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    Netherlands East Indies (NEI)  Indonesia
The Netherlands East Indies (NEI) was a colony of the Netherlands in present day Indonesia. Also known as the Dutch East Indies (DEI). The colony spanned in the west from Sumatra and Malacca, Java, the southern half of Borneo, Celebes (Sulawesi), Moluccas Islands, Ceram (Seram), Timor and the western half of New Guinea known as Dutch New Guinea (DNG). The colonial capital was Bavita (Jakarta) in western Java. Postwar, the Netherlands East Indies became Indonesia.

Wartime History
After the Netherlands surrendered to Germany on May 14, 1940 with the Royal family fleeing in exile to the United Kingdom. The Dutch retained control of the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) but had limited military resources to defend the large territory. At the start of the Pacific War, the American British, Dutch Australian Command (ABDA) attempted to defend the area including the natural resources. During early 1942 attacked by the Japanese and occupied key areas with the Allies withdrawing. For most of the Pacific War, occupied by the Japanese. Some areas were liberated by the Allies during 1944. Many areas remained under Japanese control until the official surrender of Japan in September 1945. Reportedly, 4 million Indonesians died during the Japanese occupation.

After the Pacific War, Indonesian leaders including Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence and fought a four and a half year struggle against the Dutch who were attempting to reestablish their colony. In December 1949 the Netherlands recognized Indonesia independence but retained control of Dutch New Guinea. In the years following, the Sukarno's government campaigned for Indonesian control of western New Guinea and with pressure from the United States, the Netherlands agreed to the New York Agreement which ceded Dutch New Guinea to Indonesia in May 1963.

The Republic of Indonesia encompassed the entire area of the former Netherlands East Indies (NEI).

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Last Updated
May 21, 2021


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