On January of 1942, Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies, a colony of the Netherlands. The Dutch surrendered two months later. For three hundred years the Dutch had suppressed the local population, consequently, the Japanese were welcomed as liberators. The Japanese encouraged nationalism and aided with the dismantling of the Dutch colonial structure. Fierce nationalist leader Sukarno had their ear.
In August of 1945, two days after the Japanese surrendered to the allies, Sukarno declared the Republic of Indonesia. However, the Netherlands did not give up without a fight and when they tried to reclaim what they believed was theirs, a bloody war for independence followed.
Sukarno harbored great hatred for the Dutch and the Indo Dutch, as native Dutch sympathizers were called. He had every neighborhood, every block and every street hunted down for enemies of the independent Republic of Indonesia. Pro colonials were strangled and hacked to pieces publically, their bodies dumped in ditches and canals. Cities on the island of Java were the scene of kidnappings, disappearances, shootings, thefts and murders.
One child in an unfortunate family inadvertently caught up in World War II and the subsequent war for independence, called the Bersiap period, was a five-year-old boy called Frits. This his story.