Category Archives: History

A History of the Peopling of Indonesia

I do not suppose that many people took very much notice of a news item in February of this year that recorded the passing of the last surviving member of an ethnic group from the Andaman Islands known as the … Continue reading

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Nathaniel’s Nutmeg

How greed put the East Indies on the map The proper title of this book should perhaps be “Plunder, Greed and Gluttony, Engines of Empire“. It is the story, entertainingly, even colourfully told, of the 16th century and 17th century … Continue reading

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Exploring a Javanese Enigma

A story of long-forgotten events from the last century —from Germany to the Dutch East Indies and back again. THE PEPPER TRADER: True Tales of the German East Asia Squadron and the Man who Cast them in Stone Author: Geoffrey … Continue reading

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Indonesia’s History

A country as large and diverse as Indonesia must have a long and complex history and so it is. The islands have been inhabited for millennia. Evidence of early hominids has been found in Java, Sumatra and Borneo, perhaps the … Continue reading

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Eleven

ELEVEN On November 4 1938 a Netherlands line vessel, Johannes van Oldenbarnewelt, docked at Batavia’s Tanjung Priok. Its complement of passengers included eleven German Jews. Johannes van Oldenbarnewelt Any non-Dutch nationals were required to have immigration clearance. The Dutch colonial … Continue reading

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In Search of McJava

Some years ago I was in the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore for visa purposes. Reaching the front of the queue, I put my passport on the counter in front of a young Singaporean Indian staffer who picked it up and … Continue reading

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