May 21, 2018 Last Updated 11:04 AM, May 9, 2018

1965 - 1966

The Crocodile Hole

Indonesia, beginning of the 1980s. The young journalist Tommy comes into contact with the survivors of the genocide that the New Order regime of General Suharto carried out. To her bewilderment she hears stories about lurid dancing, castrations and the murder by young girls of a number of generals in the night of October 1 1965.  Guided by Ibu Sri, herself a former prisoner and a member of the women’s organisation that was held responsible for these alleged sexual and sadistic perversions she sets herself the task to unravel these fantasies.  Who invented these hateful lies which were meant to incite mass organizations to murder possibly one million of their neighbors?  Tommy is betrayed and thrown into prison. 

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1965, today: living with the Indonesian massacres

The year 1965 marked a turning point in Indonesian history.  A failed putsch on 1 October was followed swiftly by a violent backlash against the left. About half a million were killed, perhaps another million and a half detained without trial. The violence paved the way for the military regime of General Suharto, the New Order. Millions of survivors and their relatives lost their civil rights. The nation was changed forever. 

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A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar