The East and the War



Open letters from the Egyptian revolutionary Dr Rifat to the German Chancellor von Bethmann Hollweg published and commented on by an anonymous anti-colonial journalist in the Dutch-Indonesian weekly 'De Indiër' [The Indonesian] on 1 October 1914. To read the original texts in Dutch, please click on the sources above.


The anonymous author in the Dutch-Indonesian weekly approves the overtly German sympathies of the Egyptian anti-colonial revolutionary Dr Rifat and his Egyptian Patriotic Club in Geneva. The author published these letters and his comments in 'De Indiër' [The Indonesian], which was a radical anti-colonial weekly published in the Netherlands. A severe anti-British tone coloured this weekly. Several Indonesian authors and Dutch sympathisers identified themselves in this weekly with the anti-British Indian and Egyptian struggle. If the English would be ousted from India, as some journalists in 'De Indiër' hoped for, then the collapse of Dutch rule in the East Indies would immediately follow. The article illustrates the multiple interactions between Asian and North-African anti-colonial intellectuals which also predated the war.