Maarten Hidskes – The East


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Maarten Hidskes wrote a historical novel to accompany the movie The East, made by Jim Taihuttu. The East is a grim page turner about dark period of Dutch history.

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, the young soldier Johan and thousands like him are being sent to the Dutch East Indies to get the colony back under control. A bunch of rebels (lead by Soekarno) has stated a declaration of independence and the Dutch government wants to quickly put an end to this call for Indonesian freedom.

Johan wants to flee the Netherlands to escape the shameful past of his father. With an urge to prove himself and youthful audacity, he dives headfirst into this adventure in this foreign land. Gradually he is captivated by the charismatic Captain The Turk, a character that is based on the historical captain Raymond Westerling. But the war escalates and The Turk is increasingly using merciless violence to break the resistance of the local population against the colonial occupation. And Johan is beginning to doubt The Turk, his methods, and his own ideals. He decides to choose for himself, with drastic consequences…

Published in May 2021 | Paperback | with photographs | 176 pages | ca. 30,000 words
Full English AI translation available
Dutch edition published by Boom Publishers

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Maarten Hidskes previously wrote Nobody Believes Me Back Home, a gripping book about the experiences of his father while serving in the elite troops, led by captain Raymond Westerling. This search about the role of his father, was the basis for a two-part documentary on Dutch national television. Hidskes was editor-in-chief and researcher for various television programs, ranging from informative children’s television to a daily current affairs program. A translation of Nobody Believes Me Back Home was published by Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia.



Welcome to the Indies
We don’t have any problems, tuan
The right path
Indonesia merdeka!
Hunters and prey
The laws of the East
Kill quickly, fight dirty
Secret mission
The more you think, the more you will go crazy
Free as a bird


Research between love and truth

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