The Indies community

The relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia continued to be complicated until the 1990s. Only in 2005 did the Netherlands finally accept the Indonesian independence of 17 August 1945 in ‘a political and moral sense’.

After the conflict over New Guinea, the Netherlands and Indonesia cautiously resumed diplomatic relations. In the 1970s, the Netherlands gave large sums of development aid to Indonesia, provided that the violations of human rights under the Suharto regime ceased. Indonesia saw this as interference in its internal affairs, and the Netherlands and Indonesia cut off all contact. Repatriates and migrants eventually found a place in the Dutch labour market. Compensation for war damages and the non-payment of salaries of members of the Indies community remained key points of conflict.