For the past half century, the Indonesian military has depicted the 1965-66 killings, which resulted in the murder of approximately one million unarmed civilians, as the outcome of a spontaneous uprising. This formulation not only denied military agency behind the killings, it also denied that the killings could ever be understood as a centralised, nation-wide campaign. Using documents from the former Indonesian Intelligence Agency's archives in Banda Aceh this book shatters the Indonesian government's official propaganda account of the mass killings and proves the military's agency behind those events. This book tells the story of the 3,000 pages of top-secret documents that comprise the Indonesian genocide files. Drawing upon these orders and records, along with the previously unheard stories of 70 survivors, perpetrators, and other eyewitness of the genocide in Aceh province it reconstructs, for the first time, a detailed narrative of the killings using the military's own accounts of these events. This book makes the case that the 1965-66 killings can be understood as a case of genocide, as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention. The first book to reconstruct a detailed narrative of the genocide using the army's own records of these events, it will be of interest to students and academics in the field of Southeast Asian Studies, History, Politics, the Cold War, Political Violence and Comparative Genocide.
For the past half century, the Indonesian military has depicted the 1965-66 killings, which resulted in the murder of approximately one million unarmed civilians, as the outcome of a spontaneous uprising. This formulation not only denied military agency behind the killings, it also denied that the killings could ever be understood as a centralised, nation-wide campaign. Using documents from the former Indonesian Intelligence Agency’s archives in Banda Aceh this book shatters the Indonesian government’s official propaganda account of the mass killings and proves the military’s agency behind those events. This book tells the story of the 3,000 pages of top-secret documents that comprise the Indonesian genocide files. Drawing upon these orders and records, along with the previously unheard stories of 70 survivors, perpetrators, and other eyewitness of the genocide in Aceh province it reconstructs, for the first time, a detailed narrative of the killings using the military’s own accounts of these events. This book makes the case that the 1965-66 killings can be understood as a case of genocide, as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention. The first book to reconstruct a detailed narrative of the genocide using the army’s own records of these events, it will be of interest to students and academics in the field of Southeast Asian Studies, History, Politics, the Cold War, Political Violence and Comparative Genocide.
The Killing Season explores one of the largest and swiftest, yet least examined, instances of mass killing and incarceration in the twentieth century—the shocking antileftist purge that gripped Indonesia in 1965–66, leaving some five hundred thousand people dead and more than a million others in detention. An expert in modern Indonesian history, genocide, and human rights, Geoffrey Robinson sets out to account for this violence and to end the troubling silence surrounding it. In doing so, he sheds new light on broad and enduring historical questions. How do we account for instances of systematic mass killing and detention? Why are some of these crimes remembered and punished, while others are forgotten? What are the social and political ramifications of such acts and such silence? Challenging conventional narratives of the mass violence of 1965–66 as arising spontaneously from religious and social conflicts, Robinson argues convincingly that it was instead the product of a deliberate campaign, led by the Indonesian Army. He also details the critical role played by the United States, Britain, and other major powers in facilitating mass murder and incarceration. Robinson concludes by probing the disturbing long-term consequences of the violence for millions of survivors and Indonesian society as a whole. Based on a rich body of primary and secondary sources, The Killing Season is the definitive account of a pivotal period in Indonesian history. It also makes a powerful contribution to wider debates about the dynamics and legacies of mass killing, incarceration, and genocide.
The International People’s Tribunal addressed the many forms of violence during the period of the massacres of 1965–1966 in Indonesia. It was held in The Hague, The Netherlands, in November 2015, to commemorate fifty years since the killings began. The Tribunal, as a people’s court, holds no jurisdiction and was an attempt to achieve symbolic justice for the crimes of 1965. This book offers new and previously unpublished insights into the types of crimes committed in the 1965 genocide and how these crimes were prosecuted at the International People’s Tribunal for 1965. Divided thematically, each chapter analyses a different crime – enslavement, sexual violence, torture – perpetrated during the Indonesian killings. The contributions consider either general patterns across Indonesia or a particular region of the archipelago. The book reflects on how crimes were charged at the International People’s Tribunal for 1965 and focuses on questions relating to the place of people’s tribunals in truth-seeking and justice claims, and the prospective for transitional justice in contemporary Indonesia. Positioning the events in Indonesia in 1965 within the broader scope of comparative genocide studies, the book is an original and timely contribution to knowledge about the dynamics of the Indonesian killings. It will be of interest to academics in the field of Asian studies, in particular Southeast Asia, Genocide Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice and Transitional Justice Studies.
This collection of essays by Indonesian and foreign contributors offers new and highly original analyses of the mass violence in Indonesia which began in 1965 and its aftermath. Fifty years on from one the largest genocides of the twentieth century, they probe the causes, dynamics and legacies of this violence through the use of a wide range of sources and different scholarly lenses. Chapter 12 of this book is available open access under a CC BY 4.0 license at link.springer.com.
In the early morning hours of October 1, 1965, a group calling itself the September 30th Movement kidnapped and executed six generals of the Indonesian army, including its highest commander. The group claimed that it was attempting to preempt a coup, but it was quickly defeated as the senior surviving general, Haji Mohammad Suharto, drove the movement’s partisans out of Jakarta. Riding the crest of mass violence, Suharto blamed the Communist Party of Indonesia for masterminding the movement and used the emergency as a pretext for gradually eroding President Sukarno’s powers and installing himself as a ruler. Imprisoning and killing hundreds of thousands of alleged communists over the next year, Suharto remade the events of October 1, 1965 into the central event of modern Indonesian history and the cornerstone of his thirty-two-year dictatorship. Despite its importance as a trigger for one of the twentieth century’s worst cases of mass violence, the September 30th Movement has remained shrouded in uncertainty. Who actually masterminded it? What did they hope to achieve? Why did they fail so miserably? And what was the movement’s connection to international Cold War politics? In Pretext for Mass Murder, John Roosa draws on a wealth of new primary source material to suggest a solution to the mystery behind the movement and the enabling myth of Suharto’s repressive regime. His book is a remarkable feat of historical investigation. Finalist, Social Sciences Book Award, the International Convention of Asian Scholars
In Indonesia, the events of 1st October 1965 were followed by a campaign to annihilate the Communist Party and its alleged sympathisers. It resulted in the murder of an estimate of one million people – a genocide that counts as one of the largest mass murders after WWII – and the incarceration of another million, many of them for a decade or more without any legal process. This drive was justified and enabled by a propaganda campaign in which communists were painted as atheist, hypersexual, amoral and intent to destroy the nation. To date, the effects of this campaign are still felt, and the victims are denied the right of association and freedom of speech. This book presents the history of the genocide and propaganda campaign and the process towards the International People’s Tribunal on 1965 crimes against humanity in Indonesia (IPT 1965), which was held in November 2015 in The Hague, The Netherlands. The authors, an Indonesian Human Rights lawyer and a Dutch academic examine this unique event, which for the first time brings these crimes before an international court, and its verdict. They single out the campaign of hate propaganda as it provided the incitement to kill so many Indonesians and why this propaganda campaign is effective to this day. The first book on this topic, it fills a significant gap in Asian Studies and Genocide Studies.
In 1965–66, army-organized massacres claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia. Very few of these atrocities have been studied in any detail, and answers to basic questions remain unclear. What was the relationship between the army and civilian militias? How could the perpetrators come to view unarmed individuals as dangerous enemies of the nation? Why did Communist Party supporters, who numbered in the millions, not resist? Drawing upon years of research and interviews with survivors, Buried Histories is an impressive contribution to the literature on genocide and mass atrocity, crucially addressing the topics of media, military organization, economic interests, and resistance.
Detention camps in Asia have held hundreds of thousands of people – political dissidents, prisoners of war, and civilian populations. This volume examines why states detain, the conditions of detention, and the effects of detention systems on society as a whole.
Migration in the Time of Revolution examines how two of the world's most populous countries interacted between 1945 and 1967, when the concept of citizenship was contested, political loyalty was in question, identity was fluid, and the boundaries of political mobilization were blurred. Taomo Zhou asks probing questions of this important period in the histories of the People's Republic of China and Indonesia. What was it like to be a youth in search of an ancestral homeland that one had never set foot in, or an economic refugee whose expertise in private business became undesirable in one's new home in the socialist state? What ideological beliefs or practical calculations motivated individuals to commit to one particular nationality while forsaking another? As Zhou demonstrates, the answers to such questions about "ordinary" migrants are crucial to a deeper understanding of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Through newly declassified documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archives and oral history interviews, Migration in the Time of Revolution argues that migration and the political activism of the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia were important historical forces in the making of governmental relations between Beijing and Jakarta after World War II. Zhou highlights the agency and autonomy of individuals whose life experiences were shaped by but also helped shape the trajectory of bilateral diplomacy. These ethnic Chinese migrants and settlers were, Zhou contends, not passively acted upon but actively responding to the developing events of the Cold War. This book bridges the fields of diplomatic history and migration studies by reconstructing the Cold War in Asia as social processes from the ground up.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2020 BY NPR, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, AND GQ The hidden story of the wanton slaughter -- in Indonesia, Latin America, and around the world -- backed by the United States. In 1965, the U.S. government helped the Indonesian military kill approximately one million innocent civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the twentieth century, eliminating the largest communist party outside China and the Soviet Union and inspiring copycat terror programs in faraway countries like Brazil and Chile. But these events remain widely overlooked, precisely because the CIA's secret interventions were so successful. In this bold and comprehensive new history, Vincent Bevins builds on his incisive reporting for the Washington Post, using recently declassified documents, archival research and eye-witness testimony collected across twelve countries to reveal a shocking legacy that spans the globe. For decades, it's been believed that parts of the developing world passed peacefully into the U.S.-led capitalist system. The Jakarta Method demonstrates that the brutal extermination of unarmed leftists was a fundamental part of Washington's final triumph in the Cold War.
"The Oxford Handbook on Atrocity Crimes consolidates and further develops the evolving field of atrocity studies by combining major mono-, inter-, and multi-disciplinary research on atrocity crimes in one volume encompassing contributions of leading scholars. Atrocity crimes-war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide-are manifestations of large scale and systematic criminality committed within specific political, ideological, and societal contexts. These crimes are committed by a multiplicity of actors against a large number of victims who suffer far-reaching consequences. Scholars studying mass atrocities are scattered not only across disciplines-such as international (criminal) law, international relations, criminology, political science, psychology, sociology, history, anthropology, or demography-but also across the topic-related fields, which are by definition multi- and interdisciplinary but are typically limited to a particular category or aspect of atrocity crimes. This Handbook brings together these strands of scholarship on (mass) atrocities and interrogates atrocity crimes as an overarching category of criminality, while simultaneously keeping an eye on differences among the individual constitutive categories. The Handbook covers topics related to the etiology and causes of atrocities, the actors involved, the harm and victims of atrocity crimes, the reactions to mass atrocities, and in-depth case studies of understudied situations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide"--