Chinese Bled in East and West

First Makdoembaks translated: warcrime on Curacao in WWII


Download a summary in English here.

SEOC chairman Nizaar Makdoembaks is also the foundation's main researcher and publicist. He had this second book on the gruesome Aprilmurders translated in order to be able to inform a much wider audience, in particular Chinese government officials that might be able to help piecing the history of this tragedy, covered up so long by the Dutch authorities (then and now!).

April 1942, right in the middle of World War II. Chinese labourers from Rotterdam are employed as stokers on Shell oil tankers. A dangerous job, on menial wages. They start a strike. As the strike becomes more and more grim, the police and guards from the refinery on Curacao intervene. Mercilessly they shoot and kill fifteen Chinese.

All these events have been reconstructed in the book De Aprilmoorden (The April Murders). The author fights for rehabilitation of the Chinese contractors as forgotten victims of war. And succesfully. Annually the victims are commemorated and honoured on April 20th, the National Day of Remembrance ‘The April Murders’, since its official declaration by the Curacao government in 2012.

But, what does the Dutch government do? Nothing. In this book the author presents the results of new research, with new documents and statements from witnesses. Makdoembaks seeks to convince the Dutch authorities of the fact that their colonial point of view on this matter, based on one official document drawn up by a witness/perpetrator, an police-inspector who took part in the shooting, can no longer be upheld. Makdoembaks seeks recognition of this warcrime and its victims as well as assistance in the ongoing research in the history of this covered-up atrocity.

Nizaar Makdoembaks is physician-researcher and also chairman of the Stichting Eerherstel Oorlogsslachtoffers Curaçao (Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Curaçao Victims of War). Previously he published De Aprilmoorden – Berichten van het Kerkhof van de Schande (‘The April Murders – Messages from the Graveyard of Shame’, 2012, available in Dutch and Papiamento).

Research and editorial: 6575 Text & Research
Translation: Honest English in collaboration with 6575 Text & Research
Textadvice: Frans Meulenberg
Cover Photo: Dreamstime
Illustrations: Michiel Tan
Design: Frits van der Heijden
Publisher de Woordenwinkel
Stichting Eerherstel Oorlogsslachtoffers Curaçao (Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Curaçao Victims of War)

299 pages: ISBN/EAN: 978-90-76286-20-4 NUR: 697
Price: € 39,39 (exclusive of charges)
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