Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Exhibition: Indonesia 1965

1 October 2015 to 9 October 2015
IISG, Amsterdam

From 1-9  October , the IISH organizes a small exhibition on the Indonesian massacres of 1965-1966. The exhibition shows records, books and memoirs from the IISH collection regarding these, still surrounded by taboos,  events during which hundreds of thousands of people died. Occasion for the exhibition is the international conference 1965 Today: Living with the Indonesian Massacres which - in collaboration with the IISH - is organized by the NIOD and the KITLV.

Military coup and massacre

On the evening of 30 September 1965, a number of presumably leftist army units committed a military coup in Jakarta and Central Java. The coup was put down by the forces of the conservative anti-communist general Suharto. He used the opportunity to seize power in Indonesia. Suharto put aside the ruling president Sukarno and started, aided by public opinion, the massacres, the persecution and imprisonment of the Indonesian left progressive movement, and everyone associated with it.

Especially the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) had to pay. Suharto particularly blamed this party for being involved and responsible for the coup.

The killings began in October 1965 and lasted for almost half a year. They took place in East and Central Java, Bali and North Sumatra, and were organized by the Indonesian military, but often carried out by criminal militias.

Exact figures on the number of victims are not known, but estimates range from 200,000 to 1 million deaths. The 1965 massacres became more known recently because of the documentary The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn.