The PI (Perhimpunan Indonesia, meaning ‘Indonesian society’) was a political association for Indonesian students in the Netherlands. The PI was the first Indonesian political association with an explicitly nationalist agenda. While the PI was quite small, it had a large impact on the nationalist movement in Indonesia. Its most famous member was Mohammad Hatta, who went on to become Indonesia’s first vice president.
Many members of the PI had been in the resistance against the Nazis during the Second World War. In this manifesto, which is actually dated 5 May 1945, the day when the Netherlands was officially liberated, the PI calls on the Dutch to work now to liberate Indonesia, where “sixty-five million subjects are still crushed by the yoke of Japanese barbarism”. Referring to the “historic links between the Netherlands and Indonesia”, the PI calls on the Dutch: “Support our fight for liberation from Japan! Help us to establish Democracy in Indonesia!” The text links this to a political position — albeit in a moderate formulation: “Only once Indonesia is an independent member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on an equal footing, will the future of Indonesia and the Netherlands be assured”.
‘Manifest der Perhimpunan Indonesia’. Netherlands, 5 May 1945. Stencil. Or. 26.999-8.