Home » Reference » Meet Poncke Princen, a Dutch anti-Nazi fighter who was later sent to Indonesia to suppress an anticolonial rebellion. Princen, after witnessing Dutch war crimes, defected to fight with the guerrillas in 1948. He later helped expose the anticommunist massacres of Indonesian dictator Suharto.

Meet Poncke Princen, a Dutch anti-Nazi fighter who was later sent to Indonesia to suppress an anticolonial rebellion. Princen, after witnessing Dutch war crimes, defected to fight with the guerrillas in 1948. He later helped expose the anticommunist massacres of Indonesian dictator Suharto.

Poncke Princen

Poncke Princen

Johannes Cornelis Princen (21 November 1925 in The Hague – 2 February 2002 in Jakarta), better known as Poncke Princen, was a Dutch anti-Nazi fighter and colonial soldier. In 1948, he deserted, joined the pro-independence guerrillas in what was then the Dutch Indies. He lived the rest of his life in Indonesia, where he became a prominent human rights activist and political dissident under various dictatorial regimes in his adopted country and consequently spent considerable time in detention.

Early life

Princen and his three siblings were the children of free-thinking parents with anarchist tendencies. His great-grandfather had been a deserter from military service, who had long been chased by the law and whose li… Continue Reading (22 minute read)

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