEBATE ABOUT DUTCH RULE IN INDONESIA. ANGELIQUE VAN ENGELEN HAS A REPORT FROM THE COURTHOUSE IN AMSTERDAM.

TEXT: IN A NEWSPAPER INTERVIEW ABOUT HIS BOOK TWO YEARS AGO, WRITER GRAA BOOMSMA COMPARED THE TACTICS OF THE DUTCH TROOPS THAT WERE SENT TO INDONESIA TO RESTORE LAW AND ORDER IN 1947 TO THOSE OF THE GERMAN NAZIS. THEY WERE NOT S-S TROOPS, HE SAID, BUT COULD BE COMPARED TO THEM BY THE WAY THEY BEHAVED. HE REFERRED TO THE ALLEGEDLY BRUTAL WAY IN WHICH THE DUTCH TROOPS PUT DOWN VIOLENCE BY MEMBERS OF THE INDONESIAN NATIONALIST MOVEMENT.
BOTH THE WRITER AND THE JOURNALIST WHO QUOTED HIM WERE SUED BY ONE OF THE WAR VETERANS, WHO FELT HE HAD UNJUSTLY BEEN PORTRAYED AS A NAZI.

THE VETERAN'S LAWYER DEMANDED BOTH DEFENDANTS PAY A SYMBOLIC FINE OF 250 DOLLARS. HOWEVER, THE JUDGE DECIDED TO ACQUIT THEM, SAYING THE JOURNALIST WAS ONLY DOING HIS JOB AND HAD NOT BEEN OUT TO HURT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR.

WRITER GRAA BOOMSMA SAYS HE NEVER SHOULD HAVE APPEARED IN COURT. RATHER, HE SAYS, THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRIED FOR FAILING TO CONDUCT AN OFFICIAL INQUIRY INTO WHAT HAPPENED IN INDONESIA. HE HOPES THE MEDIA WILL PICK UP ON, WHAT HE CALLS, THIS BLACK HOLE IN DUTCH HISTORY.

// BOOMSMA ACT //
I WANT AN OPEN DISCUSSION, NOT IN COURT, BUT IN THE MEDIA -- ON TELEVISION, ON THE RADIO, IN THE PAPERS, IN ART -- ON THIS SUBJECT. A LOT OF PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE, DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC PART OF DUTCH HISTORY. // END ACT //
IN HIS BOOK, MR. BOOMSMA RECOUNTS THE STORY OF HIS FATHER, WHO WAS SENT TO INDONESIA.

// BOOMSMA ACT // AFTER WORLD WAR TWO, HE WAS DRAFTED BY THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT; AND IN 1945, HE WAS SHIPPED TO JAVA, THE MAIN ISLAND OF INDONESIA. AND THERE HE WAS FIRST A COOK, AND LATER ON HE WAS DRAGGED INTO THE DIRTY WAR, BECAUSE OF THE FIRST MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THE NATIONALISTS, THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS. AND LATER ON, HE WAS A GUARD IN A PRISON. AND IN THAT SPECIFIC PERIOD IN HIS INDONESIAN TIME, HE ENCOUNTERED TERRIBLE THINGS; AND I THINK SPECIFICALLY THAT PERIOD HAS SHORTENED HIS LIFE, BECAUSE WHEN HE WAS BACK IN HOLLAND HE WAS NOT ABLE TO DISCUSS WHAT HE HAD SEEN; AND NOT ONLY MY FATHER BUT ALL THOSE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS WHO HAD BEEN THERE.
// END ACT //
THE INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ASSOCIATION, PEN, REACTED WITH DELIGHT TO MR. BOOMSMA'S ACQUITTAL. PEN CHAIRMAN AND PLAYWRIGHT RONALD HARWOOD RECENTLY EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE CASE TO THE DUTCH MINISTER OF JUSTICE, SAYING IT WAS JEOPARDIZING THE EXEMPLARY ROLE OF HOLLAND WHEN IT COMES TO THE FREEDOM OF OPINION. (SIGNED)

NEB/AVE/PCH/MMK

09-Jun-94 1:15 PM EDT (1715 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America


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