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Various Authors & Editors

The Dutch Political Conflict with the Republic of Indonesia, 1945-1949
Part 2-5: Papers of J. Zwart (1946-1947): Java/NEFIS (intelligence service)

Short biography
Jan Zwart was born in Friesland in 1912. He studied at the famous faculty of Indology at the University of Leiden, where civil servants for the colonial government in the East Indies were trained. In 1939 he was sent out to Java to become a junior controller in Batavia and shortly later controller in Yogyakarta. He spent the Japanese occupation in internment and upon release at the end of hostilities was mobilized and seconded to the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service (NEFIS), where his assignment was to report on the situation in Central Java, and also to follow developments in the indigenous labor movement and social organizations for the whole island. For his work he could draw on information from the government information agency ( Regeringsvoorlichtingsdienst), Indonesian Republican newspapers and military intelligence. In November 1946 he was demobilized and assigned to the civilian administration in West-Borneo.

The papers
His papers contain notes, memos, reports, clippings and other documents concerning a range of intelligence issues on Java, and to a lesser extent West-Borneo, in the period late 1945-1947, including
• the structure of Japanese administration and support for the Republicans
• the political structure and development of the Republican government
• Republican military organizations
• political developments in the Indonesian forces
• Republican youth-, labor- and women’s organizations
• foreign influences on the Republicans
• the Communist party
• Islamic fighting organizations and others.

Various Authors & Editors

The Dutch Political Conflict with the Republic of Indonesia, 1945-1949
Part 2-6: Papers of J. van Baal (1934-1964): New Guinea, Lombok/Bali

Early career
Jan van Baal (1909-1992) was a well-known cultural anthropologist who specialized in the study of the peoples of New Guinea. He was born into a strict reformed Protestant family in Scheveningen, the port of The Hague. After studying “indology” (the name then given for the program of study in preparation of becoming a civil administrator in the Netherlands Indies) and obtaining a doctorate at the University of Leiden with a dissertation on the Marind-Anim Papua people, he began his career in the Indies in 1934. He served first as junior controller in Java and Madura before being appointed in 1936 to the post of controller stationed at Merauke in South-New-Guinea, where he was to spend two years. In addition to his administrative duties, which included quelling uprisings, he gathered statistical and ethnographical data on the local population (the Marind of his dissertation) and studied their rituals and religion. In 1938 he was transferred to East Java. He had just commenced a research study of village structure on Lombok when the Japanese invaded in 1942. During the occupation (1942-1945) he was interned in Celebes (Sulawesi) and taught courses in ethnography to his fellow campmates, while working on a carefully concealed manuscript that formed the basis of his 1947 publication Over wegen en drijfveren der religie (On ways and motives of religion). After his release he returned to the Netherlands until posted back to Java in July 1947 arriving the day the “First police action” against the forces of the Republic of Indonesia began (20 July). Subsequently he held the position of assistant-resident in Bali and Lombok, part of the new federal state of East Indonesia, but became disillusioned with the way the local rulers promoted their own interests while neglecting those of the population. He also worked briefly in Medan in Sumatra, where he had contact with the Republicans, whom he thought were better administrators.

Back to New Guinea
With the transfer of sovereignty to the Republic in December 1949, which he felt came too quickly and irresponsibly under American pressure, he again became increasingly involved in New Guinea affairs. The sovereignty over the western half of that still remote and little-known island had been retained by the Dutch in 1949, but was disputed by the Indonesians. He acted as secretary of the Dutch delegation to the New Guinea/Irian commission to discuss New Guinea’s status with Indonesia in 1950. In 1951 he became the first head of the newly created Kantoor voor Bevolkingszaken (literally Office of Population Affairs, translated at the time as Bureau of Native Affairs), headquartered in Hollandia (now Jayapura), the colonial capital. The bureau’s task was to gather data on all aspects of New Guinea society (its archive is also available through Moran Micropublications). But Van Baal soon relinquished this fascinating work to stand for Parliament for the conservative Protestant Antirevolutionary Party (ARP). Though elected his stay in the Lower House was brief, for the Dutch government convinced him to accept the post of Governor of Netherlands New Guinea in April 1953 for a five-year term.

Van Baal proved to be a dedicated, hardworking and efficient governor, who authored an important work plan for the development of New Guinea. But he was also forced to spend much time and energy on bureaucratic infighting with the Ministry of Overseas Territories ( Ministerie van Overzeesche Rijksdelen), in particular over his budget. Civil servants at the ministry were still imbued with the classical colonial attitude that New Guinea should not only pay for itself, but also produce benefits for the mother country (the famous “batig saldo”) through, for example, large-scale projects in agriculture and mining. Van Baal, on the other hand, believed in a small-scale approach to agriculture and also that the colony should be led toward a steadily increasing measure of self-rule in keeping with the United Nations charter. Although at times he threatened to resign, Van Baal finished his term of governor as planned in 1958. He then returned to the Netherlands and later that year became professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Utrecht, where he remained until his retirement in 1973. He later published his memoirs of this long career in colonial service in a two-volume work entitled Ontglipt verleden [A past that slipped away](1986-1989).

End of Dutch rule
After Van Baal’s departure the Dutch were only to rule over western New Guinea for a few more years. The Indonesian Republic had always maintained its claim to this territory, which it referred to as Irian Barat (west Irian). Starting in 1960 Indonesian president Sukarno began asserting it more aggressively, even attempting military infiltration from 1961, while at the same time raising the issue several times in the United Nations without being able to obtain a two-thirds majority for the Indonesian position. The Dutch government lacked a concrete plan for independence and first favored uniting western and eastern New Guinea. While the Dutch had made efforts on behalf of economic development and education, it was only in 1961 that a partly-elected New Guinea Council was set up with limited powers. Then the Dutch proposed a plebiscite among the Papuans under international auspices to decide their future status, also without winning the necessary majority in the UN. In the meantime international opinion remained divided on the issue, but the United States, fearing it might “lose” Indonesia to the Soviets, stepped up the pressure on the Dutch. Lacking the will and the means to face a military confrontation with the Indonesians, the Dutch ceded western New Guinea to a temporary UN administration on 1 October 1962. The UN then turned authority over to Indonesia on 1 May 1963 on condition that the population vote on its wishes after five years, a promise only partially fulfilled, according to many, by the still-disputed consultation that took place in 1969 .

The papers
Van Baal’s papers micropublished here concern his career in the colonial civil service from 1934 until 1958. The first part covers his early years in South-New-Guinea, including
• documents concerning the establishment of population registers and dossiers with statistical and ethnographic information on the local population.

The second part of the collection covers the years 1945-1950, especially
• documents of various sorts on the political, economic and social situation on Lombok and Bali.

The third part, by far the most extensive, concerns New Guinea in general from 1945 until the early 1960s. It can be subdivided as follows:
• reports and other documents from the period 1945-1950, including incoming reports on discussion of the New Guinea question at the Round Table Conference, 1949
• discussions in the ministers’ conference of the Netherlands-Indonesian union in early 1950 and in the New Guinea/Irian commission, 1950
• international correspondence 1950-1964, organized by year, conducted in several languages with a great many people, both inside and outside the government, in New Guinea, the Netherlands and other countries concerning a broad range of subjects, both official and unofficial, political as well as scientific
• documents concerning New Guinea as an international question 1950-1961 (especially 1951-1952), among others, reports from international bodies, such as diverse United Nations commissions
• documents concerning the internal administration of New Guinea in the most diverse sense, 1950-1958, including information on political, social, cultural and economic developments, agricultural and infrastructural projects, relations with Catholic and Protestant missions, education, republican sympathizers and Indonesian activities, cooperative organizations and organizations for the development and colonization of New Guinea, the situation of Indo-Europeans, anthropological and scientific reports, and many others.

J. van Baal, Ontglipt verleden (vol. 1, Franeker: Wever, 1986; vol. 2, Franeker: Van Wijn, 1989)
Reviews in NRC Handelsblad (27 September 1986; 23 September 1989) and De Volksrant (24 September 1986; 16 September 1989).

Various Authors & Editors

The Dutch Political Conflict with the Republic of Indonesia, 1945-1949
Part 3-1: The General-Commission for the Netherlands Indies: Papers of W. Schermerhorn (chairman)

Short biography
Willem Schermerhorn was born in 1894 in the province of North Holland, the Netherlands. He studied civil engineering and went on to become a professor of surveying and geodesy at the famous technical college in Delft. Later he became known worldwide as a pioneer in the techniques of aerial photography and aerial surveying, undertaking for example the mapping of New Guinea in 1936. Politically Schermerhorn belonged to the radical liberal tradition represented by the Vrijzinnig-Democratische Bond (VDB). During World War II he was first held hostage by the German occupiers and during confinement took part in discussions on how to renew the country’s political system. After his release he was active in the Resistance, editing an underground newspaper. In the war’s aftermath he became prime minister of the first cabinet of “recovery and renewal” from June 1945 until July 1946 and joined the new Labor Party ( Partij van de Arbeid), which resulted in February 1946 from a merger of the prewar Social Democratic Workers Party, the VDB and others. As chairman of the Commissie-Generaal voor Nederlandsch-Indië he set a determined but realistic anticolonial course that was very unpopular in the country, but led to the signing of the agreement of Linggajati in November 1946 by himself and Sutan Sjahir for the Republic of Indonesia. In the months that followed, talks on carrying out the agreement were pursued by the Commission to no avail and Schermerhorn himself came to accept military action as inevitable.

Schermerhorn remained in politics until 1965 serving as member of the lower and upper houses of Parliament, although he no longer played a decisive role. In 1970 he published his diary covering the above period ( Het dagboek van Schermerhorn, 2 vols., Groningen: C. Smit, 1970). He died in 1977.

The papers
Schermerhorn’s papers micropublished here concern first and foremost his chairmanship of the Commissie-Generaal (1946-1947). They include
• extensive correspondence with Dutch political figures during and about this period
• minutes of meetings between the commission and the prime minister and minister of the colonies
• copies of telegrams sent and received by the commission
• minutes of “political discussions” with Indonesian delegations
• memos and bulletins of the Government Information Agency, and others.

In addition, there are also many files containing correspondence, memos and notes, articles and press clippings on the Indonesian and New Guinea questions more generally. Finally there is a manuscript of and correspondence on the publication of his diary of the period.

Various Authors & Editors

The Dutch Political Conflict with the Republic of Indonesia, 1945-1949
Part 3-2: The General-Commission for the Netherlands Indies: Papers of M.J.M. van Poll (member)

Short biography
Maximus Josephus Maria (Max) van Poll was born in North Brabant, the Netherlands in 1881 as son of an officer in the Dutch colonial army ( Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger, KNIL). After secondary school he embarked on a career in journalism, eventually founding his own daily newspaper De Morgen (Morning). He published numerous articles on political, economic and cultural topics.

In 1929 Van Poll was elected to parliament as representative of the Catholic party ( Rooms-Katholieke Staatspartij, RKSP, later Katholieke Volkspartij, KVP), where he specialized in social-economic issues, becoming as well the party expert on questions concerning the Indies. In 1935 he took a stand in favour of “imperial self-sufficiency” through intensification of the trade relations between the Netherlands and the East Indies. Several years later he opposed, along with the entire Catholic faction, a proposal to speed up the granting of autonomy to the colony. After the war he was a member of the permanent parliamentary committee for Indies affairs. In January 1946 he proposed and subsequently chaired a parliamentary commission to investigate the situation in Indonesia ( Commissie van Poll). He resigned from parliament in September 1946 to become a member of the Commissie-Generaal. His appointment was meant by the KVP to act as a brake on the progressive course planned by Commission chairman Schermerhorn and Lieutenant-Governor-General Van Mook, but in practice he became increasingly alienated from his faction. Van Poll served on the Commission until it was honorably discharged in October 1947. He died the following year.

The papers
The papers micropublished here chiefly concern the Indonesian question in the years 1945-1948 and in particular the work of the Commissie-Generaal in 1946-1947. They include
• a very extensive correspondence concerning Indonesia organized alphabetically and indexed
• official papers of the Commission received by or authored by Van Poll, organized chronologically
• printed parliamentary documents concerning Indonesia and the actions of the Commission, some with marginal notes by Van Poll
• notes, memos and reports concerning the proposed federal government for Indonesia, in particular the state of East Indonesia, and the Netherlands Indonesian Union
• printed documentation on Indonesia and New Guinea, such as newspaper and magazine articles, brochures, clippings, etc.

Various Authors & Editors

The Dutch Political Conflict with the Republic of Indonesia, 1945-1949
Part 3-3: The General-Commission for the Netherlands Indies: Papers of P. Sanders (secretary)

Short biography
Pieter Sanders was born in Schiedam in 1912. He studied law and then went into private practice. In July 1945, Prime Minister Willem Schermerhorn brought him into the government as secretary-general of the war ministry, a position he held for a year. In September 1946, Schermerhorn, no longer prime minister, asked Sanders to become secretary-general of the Commissie-Generaal voor Nederlandsch-Indië, which Schermerhorn has been called upon by parliament to form in order to negotiate with the Indonesians. He fulfilled this function until his resignation in July 1947. Returning first to a private law practice made difficult by his association with Schermerhorn’s Indonesian policy, he later entered higher education, becoming professor of civil law at the Economische Hogeschool in Rotterdam, predecessor of the Erasmus University of that city.

The papers
The most important document among his papers is his diary covering the period of his tenure on the commission from September 1946 until July 1947. Cast in the form of letters sent to his wife back in the Netherlands, it is in fact a report on the vicissitudes of the Commission written for himself and a few close relations. It is published here for the first time in any form. In addition to the diary, his papers contain contemporary correspondence with prominent Dutch politicians and others, and various other documents.

F.G.M. Broeyer


During the seventeenth century the academic teaching of theology in the Dutch Republic was on a high level. The universities had first-rate professors at their disposal for the subjects taught at the time. In this article some treatises on theological education are discussed. The authors are the professors Antonius Walaeus, Gisbertus Voetius, Franciscus Burman, and Samuel Maresius. Walaeus, Voetius, and Burman wrote about the content of the curriculum and the ideal way of studying theology. They differ in outlook. Burman even advocates a critical attitude based upon a Cartesian principle. Precisely because of unorthodox ideas gaining ground Maresius voiced somber reflections on an assumed decline of the Dutch faculties of theology.

David Fors Freeman


This essay analyzes the various strategies Lutherans in the German city of Wesel pursued in securing their status as a minority church during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Through petitioning their magistrates, securing competent clergy, and obtaining support from their Lutheran Diaspora and a variety of external political authorities, the Lutherans eventually achieved their goals of public worship in their own church as part of the klevish Lutheran synod.

Robert E. Scully


In the face of many difficulties, especially mounting opposition from the Elizabethan government, Jesuits on the mission in England and Wales had to make some hard decisions about how to allocate their limited human and financial resources. In particular, with regard to the social landscape, the missioners came to realize that the gentry were, as a whole, more open to Catholic evangelization than many other groups. Moreover, they had the prestige and material resources to lend the missioners a sizable measure of protection and outreach. Due to the hierarchical nature of early modern society, winning over the gentry usually opened many doors. This increased the possibility of confirming in their faith or converting not only the Catholic gentry's families and friends, but also their servants, tenants, and others. Overall, although this focus on the world of the gentry inevitably limited the potential scope of the mission, it probably also helped to insure its survival and at least some measure of success.

Margo Todd


The corporate identity of the Scottish royal burgh of Perth was in the Middle Ages tied closely to its patron saint, John the Baptist. After the reformation of 1559-60 had abolished all veneration of saints, this identification did not disappear. The town was still called Sanctjhonstoun, the festivals of the Baptist continued to serve as calendar dates, and the St. John's bell continued to call parishioners to the kirk. Even more striking, images of the Baptist survived — on the bells, in the hammermen's silver marks, and in the town seal. Protestant usage would eventually shift the meanings associated with the Baptist, but the saint would never disappear entirely from the town's constructed identity.