Working definition of Bersiap denial

The working definition of Bersiap denial has been developed with the awareness that denying and/or trivializing the blood-soaked Bersiap constitutes a misunderstanding of historical facts as well as of the suffering that was inflicted on the victims and that in a constitutional democracy this should not remain unchallenged, but should be challenged and denounced instead.

Bersiap denial is any expression that denies the historical reality of the Bersiap, in particular the racist and extreme violence against (Indo-)Dutch and Chinese as well as the extreme violence against Moluccans and Indonesians suspected of Dutch sympathy, as committed by Indonesians in the former Dutch East Indies during at least the period from September 1945 to the beginning of 1946.

A very limited scope of Bersiap denial at least includes any claim that the Bersiap never happened. However, Bersiap denial also includes denying or questioning the specific atrocities of the Bersiap, such as chopping people into pieces while still alive (chingchanging, tjintjangen), piercing victims with razor-sharp bamboo spears (bamboo roonchings, bamboe roentjings) and the sexual abuse of victims, as well as the racist and /or intentional character thereof.

Bersiap denial also includes any statement that denies or downplays the impact, the number of casualties, the responsibility of the perpetrators or the main elements of the Bersiap and/or makes the victims (in whatever form) responsible (for causing ) of the Bersiap.

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