The Netherlands / Monument
The National East Indies Monument 1945-1962 was erected to commemorate the more than 6,200 Dutch soldiers who were killed between 1945 and 1962 in the former Netherlands Indies (Indonesia) and in New Guinea. The monument was founded thanks to a private initiative and was unveiled by Prince Bernhard on 7 September 1988. It should be noted that the monument is controversial, as research has demonstrated that a number of soldiers were found guilty of war crimes.
At the time of the Second World War, present-day Indonesia was a Dutch colony. After the war in Europe ended, the Dutch government decided to send troops to the Dutch East Indies to restore its authority. This led to a conflict in which thousands of people lost their lives.
The monument is made up of various components. Its central part is an obelisk with a crowned pigeon, symbol of New Guinea. A fountain with water buffalo's heads can be found beside the obelisk. Eighteen triangular pillars, memorial tables with plaques and a bronze bust of General Simon Hendrik Spoor, commander of the Dutch forces at the time, have been placed behind the obelisk.
The names of 6229 Dutch soldiers who were killed in action in the Netherlands Indies (1945-1949) and New Guinea (1949-1962) have been inscribed in the metal pillars.
Attention is also paid to the civilian war casualties from the East Indies. This supplementary monument was unveiled on 25 August 1990. Earth originating from Java has been processed in the stone.
In addition, the National Monument for Peacekeeping Operations with its ever-burning torch can be found in Roermond Memorial Park. A Connecting Monument, which was unveiled on 1 September 2018, has been placed between both monuments.